Part of serving good business is providing clean, safe, and well-maintained facilities because customers’ satisfaction includes your customers’ overall experience with your product or service; from the moment they stepped into your property to the moment they leave, all of that comprises your customer’s total experience. A well-maintained parking lot shows that you put value into your customers’ safety, convenience, and experience. In contrast, a parking lot riddled with potholes and alligator cracks is unsightly and a major turn off. Your parking lot is the first thing that greets your guests, and thus, it also sets the tone and their overall impression of your business so it only right that you make the necessary repairs and maintenance to make sure that it is in top shape.
Having said that, commercial parking lot paving is not a job that you could just entrust to any contractor that offers to do the work for you because aside from your parking space being a critical point of contact with potential customers, they are also an investment. It actually requires a good sum of money to build a seamless and professional-looking commercial parking lot so choosing the right contractor is important. A few key points to remember when planning to pave a new commercial parking lot:
Preparing the subgrade is just as important as planning for the drainage provisions. The subgrade serves as the platform to support the whole pavement and the vehicle traffic above so make sure that it is strong and stable to avoid collapse. Before proceeding with the paving job, a series of inspections and tests are conducted to guarantee that the soil is suitable for the commercial use intended.
One of the first tests is a visual inspection of the soil elevation. This is to check if it is suitable for paving or if there are any necessary steps to take to make it suitable. Second, laboratory tests are then conducted to identify the load-supporting capacity of the soil where the pavement shall be constructed. It is crucial that the soil is compact and graded. Otherwise, the soft or low-quality topsoil will either be improved or replaced by compacted crushed stone or compacted asphalt concrete.
Once that is settled, all rocks, debris, and vegetation on the area will be removed and a soil sterilizing agent will be applied to inhibit plant growth. If all factors have been considered and all are clear, then it’s time to determine the specifics of the paving job such as the thickness of the asphalt and the design requirements.
In any paving project, drainage is always a critical element to consider. First, identify your catch basins and ensure that they adequate spacing to avoid pooling water. Second, see to it that your drainage won’t be an obstruction during the construction. It is crucial that you do this right because otherwise, the standing water on your pavement will seep through the surface and undermine the structural integrity of your asphalt. Next, slope the asphalt pavement accordingly so that rainwater can smoothly drain away from your parking lot.
In addition, make sure that you have adequate sprinkling systems because having excessive sprinklers will saturate the pavement structure. And lastly, remember that drainage problems can’t be repaired, the only way to correct it is to install a new asphalt pavement which is of course, is not only a hassle but is also money going down the drain.
Being able to identify the volume of your car and foot traffic is essential in knowing the asphalt thickness that you should apply to your parking space. The important questions to ask are: What are the vehicles that usually go to your business? What type of car and foot traffic do you have? If you’re a restaurant, your traffic is probably between light to moderate. But if let’s say you’re a dump site or a construction firm, you must be dealing with a lot of heavy vehicles and to accommodate that you need a thicker pavement to make sure your parking lot doesn’t deteriorate or collapse too easily.
You might have constructed a solid supporting base, but if your contractor does not follow through with the adequate thickness required, then all the hard work will be put to waste. Experts say that many parking lots fall into disrepair not because the pavement was old or riddled with alligator cracking, but because of insufficient thickness that resulted in various issues. This is the reason why we couldn’t stress enough how valuable it is to consider the traffic volume on your commercial parking lot. This is so professionals can design the appropriate amount of thickness for your pavement.
For light-duty commercial use, paving experts of the Asphalt Institute recommend applying 4.5 inches thick of compacted hot mix asphalt on the subgrade. On the other hand, heavy-duty parking lots would require more layers of asphalt. The recommended thickness is 7.5 inches of hot mix asphalt for heavy-duty commercial parking lots.
Now that you’ve got everything you need, it’s time to check with your contractor the design of your parking lot. Make sure that there is enough space for the type of vehicles you wish to serve. Moreover, consider the elevation of the property as well when designing the parking space. And lastly, don’t hesitate to ask your contractor and engineer about the status of the construction and the nitty-gritty of the job so that you can be certain that everything is going well according to plan. Commercial paving can be a bit of a challenge compared to simple residential driveway installment so see to it that you vetted the paving contractor before signing the contract.