If you’re looking out at an expanse of cracked, weathered pavement in front of your commercial property, you’re probably thinking that it’s time to begin thinking about a parking lot paving project. Doing so is always a good idea — it will make your business safer for customers and staff to visit and provides a clean, inviting look that attracts more business to your property as well.

Yet knowing the benefits and knowing what to do next are two very different animals. If you are planning on repaving or repairing your current lot, you need to know more than just a few things if you want your pavement project to go off without a hitch as well as have it done quickly and under budget. Here are a few tips and trips for planning your next parking lot pavement project.

Give Your Pavement an Inspection

Before anything else, you’ll need to decide if your existing pavement needs just a few patches or a complete repaving. In order to accomplish this, you’re going to have to give your pavement the once-over to see what kind of work might need to be done.

Things you need to look out for include cracked pavement or potholes that might have developed over the long winter, as these will allow water to infiltrate and continue to erode your pavement from underneath. Patches of pavement that have sunken in or have shifted indicate a deep problem as well, while standing water could indicate your pavement isn’t graded properly.

Stay Within Your Budget Parameters

Once you’ve determined how much work will need to be done, it’s time to figure out how much your parking lot paving project is going to cost you. In this case, you don’t want to put off maintenance if you’ve only found some minor damage or issues; a little bit of preventative maintenance now prevents more costly repair work, or even having to repave entirely, in the future.

Big repairs, though, don’t always mean big paving bills. The needs of every parking lot are going to be different. Pavement near the Jersey Shore, for instance, may experience salt and wind erosion quicker than those in the Pine Barrens. Soil types, the size of the lot, and how well-used the lot will be all play major roles in determining the cost of your parking lot paving project:

  • Soil Types: Some soil types may not support thick pavements, while some may not do well with thinner pavements. Meanwhile, soil needs to be compacted before pavement can be poured atop it. Depending on whether your local soil is sandy, rocky, or anything in between, it will need to be compacted either more or less.
  • Lot Size: If your project is big, or if it will require a lot of prep work, it’s going to obviously take longer (and cost more) to complete. Complex jobs can, however, be broken up into smaller chunks and done piecemeal to prevent disrupting your commercial property too badly.
  • Lot Usage Levels: Do you receive a lot of deliveries? Do they arrive in large trucks? In that case, you might need to ensure your asphalt is extra thick in order to deal with the enhanced usage. Thick pavement holds up better over time, resulting in a lesser need for repair and maintenance over time, so either way you might reduce long-term costs for your lot by asking for pavement that is thicker than you strictly need.