The American Asphalt Paving Co is Baltimore MD’s premier commercial paving company because we understand all the design considerations for that surrounding asphalt paving and parking lot paving projects. Many contractors will cut corners and not install the proper thickness of asphalt, which leads to pavement deterioration. Here’s how asphalt thickness affects your parking lot.
Importance of Proper Parking Lot Asphalt Thickness
While asphalt is flexible and perfect for handling heavy loads, it needs to have the right structure to support heavy vehicles like trucks or forklifts. Areas like dumpster pads, loading zones, entrances, and exits need thicker asphalt pavement to support this kind of heavy traffic. Parking lots are also especially vulnerable to cracking and deterioration if the asphalt is too thin because they are subject to high traffic as well as heavy loads from vehicles sitting on the pavement for hours.
How Thick Should Parking Lot Asphalt Be?
While driveways and walkways can be long-lasting and durable with only 2” of asphalt thickness, commercial pavement needs to have much thicker asphalt installed. For lighter duty parking lots, paving professionals recommend at least 4” of hot mix asphalt on top of a compacted gravel base. For heavy traffic commercial parking lots, an asphalt thickness of at least 7” is best.
Get Professional Asphalt Parking Lot Design
The American Asphalt Paving Co, Baltimore MD’s most experienced commercial paving company, loves helping our local property owners get the best pavement for their needs. We want you to have a parking lot or industrial pavement that won’t break or crack and lasts for decades. Contact us for more information on how we can help.
“Does seal coating really protect my asphalt parking lot surface?” Good question! It’s one we hear A LOT (no pun intended) and by the end of this article we hope to answer that for you. But first, we need to consider a few things. There are three key factors that will let us know us if your parking lot is eligible for a seal coating application or not: Condition, Age & Cost/Benefit.
Three Key Factors of parking lot sealcoating:
1. CONDITION OF PAVEMENT
Bitumen is the binder which holds the asphalt in your surface together. Over time, the bitumen in the asphalt will begin to break down and the asphalt itself will begin to ravel (come apart). The length of time it takes to break down depends on several factors including amount of traffic flow, age, asphalt mixture ratios and exposure to harsh environments. When evaluating a parking lot for seal coating we must first identify the parking lot as one that is fairly early in its life cycle, free of major cracks & repairs, and still has a strong bond between the bitumen binder & the asphalt stone.
2. AGE OF ASPHALT
If the parking lot is more than 10 years old and has never been seal coated, than likely, the bitumen on the surface has broken down significantly and the asphalt has begun to unravel. If the parking lot is 10 years old or more, the seal coat will have very little effect on protecting the asphalt.
The older the asphalt surface, the more often the surface must be seal coated in order to maintain the beautiful jet black look that every parking lot owner desires. Over the years, layer after layer of dirt, oil, antifreeze and debris have settle into the cracks and crevices of your asphalt surface. This makes it very difficult for the sealant to bond. After a few years of heavy traffic, the beautiful black will have returned to its original color. Or even worse, it only shows thru in some areas giving an undesirable contrast from gray to black. This tells us that in order to reap the benefits of seal coating, it must be done relatively early on in its life cycle.
3. COST/BENEFIT ANAYSIS
Property managers and business owners are always looking for ways to make their properties or storefront look more aesthetically pleasing – but at what cost? Seal coating for cosmetic updates should never take the place or structural and safety concerns. If the asphalt is breaking down badly and the surface is nearing the end of its life, perhaps rolling those funds into major repairs in the future would be more economical. However, if the parking lot is fairly new, seal coating along with crack filling can be an excellent way to improve the look of your parking lot.
In conclusion, it is important to understand that seal coating will not restore or repair an asphalt parking lot. It will, however, make your property look more aesthetically pleasing for your customers and patrons. For more about seal coating and crack fill, see the Ultimate Parking Lot Maintenance Plan.
