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Gravel Parking Lot Vs. Asphalt Parking Lot: Which One Should I Go For?

Key Takeaways

  • Parking lots are integral to a commercial property.
  • You need an inviting space that uses suitable parking lot material and can withstand vehicular traffic and foot load.
  • Asphalt and gravel are popular parking lot choices.
  • Gravel is porous and is the ideal solution for temporary pavement requirements.
  • Asphalt is made of gravel and cement and can withstand external elements better.
  • Your choice for parking lot installation depends on your property’s needs and requirements.

Are you in the market for a new parking lot for your business? Do you know what type of surface to choose? Gravel or asphalt? As a responsible and budget-conscious property owner, you’re probably wondering if there’s a significant difference between gravel parking lots and asphalt parking lots. After all, both seem to do the job, so which one should you choose for your commercial property? Here’s what you need to know.

Why Does the Parking Lot Material Matter?

Many commercial property owners take the parking lot for granted. The property owners use cost-cutting measures and install sub-standard paving materials that deteriorate quickly. As a result, commercial properties look worn out most of the year, presenting a shabby look and driving potential customers away.

Using suitable materials for parking lot installation can help you save much money in the long run. The material can withstand the traffic load and footfall without withering away under pressure. It also helps generate business by ensuring that the property looks presentable.

Why Does the Parking Lot Material Matter?

What to Consider When Choosing the Pavement Material? –

Various factors determine the choice of pavement material for a parking lot. Here are some key considerations that need your attention: –

  • Drainage – The material you choose should be able to channel water away quickly without pooling on the surface. –
  • Flexibility – A good pavement can accommodate slight movements without cracking or breaking.
  • Cost – Commercial property owners on a tight budget often opt for pavement material that is not costly to install and maintain.
  • Aesthetics – There’s nothing more widely appealing than an aesthetically pleasing and well-maintained parking lot that lures customers with a discount sign.
  • Durability – You need a parking lot material that can withstand the rigors of vehicular and foot traffic without breaking down quickly.

Gravel Parking Lots

Gravel is an excellent option for parking lot installation thanks to its porous nature. It is less likely to develop potholes and can accommodate slight movements without cracking or breaking.

Before installation, you must decide whether the parking lot is temporary or permanent. Temporary gravel parking lots require little planning and preparation. No paver holds temporary gravel sites together, which is why they scatter away. These sites work perfectly as a temporary solution but are inappropriate for your business.

Permanent gravel lots need a stronger foundation to support the vehicle’s weight. You also need to consider the gravel type, size, and color. The gravel should be angular rather than round so it doesn’t roll under tires. It should also be appropriately compacted to prevent shifting and erosion.

Asphalt Pavement

Asphalt is famous for parking lots because it’s solid and durable. It can withstand heavy traffic without developing cracks or potholes. Asphalt is made of a mix of gravel, sand, and asphalt cement. The gravel and sand strengthen the pavement, while the asphalt cement acts as a binding agent.

Asphalt is a flexible material that can expand and contract as the temperature changes. This prevents cracking and ensures a long lifespan. Asphalt is also easy to repair. If there are any cracks or potholes, they can be quickly filled in with new asphalt.

The main disadvantage of asphalt is that it’s more expensive than gravel. The installation process is also more complex, so hiring an experienced contractor is essential.

Benefits of Gravel Parking Lots

Gravel parking lots are a less expensive option than asphalt. They’re also easier to install, which can save you money on labor costs. Gravel is an environmentally friendly material that can be recycled or reused.

One of the main disadvantages of gravel is that it’s not as durable as asphalt. It’s also not as smooth, so it may not be ideal for high-traffic areas. Gravel can also be washed away by heavy rains or flooding.

What Makes Asphalt the Number One Choice in America?

Asphalt is the number one parking lot choice for commercial property owners in America. There are many reasons for this, but the two most important ones are durability and cost. Asphalt is a durable material that withstands heavy traffic and weather conditions. It’s also less expensive than concrete or gravel.

A freshly installed asphalt parking lot presents a vibrant, dark black surface. That’s because asphalt is made up of a petroleum-based product called bitumen. This gives the parking lot a smooth, solid, and long-lasting appearance.

Asphalt can also withstand the elements and traffic better than gravel. It doesn’t get displaced as easily, it can handle any weather, and you don’t need to replace it regularly.

Asphalt Parking Lot Maintenance

You cannot just install a surface and let it be. All materials used in parking lots need regular maintenance to ensure their longevity.

Asphalt is no different. You need to take care of it by sealcoating and crack filling. Sealcoating involves applying a layer of asphalt on top of the existing one to protect it from UV rays and water damage. Crack filling, on the other hand, is what it sounds like – you fill in any cracks that emerge on the surface.

Also, Read – A Guide to Asphalt Parking Lot Maintenance

Gravel Parking Lot Maintenance

Gravel parking lots require less maintenance than asphalt. You don’t have to do anything to keep them in good shape except for occasionally raking their level.

The gravel will eventually get displaced and will need to be replaced. This process is called grading, and contractors grade the surface using a Bobcat machine.

If you’re still on the fence about the parking lot type to install for your business, we hope this article has helped you make up your mind. Gravel parking lots are an excellent choice for companies that want an affordable and low-maintenance option. At the same time, asphalt pavement is perfect for businesses that need a durable surface that can withstand heavy traffic. No matter what your parking lot needs are, Asphalt Maintenance & Paving Solutions is here to help. Contact us today for a free estimate, and let us show you why we’re the premier parking lot installation choice in Cannon Falls (MN).