Deciding whether to repair or entirely replace a parking lot can be challenging for property managers, as it sometimes involves the expertise of a reputable and experienced contractor. Knowing the difference between asphalt resurfacing and replacement options is critical because these projects can typically involve considerable resources. The right solution depends on the severity of deterioration and the overall conditions of the surface and foundation.

Look for signs that can help you determine the level of damage before you contact a construction company for services.

Asphalt Resurfacing vs. Replacement

Parking lot damage can occur for many reasons, including freezing temperatures, precipitation, heavy vehicle traffic and lack of maintenance. If a parking lot’s foundation is structurally sound, there’s a good chance that a repair can return the asphalt to good working order. However, when damage to the foundation is significant, the repair costs can often exceed the price of a total replacement.

If more than half of your commercial property’s parking lot has considerable damage, the most cost-effective decision might be a complete replacement. Similarly, if multiple cracks in the pavement are too deep, a replacement is often the best option. In addition, a full replacement is usually the better choice when your parking lot shows considerable damage and it’s more than 20 years old.

Types of Parking Lot Resurfacing and Other Repair Options

When pavement damage is minor and the foundation is solid, several types of repairs can help restore the condition of an asphalt parking lot. Some examples of minor repair include:

  • Patching: If you catch a crack or a pothole before it becomes too severe, patching is the most cost-effective way to repair the problem. Patching typically involves the application of one or two inches of asphalt to fill in the gaps, preventing the cracks from expanding and growing in size. Routine patching is also one of the most common forms of preventive maintenance.
  • Overlaying: An asphalt overlay is essentially a patch over an expansive stretch of the lot. This process is typically the best repair option when cracks are present across the entire pavement. For an overlay to work effectively, the asphalt should be mostly structurally sound, clean, level and capable of bonding to the overlay.  
  • Resurfacing: Resurfacing a pavement involves milling or removing the asphalt’s top layer and applying an entirely new surface. This option is ideal when damage is prevalent throughout the parking lot and goes deeper than the top surface. If your foundation is sound, resurfacing can provide you with the look of a new lot without needing to perform a total replacement.

Parking Lot Replacement