Need an asphalt paving contractor in the greater Baltimore/DC area? Call us now for a free evaluation of your asphalt paving surface! 410-477-4406
HOW TO: Choose an Asphalt Paving Contractor for Your Parking Lot
So you are a contractor, builder, property manager or business owner and you need to choose a commercial asphalt paving contractor for your parking lot. This can often be an overwhelming and difficult task. But with our help, you will be able to choose your asphalt paving contractor, or other contractors, with confidence and establish a relationship that lasts for years to come. So what are some attributes to look for when selecting an asphalt paving contractor?
1. Your Asphalt Paving Contractor should be CAPABLE
When choosing an asphalt paving contractor, it is important to choose a company that is capable of providing you with exactly what you need – and more. Once a trusted relationship is established, you may need someone you can count on to provide additional services in the future. By selecting a contractor who is capable of maintaining all of your parking lot needs, you will save yourself time, money, and a lot of headaches.
2. Your Asphalt Paving Contractor should be COMPETENT
Your asphalt paving contractor should be knowledgeable on parking lot design, as well as local requirements and codes, and should be able to provide you with information and resources that help you plan for future and current projects. Seek a contractor who excited to educate you on asphalt paving and parking lot maintenance. A good contractor should be able to help you determine exactly what you need and why.
3. Your Asphalt Paving Contractor should be COMMITTED
An asphalt paving contractor should be committed to you and to excellence in performing his or her work. A committed contractor is one who prioritizes your needs while paying close attention to each aspect of the job. Call a few names on their reference list and ask if the asphalt paving contractor follows thru and stands behind their work.
4. Your Asphalt Paving Contractor should be CURRENT
A professional asphalt contractor should be current on technological advances in the asphalt paving industry. Paving equipment and materials have come a long way in the past 20 years and are constantly being innovated. Don’t be afraid to ask questions to be sure that your asphalt paving contractor is using the proper equipment and materials – it could make or break the job!
5. Your Asphalt Paving Contractor should be CERTIFIED
A reputable asphalt paving contractor should be certified and properly insured for the job. Look for contractors who are members of well-known associations and who have done work for other companies that you know and trust. Your contractor should happily provide you with an organized list of references. Online reviews are also an excellent way to see what others are saying about a contractor’s work.
6. Your Asphalt Paving Contractor should be COMMUNICATIVE
Most business contractors understand that communication is one of the most important attributes of a business relationship. Choose a contractor who is easy to get a hold of and encourages you to contact them. If you have difficulty contacting your contractor during the initial stages, terminate them from your short list. A communicative contractor will keep you well informed throughout the entire process and welcomes your feedback.
7. Your Asphalt Paving Contractor should be in your COMMUNITY
If possible, choose a contractor who is local to your community. Local asphalt paving contractors should have an extensive knowledge of codes and requirements that pertain to your parking lot. The soil can change drastically based on your geographical location. A method that works in one state or city may not work in another. Be sure to select an asphalt paving contractor who knows your area.
Now that we know what to look for in asphalt paving contractor, let’s get started! Establish a list of contractors that you feel may be right for the job. Online is always a good place to start. Visit each potential contractor’s website and view their services and previous work. This should narrow your search down even further. Once you have established a short list, call and ask a few questions.
These are the questions we recommend asking:
CAPABLE – Which jobs have you worked on that are similar to mine? What other services do you provide? Will you be sub-contracting any portion of the work?
COMPETENT – How long have you been in the asphalt paving industry?
CURRENT – What specific type of equipment and materials will you be using to complete my project?
COMMITTED – Do you have any other projects going on that will interfere with the completion time of my own project?
COMMUNICATIVE – Could you please provide me with your direct contact information?
CERTIFIED – Can you provide proof of insurance and licensing? Could you provide a reference list?
COMMUNITY – What jobs have you done recently that are in my area? Are you well versed in the local requirements that pertain to my area?
Once you have selected a few contractors and received some quotes, be careful of choosing the lowest price. If you receive a bid that is significantly lower than the rest, this contractor is likely cutting corners somewhere along the way. Never let pricing guide your decision making. If you have to, wait until you have the ability to choose the contractor that you trust.