Commercial Construction & Contracting Resources

Commercial Parking Lot Repair FAQs

Posted by Tom Owings on November 29, 2018
Tom Owings

 Commercial Parking Lot Repair FAQs


If you’re looking into repairing the asphalt parking lot on your commercial property, you probably have a lot of questions before getting started.

We’ve put together this guide of the questions we commonly hear from property owners who are looking into having their asphalt lot repaired, as an easy way to find all of the answers you’re looking for before the ball gets rolling on your new lot.

Who can perform parking lot repairs?

Asphalt paving companies repair and replace parking lots. Depending on the contractor, “repair” can mean anything from touching up cracks and damage to the lot, to fixing the drainage on the lot.

Look for a paving contractor near you to get an estimate for work.

How much does parking lot repair cost?

Costs vary by the amount of work needed, the size of the parking lot, and the depth of asphalt used on site. Resurfacing and other repair services cost less than replacing asphalt in general.

Typical costs per square foot to repair an asphalt parking lot are $1.25 to $1.50 per square foot.

To get an estimate of material cost that is more specific to your lot, check out our asphalt calculator estimating tool.

What does parking lot repair traditionally entail?

Parking lot repair generally addresses structural flaws in the asphalt and include:

  • Fixing ruts - Depressions in the parking lot surface caused by wheel loads or soil problems, which can cause hydroplaning if not treated

  • Sealing cracks - Causes of asphalt cracking include sun, water damage, poor parking lot construction, and freeze and thaw cycles.

  • Resealing - Every two to four years, parking lots should be resealed to protect against weather-related damage

  • Resurfacing - Resurfacing extends the lifespan of an old parking lot by as much as 15 years, by covering over the surface with another standard 1-½” layer of asphalt.This is a cost cutter method it can sometimes work on a parking lot in fair condition, but not the preferred method. In some cases you may need a leveling course first.

  • Milling - Milling to remove 1.5 to 2 inches of asphalt may be necessary before resurfacing if the parking lot drainage is poor or for profile adjustments.

It's important to repair cracks annually, as small cracks can grow into larger problems if not treated. Ruts should be fixed when they exceed 1/3-inch in depth.

Does striping happen during parking lot repair?

Striping is a separate service from parking lot repair; however, many paving companies also offer striping services.

Before you hire a paving contractor, make sure they can talk you through your striping options.

How do I get a parking lot repair scope of work?

Scope of work is important. If this is your first parking lot as an owner, Buyer beware! Some people don't spell out their work procedures clearly to confuse the buyer.

One contractor can spell out 1-1/2" at finish, plus a leveling course added together may total 2".

While another just simple states overlay parking lot with asphalt. You may only be getting 1-1/4" of asphalt in 1 course. That makes them cheap/ low cost, but poor quality.

Your parking lot contractor will provide you with a scope of work as part of the bid seeking process.

The scope of work will help you understand what needs to be done and why, and can be useful when comparing bids from several paving companies.

Is parking lot repair a capital or expense?

The answer is, it depends. Parking lots fall under the category of tangible personal property. In 2014, the IRS updated the "improvement rules" section of the tangible personal property regulations, which is where parking lot repair would fall.

According to the IRS, parking lot resurfacing or concrete replacement can be capitalized. Routine maintenance, which is defined as actions the parking lot owner expects to repair periodically during the lifetime of the parking lot, are expensed.

To help parking lot owners best classify their parking lot expenses, the IRS suggests a 10-year time frame. If you expect to perform maintenance more than once in a 10-year period, it should be expensed. If you plan to only do something once in a 10-year period, you may capitalize.

For example, resealing the parking lot or sealing cracks, an annual activity, can be expensed but milling and resurfacing, an infrequent action, counts instead as capital.

Do you have more questions about commercial asphalt lots?

Feel free to contact our team at any time with any questions you may have about asphalt installation, and repair.

If you’re looking for tips on how to keep your asphalt looking great (and avoid frequent repairs!) be sure to check out our eBook on asphalt care and maintenance.

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Topics: Parking Lot, Asphalt Paving, asphalt milling, civil construction, Ohio construction