Concrete vs Asphalt Parking Lots, Can’t Decide? We can help!

Ever wonder why so many Maryland companies choose asphalt instead of concrete as their parking lot paving material of choice?  Well the main reason has always been that it was cheaper.  We need to take a closer look at concrete vs asphalt parking lots because let me say this loud and clear, ASPHALT IS NO LONGER CHEAPER THAN CONCRETE!!  I know this is hard to believe, but according to our research and reputable sources, it’s true.  So keep reading to find out why.

Ready to save money on your commercial parking lot in Maryland? Contact our expert team of concrete specialists to assess your current lot today at 301-261-4933 or click the button below to contact us online.

Concrete vs Asphalt Paving Cost Analysis

Asphalt uses a lot of the same materials as concrete.  However, the major difference is in the binding agent that is used.  This simple difference is the main reason why we see such a big difference in price between concrete vs asphalt parking lots.  The bonding agent used in asphalt comes from crude oil and is called … well … liquid asphalt, while concrete uses cement as a bonding agent.

Liquid asphalt is the part of crude oil that is left over after it has been refined.  Asphalt is directly related to the oil industry, so its price has greatly increased over last decade.  Due to the price increase of crude oil, refineries have become more efficient in their process leaving much less of the barrel for asphalt.  This has caused the price of asphalt to go even higher.

Concrete vs Asphalt Parking Lots Price Index

-America’s Cement Manufacturers


For many years a very large selling point of asphalt was that when it came to cost, it was the less expensive choice for pavement; however, with the ever-increasing cost of asphalt and the consistency of concrete’s price, this is no longer true.

Comparing Parking Lot Maintenance

When deciding which material to use for your parking lot it is important to keep in mind the cost of parking lot maintenance endured during the life cycle of the parking lot. If you want a cheap parking lot that will require frequent and costly maintenance, then asphalt is your best choice. For a parking lot that may be slightly more expensive to create but more self-sufficient, concrete is absolutely your better choice.

Asphalt Parking Lot Maintenance

When asphalt is first rolled out, it can require a period of up to 6 months to fully cure before it is ready for sealing.  After the initial sealing asphalt typically needs to be resealed every 2 years, but that is all dependent on the amount of traffic that surface must endure. If your asphalt begins to crack or split you must wait until the air and ground temperature is correct to seal them (this is typically done in the fall).

Concrete Parking Lot Maintenance

When concrete is first poured, it is occasionally mixed with different chemicals to allow for different weight ratings and curing times.  To fully seal a new concrete parking lot, you only have to wait up to 3 weeks after the initially pouring process before sealing.  Once the initial sealer has been applied, the surface should be good for at least 2-3 years (once again dependent on the amount of traffic using this surface).

Analyzing Parking Lot Paving Materials

Concrete Parking Lots in Maryland:

If you have ever traveled the United States before you will notice that the farther south you travel the more likely you are to see concrete used for pavement. This is because concrete does not absorb heat and works well with limited weather change.  Concrete is not as flexible as asphalt which helps when it must hold up under heavy vehicles, but can cause minor cracks with freezing and thawing.

To help limit this damage in certain locations like Maryland, new sealing materials have been developed and expansion joints are put into place to allow for further expansion and contraction.  Concrete has the unique ability to be colored, and this attribute helps in the reflection of both heat and light.

As a parking lot owner in Maryland, this means you can rely on a parking lot surface that will adapt to the wild variations of the weather we see year round.  Lastly, concrete can be stamped to give the look of brick or stone.  Adding an aesthetic feature to your parking lot can really give your business a unique, professional feel that no other business has.

Asphalt Parking Lots in Maryland:

The is a clean look created by freshly paved or resurfaced asphalt parking lot.  The dark black with the stark clean contrast of white stripes is so simple, but that look will soon fade.  Also, did you know that a newly paved parking lot actually gives off toxic fumes? That’s right!

In the steamy Maryland summer months, we see newly paved parking lots all over; but is it the best choice for your business? Many companies choose asphalt because it is the most common choice, especially in Maryland.  However, it isn’t necessarily the best choice. Asphalt is very pliable and will yield its shape when a lot of weight is applied. Large temperature changes will also eventually cause cracking.  Unlike concrete there is no way to install expansion joints in asphalt to prevent this.

When a high weight is applied to asphalt, as we see on many Maryland highways, grooves develop in the pavement.  This terrible problem can be avoided by using concrete.  Asphalt does absorb suns rays in the winter that will heat up, causing built up snow to melt and simply drain away.  However, with concrete vs asphalt initial cost analysis we discussed earlier, we must remember the additional maintenance that asphalt requires.

Concrete vs Asphalt Parking Lots Maintenance Cost

According to

Why Your Maryland Parking Lot Needs Professional Help!

If your business is considering replacing or resurfacing your parking lot, it is important to get professional help.  When resurfacing or replacing, there are a lot of variables beyond simply looking at paving materials.  For example, the condition of your base layer can have a resounding effect on the lifespan of a parking lot.

As a consumer, how can you tell the condition of your base layer without having to look at thousands of parking lots?  You can’t.  There is a lot to know when it comes to concrete and asphalt parking lots; that is why we encourage you to give us a call to help you get the best parking lot for your money.

Call Concrete Restoration for a Free Estimate on Concrete Repair

Finished reading about concrete vs asphalt parking lots? Good, now get the parking lot your business deserves by calling us today for your free estimate at 301-261-4933 or click here to contact us online now!

Go from Concrete vs Asphalt Parking Lots back to the Blog

Return to Concrete Restoration Homepage