Gravel parking lots are inexpensive and fairly easy to maintain, but they do require attention and can have some disadvantages when compared with paved parking lots. If you've been searching around for pros and cons of paved lots versus gravel because you think paving might make things easier for those who have to park in the lot, your search is over. Replacing the gravel has benefits that could make parking and walking to your business a lot easier for customers, thus enhancing their experience and their impression of your company.
Improved Stability for Pedestrians
Even the best-laid gravel can shift and move a bit as people walk over it. Paving the lot instead of relying on gravel gives people more stability as they walk from their cars to the building. This reduces the liability risk to you and makes walking more comfortable for them.
One thing to keep in mind as you replace gravel with paved surfaces is that the ground beneath the gravel may need more leveling before being covered with pavement. The surface was likely leveled when the gravel was initially installed, but repeated rain and effects from heavy vehicles sitting on the gravel can manipulate the dirt underneath and form divots. In other words, installation won't be as fast as scooping up the gravel and laying down paving material. Take the extra time required for leveling into consideration when planning lot closures for paving. It shouldn't add much time, but the paving company can let you know more.
Less Movement in Heavy Rain
Speaking of rain causing the dirt underneath to turn into movable mud, that ends with paving. As long as the base layer under the pavement stays intact, and water does not seep down through cracks in the pavement, you're not going to have to worry about the lot becoming uneven again due to a rainstorm.
That does mean you'll have to be diligent about checking for cracks, resealing as needed, and ensuring the base layer stays in good shape. However, that sort of maintenance won't have to be done every day. Compare that to what you have to do to keep a gravel lot in good shape — sweeping, tamping down loose gravel, and so on, which often has to be done daily or every few days — and you'll find paved maintenance to be much more mellow.
Parking lot paving is a good move to make if you want to have a neat-looking lot that is easy for people to drive over and walk on. It's time to upgrade that gravel lot. Reach out to a company like Plehal Blacktopping LLC to learn more.