Car parks can vary widely in configuration, design, capacity and purpose. Therefore, you should choose a surfacing material that considers all these factors. As there are many surfacing options available for car parks, in this article, we’ll take a look at the most popular choices, along with their pros and cons.
Surfacing Materials For Car Parks
Loose gravel surfacing is both cheap and quick to lay, which makes it an attractive choice. Gravel works well at heritage sites, where blending in with the surrounding environment is a priority. Loose gravel is also available in different sizes, colours and textures, allowing for a range of customisation choices depending on the location.
There are quite a few drawbacks to gravel – especially in the long term. The first is, while it may be quick and cheap to lay, it requires quite a bit of maintenance to keep it looking its best. Gravel car parks are not resistant to weeds, for a start. This means that a portion of time will need to be spent every season clearing the car park of weeds and applying weed killer. Without this, sites can quickly become overrun and look unsightly. In busy car parks, gravel will also shift, break down and compact. Initially, this will require regular sweeping to keep it in situ. However, after time it will be necessary to get the gravel relayed, which is another cost to consider.
Concrete is extremely hard wearing and can last for a long time with very little maintenance. It can withstand both hot and cold temperatures with minimal variation in performance and can easily be line marked to create parking bays and pedestrian areas.
In comparison to other surfaces, however, concrete can be quite expensive and take a long time to cure. For example, asphalt surfacing can take as little as 48 hours to set, whereas concrete can take up to seven days. As well as this, concrete is not permeable, which can pose a problem for drainage without necessary water runoff management.
Resin Bound Surfacing
One of the biggest benefits of resin-bound surfacing for car parks is the overall look of the finished product. Aggregates used to create resin-bound surfacing are available in a wide range of colours which can be either sympathetic to the surrounding environment or unique and colourful depending on your needs. Also, resin bound surfaces are exceptionally smooth.
However, there are several drawbacks to using resin bound surfacing for car parks. The first is cost. As many car parks are quite large, using resin bound systems in their creation can be costly. As well as this, repairing damage following heavy use can be expensive, too. Resin-bound surfaces also require quite a bit of maintenance. For example, both unsightly weeds and moss can grow on the surface, which not only impacts aesthetics but poses a health and safety hazard, too.
Asphalt is well-known for its long lifespan and durability. It is a popular choice for roads and car parks because of its sleek finish and resistance to the weather. Asphalt is also very resistant to weeds, which means it is low maintenance and remains aesthetically pleasing for a long time after laying.
Not only this, but asphalt is also available in a wide range of colours that don’t degrade over time, making it suitable for all types of applications including car parks, coloured roads and playgrounds.
NatraTex For Car Parks
NatraTex is a cost-effective, durable landscaping material used for car parks, footpaths and access roads in retail and office environments. Its durable nature also makes it the first choice for busy car parks, with little maintenance required to keep it performing at its best.
The different colour ranges available in the NatraTex Cotswold, NatraTex Colour and NatraTex Eco range also make harmonising the chosen outdoor space with your brand or vision easy. All of these can be used to demarcate vehicular or pedestrian areas and create an attractive, aesthetically pleasing finish on retail parks, car parks, outside shops and offices.
To find out more about NatraTex, contact us today. Our unrivalled surfacing material is used in recreational, residential, regeneration and retail projects to great effect, more information for which can be found in our Case Studies, including projects where NatraTex is laid in retail areas and car parks.