When Can You Open a Commercial Parking Lot After Paving?
You can’t underestimate the importance of your parking lot or parking garage. It’s easy for a building owner to forget about the lowly parking lot with all the jobs on their plate but your commercial parking lot is a property’s first impression and should always be taken care of.
When it comes time to repair or replace your parking lot or garage the big question is always the same – how long will it take and when can you open? You don’t want to lose business while your lot is closed but if you know how long things take you can schedule accordingly with little disruptions.
Let’s learn when you can open a commercial parking lot after paving including different time frames for asphalt, concrete, and other factors to consider.
When Can You Open After Asphalt Paving
Brand New Lot
What if you’re building a brand-new base with new asphalt? A new lot is the most intensive of all asphalt work and can take several days to prepare and execute. After the top layer of asphalt is poured, when can you open your lot?
Most asphalt parking lots can be open 48 to 72 hours after new asphalt is poured though you’ll need a little more toward the 72-hour mark if the weather is hot. After 72 hours you asphalt will be ready for vehicles.
Mill and Overlay / Pulverization and Stabilization
Mill and overlay and pulverization and stabilization involve recycling previous asphalt but both end with a fresh layer of new asphalt. The new layer of asphalt should cure from 12 to 24 hours before re-opening your lot to traffic.
Sealcoating provides a fresh layer of asphalt and protectants to your blacktop to keep it looking great for years. Like fresh asphalt, sealcoat needs proper dry times to perform at its best. After sealcoating you can open your commercial lot to foot traffic in just a few hours and vehicle traffic within 24 to 48 hours.
When Can You Open After Concrete Paving?
Many lots and structures across the country are paved with concrete for its longevity but eventually you have to replace concrete too. Concrete pours are big jobs, so when you can expect to re-open your concrete parking lot?
Normally, most new concrete pours should be left alone for one week before allowing vehicle traffic to drive on your new lot though it can be open to foot traffic in as little as 48 hours. During the initial curing period you should also avoid anything with wheels (skateboards, bikes) from rolling across the new pour. Any concentrated weight could damage your concrete.
One week after new installation you can open your lot to regular vehicle traffic.
When Can You Open After Concrete Sealing?
Like asphalt you should regularly reseal your concrete with a fresh coat of protectant concrete sealer. You won’t need to close your lot for a week for resealing, but you should allow your concrete to dry for 24 hours for foot traffic and 48 hours for vehicle traffic.
Parking Lot vs Parking Garage Dry Times
Do parking lots and garages dry differently? It’s possible, but normally not enough to significantly affect dry or cure times by more than a few hours. Parking lots are exposed to more sun and wind compared to parking garages, so lots might dry or cure slightly faster.
The bigger factor in dry and cure times is concrete vs. asphalt. Concrete cures more slowly than asphalt so you can expect a concrete parking garage to take longer for reopening compared to an asphalt parking lot.
Getting Tips from Your Paving Contractor
Your paving contractor will use their material knowledge, expertise on the local climate, and experience to help you judge when it’s safe to re-open your lot to traffic. Most paving professionals will give you direct timetables to help you plan and execute your new installation with as little disruption as possible.
Re-Opening to Vehicles Quick List
The following list can be used as a guide though ultimately your paving contractor will determine when you can reopen:
New Asphalt – 48-72 hours
Re-milled Asphalt – 24 hours
Asphalt Sealer – 24-48 hours
Concrete Sealer – 48 hours
Getting Your Concrete or Asphalt Parking Lot Ready and Reopened
New asphalt typically takes 48 to 72 hours to set while new concrete can take up to one week. Before closing your lot talk to the professionals at Colorado Pavement Solutions or your local paving contractor about individual closing times so you know how to plan ahead. With the right planning and a great paving contractor you can be re-open with a beautiful new lot in only a few hours to a few days.