Concrete Parking Lots v. Asphalt Parking Lots

Concrete Parking Lots v. Asphalt Parking Lots

It’s time to upgrade your business with a new parking lot.  You’ve gotten the land, arranged the permits and are ready to start construction.  There’s just one big question remaining: concrete or asphalt?

Both surfaces have their plusses and minuses, and it’s important to look at the whole picture before deciding which surface to use.  The experts here at Epic Paving and Contracting have come up with a few pros and cons that could help you decide which is best for your business.

Pros of a Concrete Parking Lot

Concrete will do better in hot weather.  Dark asphalt gets extremely hot, while the lighter color of concrete means a lower-temperature parking lot in the summer.  It’s also possible that the asphalt will soften and become oily, though that’s generally not a problem in Toronto’s climate.

Concrete requires less maintenance – joint sealing and annual cleaning are all that concrete requires throughout its long lifespan.  Asphalt requires more regular maintenance, sealing and repairing cracks, in order to keep it functioning at full strength.

Concrete has more options for colors and textures, making it a better option for creative designs and layouts, as opposed to plain black asphalt.  Many people consider the look and design of a concrete lot to be more visually appealing, which is helpful if you’re trying to boost your curb appeal.

Pros of an Asphalt Parking Lot

Asphalt is quicker to install and comes in at a lower cost than concrete, generally speaking.  An asphalt parking lot can usually be laid in a couple of days, while concrete takes twice as long.  That will save you money, too, as it means less labor.

Asphalt is better for the environment.  Asphalt can be recycled at the end of its lifespan – it can be ground up and used as a base for new asphalt installations, unlike concrete.  Asphalt lots can also help with water drainage; porous and permeable asphalt allow water to pass through the asphalt into the soil below, while impermeable concrete requires plans for run-off.

Asphalt also is more cost-effective over the long term.  With proper maintenance, an asphalt lot can easily last you 20 years.  Even then, it’s usually only the top layer that’s actually repaved; the base and middle layers are essentially permanent.  Repaving the top layer of an asphalt lot is cheaper than reinstalling a concrete lot.

Which is better?

Which one should you choose?  The answer depends on your exact circumstances; different businesses have different needs, and different needs require different lots.  In Toronto’s cold climate, asphalt is often the right choice – a concrete lot is subject to expanding and contracting during our freezing and thawing cycles, and salt can damage concrete over the long run.  Your circumstances may differ, however, and the experts at Epic Paving and Contracting can help you decide which surface is right for you.