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Concrete Parking Lots vs. Asphalt – Hidden Benefits

3 minutes estimated reading time

Updated on April 12th, 2024

In our last post we explained some of the primary reasons why a concrete parking lot can prove superior to one made of asphalt. This includes a longer lifespan for a concrete lot, the semi-annual and repeated maintenance costs associated with asphalt lots and the durability under normal wear and tear related to the type of vehicles using the lot.

Yet there are several reasons why concrete can prove itself superior to asphalt and supply realistic cost savings, decrease energy required to cool buildings and improve safety.


What does lighting have to do with a parking lot surface? Quite a bit, actually. A business owner will need 30% less lighting on concrete than asphalt. The lighting reflects off of the concrete, but it doesn’t reflect off of asphalt. This has implications on the cost of lighting installation, safety and even sales and marketing.

As one example, car dealerships are switching from asphalt to concrete in their car lots. New LED lighting brilliantly lights up the cars at night and the shine is noticeable in a side-by-side comparison between concrete and asphalt. Better lighting can help cut back on theft and crime plus it highlights the inventory to its best advantage.

The cost of a single light pole can be prohibitively expensive. Due to the reflective nature of concrete under LED lighting at night, business owners can install fewer light poles and still have a well-lit area at night, saving on those initial parking lot costs.


A concrete parking lot that reflects lighting at night, will display images on security cameras much more clearly than an asphalt-covered lot. Business owners at convenience stores, quick-serve restaurants or apartment buildings are making the switch from concrete to asphalt for the improved safety and security it offers to its patrons, employees or residents.

Heating and Cooling:

Yes, the choice between asphalt and concrete for your parking lot will likely impact your energy costs. As temperatures soar during summer months, building owners can realize physical cost savings associated with a concrete parking lot when it comes to cooling a building. Asphalt reflects sun back onto a building while concrete absorbs it. Less energy is required to cool buildings next to a concrete lot than one paved with asphalt.

Slip Factor:

There is a reason why sidewalks are made of concrete and not asphalt; it’s easier to walk on in inclement weather. Asphalt surfaces are slick to a greater degree than concrete when wet. Concrete surfaces provide better footing.

Freeze/Thaw Cycle:

In far northern climates, like upper Wisconsin, Michigan or Minnesota, the ground freezes and stays that way all winter long. However, states such as Ohio and Pennsylvania can set records for freeze/thaw cycles during the course of a winter. A concrete lot, once properly set, doesn’t get the “heaving” cracks resulting from these freeze/thaw cycles that can destroy asphalt surfaces and require resealing or worse yet, cutting and patching.

Building owners who look at the long-term objectives can save on maintenance, lighting, energy costs and improve safety simply by making the smart choice for their parking lot surface. Another smart choice is to obtain a precise quotation. Mack Concrete batch plants are computerized to use just the right amount of material and our company has built a reputation for quality and service. Mack Ready Mix Concrete helps building owners save in practical ways that make a positive impact on the long-term health of your business.