There are a number of car park surfaces to choose from — what car park materials best suit the needs of your business?
Just as every business is individual and unique, each and every parking facility is different in terms of design, usage and locale. When it comes to choosing the right car park material for your business, you will have to take into account your preferences and requirements — there is no one-size-fits-all material to suit all business car parks. What we do know, however, is that your car park should be carefully designed to withstand seasonal weather conditions and large volumes of traffic. A hasty decision can result in more money spent in the long run due to maintenance costs.
Here at Bestco Surfacing, we have put together a guide to help you decide what car park surfaces are best for both practical and aesthetic purposes.
Loose Gravel — A Cheap and Quick Option
Loose gravel is a popular option due to the fact that it is cheap while also being easy to lay down. It can lend a lot of character to a car park, and as it is loose, it is quite forgiving when laid on land with slight imperfections. There’s a range of choice in terms of size, colour and texture, and there is also something quite satisfying about the crunching sound of gravel under your car’s wheels.
On the other hand, gravel driveways eventually “bed down”, which makes them susceptible to invasions of dirt and weeds. Maintenance will be required in the form of clearing weeds and spraying weed killer. On top of this, you’ll need to occasionally sweep gravel that has escaped the car park. Eventually, despite your constant efforts at maintenance, you’ll need to get the loose gravel relayed, especially if you have a particularly busy car park, as the gravel will break down and compact.
Tarmacadam Car Parks — A Resistant and Colourful Car Park Material
At Bestco Surfacing, our tarmacadam driveways are made using layers of crushed stones coated in tar. This creates a solid and durable base ideal for car parks. We also layer a top coat onto the tarmacadam to provide colour and water resistance.
There are also personalisation options where tarmac is concerned. You are no longer just restricted to one colour. Instead of black, you can go for a brighter colour, perhaps selecting a hue that best matches your company branding. We offer tarmac in a variety of colours, including green, blue and red, giving you an eye-catching way of welcoming your clients.
When tarmac is laid properly, it is durable, reliable and smooth, while also being quite easy to repair. On the downside, bitumen can dissolve or melt when oils such as diesel come into contact with the surface. Weed growth through tarmac can also be difficult to avoid. To play it safe, be sure to hire a surfacing company that is highly experienced in this area.
Asphalt — A Tough and Long-Lasting Surface
Asphalt is a tough and durable waterproof membrane known for its longevity. It is a popular material choice for car parks and bridges as it is high quality, low maintenance and long-lasting — unlike concrete, asphalt is not normally affected by freezing temperatures or extended salt use.
Asphalt car parks offer a lot of benefits over car parks made from other materials. Asphalt offers a smooth and sleek look that demonstrates how much you care about the appearance of your property and, therefore, your business. Furthermore, asphalt is strong and virtually waterproof, which means it will resist erosion typically caused by rainfall. If time is a factor, this road surfacing option might appeal, too, given that asphalt is usually ready for use after a 48-hour drying and setting time.
Once asphalt is dry, it is relatively low maintenance — your car park will look fresh and new for a good stretch of time. What’s more, it is relatively easy to repair and resurface if damaged.
On the downside, if laid in larger areas, asphalt is susceptible to cracking — so take into account the size of your car park before deciding your preferred material. Furthermore, though asphalt isn’t affected by freezing temperatures, it is negatively affected by heat — higher temperatures can cause the surface to shrink and produce an oily sheen.
Concrete — A Great Choice for Busy Businesses
Concrete is well known for its longevity. Even with regular vehicle use, a concrete car park can last up to fifty years and require very little maintenance. Concrete car parks also allow for easy line marking. Concrete commercial car parks tend to be better suited to hot weather — they don’t become soft or expand during the summer months — and, like tarmacadam, there are a number of customisation options for you to choose from. Concrete can be made in a variety of textures and colours, and it’s also an environmentally friendly option, as concrete is 100% recyclable.
On the downside, concrete car parks tend to be a pricey option for larger car parks, such as for office blocks, warehouses and shopping centres. It is also more expensive to install (when compared to asphalt) and requires a long curing time. Concrete can take up to seven days to properly cure. If you’re considering this material for your business’s car park, you should also know that concrete is subject to frost heaves and requires water runoff management as, unlike asphalt, it is not permeable.
Resin-Bound Car Parks — An Attractive Alternative to a Traditional Car Park
More and more people and businesses are moving away from grey and dull traditional car parks in favour of something more attractive and with a natural look. This is where resin-bound car parks step in — they create an aesthetically pleasing car park while also being strong and durable.
Resin-bound surfacing (also known as trowelled paving) is composed of a blend of aggregates coated in a clear UV-stable polyurethane resin. You can create your own desired look using a range of colours to personalise your business car park, giving it a beautiful stony appearance that won’t scatter underfoot. It’s a great choice for a family-run SME — resin-bound surfacing will make your clients and customers instantly feel at home.
Resin-bound surfacing has a quick setting time and requires only a quick pressure wash periodically to maintain its appearance and keep it looking immaculate.
Why Choose Bestco Surfacing?
Bestco Surfacing has been in operation since 1978, making us one of the most experienced firms available for commercial surfacing projects.
Bestco Surfacing has worked with businesses large and small, including BT, NHS and Network Rail. We have a reputation for delivering exceptional levels of service and we’ll work closely with you to ensure the right choice for your business car park.
Bestco Surfacing has been providing asphalting and commercial road surfacing to enterprises for over 40 years. With us, you can rest assured you’ll receive an exceptional level of service. If you’re a business in Hertfordshire or the Home Counties, get in touch today on 07992 652 477 and we’ll provide you with a free no-obligation quote.