Parking Lots: Overlay or Redo in Columbus Ohio?
Parking lots are essential for commerce. Whether you own a store, strip mall or other business the size and quality of a parking lot is a key measure of success. People in the United States generally drive their car for errands, and will only do business where they can easily park their vehicle. But no matter how convenient a parking lot’s location is, the condition of the lot also plays a factor. Cracks, potholes and debris will quickly send what was a potential customer down the road.
The average lifespan of a parking lot is about 15-20 years. Poor soil compaction and/or freezing temperatures can cause asphalt to crack. Rain and snow can wear a paved surface thin, contributing to even more cracks and damage. And once the lot begins to fragment, erosion begins and will quickly render even a well-paved lot completely unusable.
Once a parking lot begins to show signs of deterioration, two options exist. The first (and cheaper) option is to overlay the lot with a new layer of asphalt. The second, more expensive option is to remove the old asphalt entirely and build a new lot from scratch. This option requires recycling all of the existing asphalt, compacting the soil underneath, and paving a brand-new parking lot. Compared to an overlay, the cost of labor and materials is significantly higher. Additional machinery will be used to remove the old material, and the soil underneath may require leveling and compaction.
With an overlay, the existing asphalt surface is resurfaced with a new asphalt cross section. An asphalt mill is used to shave the top of existing lot down to match the thickness of the overlay if necessary. Some severely damaged areas may need to be removed, as well as any areas that cannot be accessed by the mill. Next a tack coat adhesive is applied, and the surface course is applied. After the final surface layer is completed, the lot is ready for use after a 24-hour cure period.
From an initial cost perspective, an overlay does have its benefits. With less material to dispose of, and less material to purchase, cost is reduced. Labor costs are also far less as the existing lot does not need to be removed entirely. Completely redoing a new parking lot is expensive, but the average lifespan of the lot is usually increased. Factors like weather, location and temperature can play a role in a lot’s lifespan. Whether building a new lot or performing an overlay, it is important to consider the elements before making a decision.