The first thing people will see when they drive up to your business is the pavement surrounding the building—not how the inside of your business looks, how friendly your staff is, or what kind of products or services you sell. The first impression is the parking lot, the curbs and the sidewalk leading up to the entrance.
We all know first impressions are important, and the first impression your property makes includes concrete and asphalt pavements. That means there’s a bottom-line impact on investing in quality concrete and asphalt work.
It’s the kind of investment that can boost your property’s value, too.
Curb Appeal Matters for Commercial Properties
You’ve heard of curb appeal, likely as it relates to a house, but curb appeal also applies to commercial properties. And in a commercial context, we’re talking about literal curbs, along with parking lots, sidewalks, and any private roads on your company’s property.
Fair or not, potential customers do judge businesses based on what their exteriors look like. It’s not just people who physically approach your business, either. The vast majority of people check out a business online before they visit, including looking at street photos of the building. The better your curb appeal, the better your chances of attracting more customer traffic.
Three Reasons Why Better Pavement Improves Property Values
Commercial property values are calculated using the rent costs associated with the building, and high traffic commercial properties command higher rent. The more people you’re bringing in, the higher the property’s valuation.
That part is simple. What’s difficult is increasing the number of customers walking through your doors, and your property value as a result. New pavement can help with that, and here’s how:
- New pavement looks appealing – Curb appeal is all about the visual, and that’s the case for new pavement, too. New pavement looks much different than old pavement, especially in asphalt’s case.
New asphalt, for example, has a jet black color and is free of cracks or obvious weathering. Old asphalt is gray and anything but smooth. Old concrete is often cracked and stained with oil. Anyone can tell the difference instantly.
New pavement indicates a recent investment in a commercial property or into city areas. People respond well to this, as everyone likes to live in or visit places with active development.
- New pavement is smooth for drivers – Of course, pavement isn’t just there to look good. It’s there to facilitate driving, and new pavement does that better than old pavement.
Old pavement, whether concrete or asphalt, will deteriorate with time. Eventually, large cracks, potholes and loss of surface texture will affect driving performance. In particularly bad cases, the condition of the pavement could cause a customer to trip and fall due to uneven pavement surfaces or potholes. If you’re found liable for the damage, that’s going to cost your company money.
- New pavement holds up better – If you’ve just had new concrete or asphalt installed, it will be easier to keep it in good condition if you invest in regular maintenance. That way, you’ll extend the life of your investment.
Once pavement succumbs to the effects of weather and age, it’s often more cost effective to rip out the old and start with fresh pavement.
Which Type of Pavement is Best for Commercial Projects?
If you’re in the market for a new (or renewed) parking lot, driveway, sidewalk, or other paved area, there are a couple of paving materials to choose from – asphalt and concrete. Which one is the better choice for your location? Here’s information on both to help you choose:
- Concrete pavement – Concrete is the more durable, longer lasting option between it and asphalt. It’s less likely to develop cracks, and if the material is properly maintained, it may last up to 30 years. Fortunately, concrete doesn’t need much maintenance. This is true even in hot weather, as concrete manages the heat well.
The issues with concrete are that it is a bit more expensive than asphalt to lay down, takes longer to cure than asphalt, and doesn’t handle sub-freezing temperatures as well. Along the Gulf Coast, though, cold weather is rarely an issue for concrete surfaces.
- Asphalt pavement – Asphalt performs well in cold weather and can be regularly salted without sustaining damage. Asphalt is also less expensive to install, the materials used to make it are widely available, and it cures quickly. An asphalt surface is ready to drive on within hours of placement.
Heat is rough on asphalt, which causes it to flex significantly. It also requires more maintenance than concrete, though that maintenance is easy to perform for a reputable paving contractor.
The Pavement Condition Will Also Affect Curb Appeal, So Keep it in Good Repair
We’ve established that maintaining your pavement’s condition is essential if you’re trying to boost property values. If you’ve just placed new pavement, one way to extend its life is to seal it right after installation.
You can seal concrete or asphalt. Concrete sealers are useful, but asphalt sealers are vital for protecting the pavement. When used with concrete, sealers prevent water and chemical intrusion. That’s valuable, but asphalt sealers are necessary if you’re looking for long term performance. Here’s why asphalt sealers are highly recommended for your new or recently repaired asphalt pavement:
- Provides a weather barrier – An asphalt sealcoat acts like a topcoat of wax. It shields the asphalt from weather-related damage, including hail and UV radiation. Most importantly, sealcoat prevents water intrusion, which is a leading cause of pavement failure.
- Slows the spread of damage – Once cracks form in the asphalt, it’s only a matter of time before they spread and eventually become potholes. Asphalt sealcoat effectively “holds” the pavement together like a binder. This slows the progression of cracks tuning into potholes.
- Preserves the look of the asphalt – Sealcoat also protects the appearance of the asphalt and looks are a big part of curb appeal. Regular applications will ensure the asphalt remains dark and smooth.
Ready to Boost Your Commercial Property’s Value?
Making a good first impression is important for any business and investing in new concrete or asphalt is an ideal way to make that happen. The process is fairly quick, less expensive than larger-scale renovations, and the effect is impressive.
You’ll just need a trusted expert who can handle the job. Choose a Houston paving contractor the has executed a long list of projects over the years. And be sure the company is experienced in your area so they are aware of potential environmental considerations and challenges.