When customers or clients arrive on your property, the parking lot is one of the first things that they see. A strong, well-maintained lot communicates positive messages about your business. A parking lot with serious problems can do exactly the opposite.
The best parking lots are also the safest. When a paved surface is in good repair, it reduces the chances of anyone tripping over a cracked section or slipping on an icy spot.
To ensure that your new pavement will hold up to traffic, make sure that your contractor follows these commercial parking lot paving standards.
Allowing Adequate Drainage
Water management can make or break your pavement longevity. It is an absolute necessity that you and your contractor plan appropriately for the drainage of water off of your parking lot.
Drainage issues can certainly cause your pavement to fail. For example, if the supportive layer of soil underneath the pavement becomes too wet, it will no longer adequately support what's above it. This can cause the asphalt to crack, buckle or cave.
Therefore, it is imperative that you and your contractor design your parking lot with drainage in mind. The minimum slope required for most areas of a lot is 2 percent.
Planning for Reliability
When planning your parking lot, you as the property owner should steer your contractor in the direction of quality and reliability, and not just expense. Put in the investment now with thicker depths of base and blacktop. This may mean higher costs initially, but this investment will definitely pay-off with higher quality and reliability. Also, paying more upfront for greater reliability may reduce your maintenance and repair costs down the road.
Calculating Adequate Thickness
The reliability of the parking lots has a direct correlation to the thicknesses of the base course and the surface course. Exactly what thickness is best depends on the soil quality of your land and what type of traffic you expect to drive on your lot. Heavy trucks are harder on asphalt than passenger cars.
Your contractor may choose to place both an aggregate layer and an asphalt layer, or the contractor may choose to lay full-depth asphalt.
Either way, the surface must be placed on top of a strong, supportive subbase that has been sufficiently compacted. A heavy roller should be able to drive over the subbase without leaving tire tracks.
Full-depth asphalt for a light-duty parking lot on an excellent subgrade should be a minimum of 4 inches thick. A heavy-duty parking lot on a poor subgrade needs to be 10 to 12 inches thick.
For parking lots with both aggregate and hot-mix asphalt, some contractors recommend a total depth of at least 9 inches. The aggregate-to-asphalt ratio will depend based on the expected traffic. Other experts recommend much thicker layers for significantly heavy traffic.
Areas that see the most traffic may require a greater asphalt depth than other parts of your lot. For example, it can be wise to increase the thickness at the lot's entry and exit points and along the path where delivery trucks drive.
Using the Right Materials
In addition to depth, another significant factor in the strength of your parking lot is whether the contractor uses the right materials.
The maximum size of the dense-graded aggregate in your asphalt should be different for the base course and the surface course. Some experts recommend that the base course uses 3/4-inch aggregate and the surface course uses 1/2-inch or 3/8-inch aggregate.
The best binder mix varies throughout different geographical areas. Your contractor should be an expert at selecting the correct mix for your region's climate.
Striping for Accessibility
The required number of accessible spaces is dependent on the lot's size. For example, a parking lot with between 26 and 50 spaces must have two accessible parking spots. One of those must accommodate vans. As the lot size increases, the requirements for accessible spaces increase too.
Accessible parking spaces must meet certain design requirements. They must be located near the shortest accessible route to the facility. Standard accessible spots must be at least 8 feet wide, and van-accessible spots must be at least 11 feet wide.
To learn more about legally required accessibility standards for commercial parking lots, check with your governing municipality.
If your parking lot contractor won't uphold these commercial parking lot paving standards, then you're not using the right contractor. A quality paving company will pave your lot for reliability and longevity so that your surface will look great and work well for years to come.When you're in the market for a paving company that really knows what it's doing, reach out to our team at Palermo Paving. Our experts will come to your property for a free on-site paving consultation. Contact us today to schedule your appointment.