Installing New Asphalt Parking Lots: Resurface Or Replace?
When looking to install a new asphalt parking lot, business owners are faced with the question of whether to resurface or fully replace their existing lot. Resurfacing is different from sealcoating. Sealcoating is applying a protective sealer over asphalt pavement as regular, preventative maintenance; resurfacing is installing asphalt over an existing parking lot. Many business owners choose to resurface, rather than replace, their parking lots as a cost-saving measure. However, a resurfaced parking lot typically does not last as long as a replaced parking lot. When deciding whether to resurface or to repave, it is important for business owners to consider all of the options.
The best method for asphalt installation is to put in a brand new parking lot on its own. When replacing a parking lot, a contractor will completely remove the old lot entirely. They will then lay down a drainage layer of compacted gravel, followed by a layer of compacted asphalt as a base. Finally, they will install the surface layer of asphalt. This replacement method, when done correctly, ensures that your asphalt parking lot has a solid base and will last as long as possible. Although replacement can cost around a third more than resurfacing, business owners who replace their parking lots can be assured of quality and longevity.
Asphalt over existing asphalt
A new asphalt surface can be installed over an existing asphalt parking lot. Because both layers are asphalt, they should heave together well to form a new parking lot. This method is less expensive than replacement and could offer some initial savings. However, before resurfacing, it is important to consider the faults of the existing parking lot. Why is the existing lot failing? Is the base layer sound, or is it compromised? If the current lot is experiencing serious problems, those problems will only be masked by a resurfacing job and will emerge again later. It is important to take care of serious structural problems (usually by replacing the lot) before installing new asphalt to avoid serious problems in the future. That said, if the base of your existing asphalt lot is sound, it could make sense simply to mill and resurface the top layer of asphalt as a cost-saving measure.
Asphalt over existing concrete
New asphalt can be installed over an existing concrete lot. However, in resurfacing a concrete lot, business owners run the risk that the concrete will shift under the surface over time, cracking and damaging the asphalt. Because of this, it is important to evaluate the integrity of the concrete before resurfacing. If the concrete is level with close joints, it shouldn’t cause problems for many years. In that case, resurfacing may be an appealing, cost-saving option. However, if the concrete lot is experiencing serious problems, those problems won’t vanish simply by resurfacing, and later repair costs will wipe out any initial savings.
With any asphalt installation, whether resurfacing or replacing, the quality of the preparation and work is crucial to the integrity and longevity of the lot. As a business owner, it is critical that you work with professionals you trust, who can help you make the right decisions for your business. Contact DC Construction Services today to set up a consultation.