Pros and Cons of Concrete vs Asphalt
The Pros of Concrete Installation
There are several benefits to building a commercial parking lot with concrete. These pros include:
- Better Suited for Hot Weather. — Concrete commercial parking lots tend to be better suited for hot weather. Unlike asphalt parking lots that can soften and become oily in extreme heat conditions, concrete lots often feature a lighter color that results in cooler temperatures during the summer. Its surface is also less likely to expand or change during the hot summer months.
- Less Maintenance. — One of the biggest benefits of concrete parking lots is that they do not require regular maintenance.
- Longer Life Span. — Concrete commercial parking lots tend to last longer than asphalt. In fact, in the right conditions a concrete lot can last for more than 20 years.
- Additional Customization Options. — Concrete parking lots are available in a wide variety of colors, textures, and design options.
The Cons of Concrete Installation
One of the biggest things to consider when choosing between a concrete and asphalt parking lot is the climate. In fact, many of the cons of concrete installation are centered around its reaction to below freezing temperatures.
- Susceptible to Salt Damage. — The salt used to melt ice and snow can cause long-lasting damage to concrete.
- More Expensive to Install. — Concrete might be easier to maintain than asphalt, however it is more expensive to install.
- Long Curing Time. — Concrete can take up to seven days before it is properly cured and ready to be used.
- Water Runoff Management. — Unlike asphalt, concrete is not permeable, which means that businesses will need to implement a water runoff management plan, especially in areas that are susceptible to extended periods of heavy rain.
- Maintenance – Doing maintenance is costly.
Concrete vs Asphalt
The Pros of Asphalt Installation
Asphalt installation offers many potential benefits, including:
- Easy Installation. — An asphalt commercial parking lot can be laid, cured, and ready to use in as little as two days.
- Not Affected by Cold Temperatures. — Unlike concrete, asphalt is typically not affected by below freezing temperatures. Its surface doesn’t deteriorate from extended salt use during winter months.
- Less Expensive to Install. — Asphalt parking lots are significantly less expensive to install.
- Easier to Repair. — While asphalt does require more maintenance than concrete, these repairs are often less expensive and easy to complete.
The Cons of Asphalt Installation
Asphalt parking lots do have a few potential drawbacks, including:
- More Preventative Maintenance. — Unlike concrete that requires minimal maintenance, asphalt does require quite a bit of preventative maintenance. The additional level of maintenance can make asphalt more expensive than concrete in the long run.
- Surface Damage from Gasoline. — Gasoline stains and leakage can cause damage to the surface of the asphalt commercial parking lot.
- Shorter Lifespan. — While asphalt can last for 15 – 20 years, concrete is known for lasting between 30 and 40 years.
- Negatively Affected by Heat. — Asphalt parking lots can be affected by extreme heat. Higher temperatures can cause the surface to shrink, expand, and produce an oil sheen.
- More Permeable Surface. — When compared to concrete, asphalt has a much softer and more permeable surface that is more susceptible to excess damage from snowplows during the winter months.
- Is not always available – During the winter months the asphalt factory shuts down in the colder climate cities. To get them to open up during this time is very expensive.