Choosing the right paving material for your parking lot, driveway or patio project is a major decision. How do you determine whether concrete or asphalt is the better choice for your project? Beyond aesthetics (concrete allows many more options for decorative colors and patterns), multiple factors go into making the right decision. These include:
Concrete is the most durable product you can use for the paving of parking lots, driveways, roadways, bridges and more. But, over time, even concrete can become distressed and experience cracks and scaling. Concrete maintenance is key to maximizing the life of your pavement and has many benefits, including preserving the structural integrity of your pavement and substantial cost savings over its life. According to a Pavement Coatings Technology Council (PCTC) article shared by ForConstructionPros, cost savings occur when pavement preventive maintenance is applied early in the pavement’s life. “It is much less expensive to keep pavement in good shape if treatments are applied early in its service life or to repair a pavement when distresses are just beginning to appear.”
When designed and properly constructed, concrete parking lots are the strongest and longest-lasting parking/pavement surface available. Just like any other surface, however, it does have a lifespan and will not last forever. The key is to recognize the signs (besides normal wear and tear) that your parking lot is nearing its end and addressing it before significant deterioration occurs.
So you’ve decided to take the plunge and put in a new concrete driveway at home or a parking lot for your business. After comparing the types of concrete contractors, you’ve reached out to local concrete contractors and you’re accepting bids. But once those bids start coming in, what should you look for?
While every contractor’s bid will look a little bit different, in order for you to make an informed decision, all your proposals should contain enough information to help you make that decision.
Let’s take a look at what should be included in a concrete bid for your parking lot or driveway.
Buildings and structures manufactured with concrete can have a significant impact on the environment throughout their life cycles. How much of an impact, will depend on the sustainability of the concrete mix used in construction—and the makeup of the mix used will depend on the requirements or specifications put in place before a project begins.
In order to create truly sustainable buildings made from environmentally friendly concrete, design professionals, contractors and material suppliers must work together while still complying with the requirements put in place.
To understand how specifications for a concrete project requirement can impact sustainability, you first need to understand the two types of requirements most frequently imposed.
As the population grows, adding buildings to accommodate more people moving to cities is a necessary step. Buildings are responsible for approximately 39% of the annual global greenhouse emissions. Building operations alone results in 28% of the annual global CO2 emissions. So, building materials that are designed to meet new regulations and environmental standards will be key in creating a sustainable future.
The Romans may have mastered the use of concrete over 2,000 years ago (just take a look at the Pantheon in Rome), but that doesn’t mean it’s the same time of material it was back then. Concrete has always combined an aggregate with a hydraulic binder to form a strong and durable substance, but concrete has come a long way over the past 2,000 years. Today, the industry is still evolving and innovating.
Concrete Design Options
We think Ready Mix Concrete Trucks are the coolest! Our member companies use their trucks to not only sport their company colors but to also highlight and support local causes. The Michigan Concrete Association wants to highlight our producer members by showing off some of their coolest, most beautiful, and uniquely painted trucks. We will also share the stories behind the metal on social media and on our blog! Feel free to share your Ready Mix Truck Photos in the comments!
So you’ve decided to replace your driveway or parking lot with strong, durable, long-lasting, concrete pavement. Good call. Now what do you do? The first step is to get in touch with concrete contractors that can get you quotes on the replacement. But who should you call if you don’t know of any concrete contractors?
Your first call should be to a local, ready-mix concrete supplier or two. Ask them who their two or so best contractor customers are to work on your type of project (small or large driveway, decorative concrete, parking area, etc.). Then contact those names to see if they can give you an estimate or quote for the job. Some might simply give you a square foot price range over the phone, and others will want to visit the site to give you a more accurate estimate. The more accurate the estimate, the more likely it is that the final cost will be close to it.