Parking lots are, to a business, like the sidewalk leading up to someone’s home. If it’s unkept, cracking, has holes, damaged, or visibly aging poorly, potential visitors just aren’t going to want to make their way into the structure. At EARTHTEK, the leading commercial paving company in San Jose, we love transforming an old or unfinished space into a beautiful asphalt lot. Don’t worry, though, we know how weird that sounds - we just like to continuously offer the best asphalt work in the region.
We don’t want to sound overconfident, but there are two things that are almost a certainty when partnering with EARTHTEK. The first is that you’ll absolutely love the work we do for your business. The second is that you’ll absolutely love the customer service you receive when working with us.
The reason we’re so confident in those matters is because we actually make the effort to ensure that our work is the best in the San Jose area and that our focus on customer service is second to none. Because of this foundational notion, we will work closely with you to make sure your needs are met along the way, and that includes with scheduling.
From the initial site development to the final parking lot lines, EARTHTEK has the equipment and knowledge to install parking lots that will last. Every parking lot installation in San Jose is different, and each business has unique needs, but below is the general process of installing a new parking lot.
We work closely with the engineers to help them design a parking lot that is functional and fully maximizes the real estate allocated for the parking space. Additionally, we guide to ensure the parking lot meets ADA requirements and current California and San Jose building codes.
Since we are full-service paving and earthwork company we can do the initial site work to get the parking area ready for asphalt paving. This can include working with underground utilities, excavating and the final grading.
Regardless if you are having us install an asphalt parking lot or a concrete parking lot the base is the most important part of a new parking lot. A base that is not correctly installed directly translates to an unstable parking lot—simple as that. The base materials are the crucial support or foundation for your new parking lot, demanding accurate and meticulous installation from the outset. Once the asphalt is laid, there is no going back.
For most new parking lots, we will use recycled road base. The depth of the base material installed is based on the soil conditions and the use of a parking lot. A light-duty lot without any soil conditions will have 8” of aggregate. In comparison, a heavy-duty lot might have 10”-15” of aggregate.
Once the base has been installed, it's time to pave. On paving days, you will see an enormous amount of equipment on your site. The paving machine is used to lay the asphalt in a uniform thickness. We will have multiple rollers for compacting the asphalt. Skid steers, plate compactors and other small equipment will also be on site. Finally, depending on the lot size, there will be a line of dump trucks carrying hot asphalt.
While it might look like chaos with all the equipment and people, it’s a well-orchestrated process with everyone working together as a team.
Using a variety of rollers, some with rubber tires (pneumatic rollers) or vibrating drums ranging in size from 3-10 tons, the asphalt will be compacted to the specified compaction.
The final step is to lay out the parking lot lines, directional arrows, fire lanes, and disable parking stalls for painting. A new parking lot with fresh markings makes a great first impression.
If you look at your parking lot and thing to yourself, “Yeah, it’s time to get that replaced,” you’re probably right. Generally, full asphalt replacement happens for a handful of reasons, including:
Whatever the cause, EARTHTEK can help remove and replace that old asphalt while ensuring that the underlying base layers have the stability needed for a modern asphalt surface.
Full asphalt removal and replacement will provide you a brand-new parking lot. The process is similar to installing a new parking lot with minor exceptions. We remove the asphalt from existing base materials. Typically we will do this with a large milling machine. A milling machine grinds up the asphalt into small aggregate and is hauled away for recycling.
We will fix any drainage issues once the old asphalt has been removed. Also, we will evaluate the base and fix any problems we find.
Finally, we will pave your lot with new asphalt. See steps 4-6 above for a detailed explanation of the paving process.
More often than not, you won’t need to replace your entire parking lot. EARTHTEK can help you make that determination if you’re unsure. If replacement isn’t necessary, we can do an asphalt overlay for your lot, which can save your business a lot of time compared to the previously-discussed option.
Asphalt overlays, commonly called asphalt resurfacing, is a cost-effective solution for addressing minor surface damages on your pavement. The fundamental concept of the asphalt overlay process revolves around placing a fresh layer of asphalt over the existing deteriorated asphalt.
In some cases, milling is necessary to remove a portion of the existing asphalt layer. This step is typically performed if there are issues such as significant water damage, drainage problems, or the need to adjust the height of the surface. Milling involves the use of specialized equipment to remove the designated thickness of the old asphalt layer.
The surface is thoroughly cleaned to remove any remaining debris, dust, or loose material. This ensures proper adhesion of the new asphalt layer to the existing surface. Any oil stains or other contaminants may also be treated or addressed during this stage.
A thin layer of tack coat, which is a sticky asphalt emulsion, is applied to the existing surface. Tack coat looks similar to asphalt sealcoating, but is different. The tack coat acts as a bonding agent between the old and new asphalt layers, enhancing their adhesion and overall performance.
The new layer of asphalt is placed on top of the tack coat using. The asphalt is spread and compacted to achieve the desired thickness and smoothness.
Compaction is performed using heavy rollers to achieve a proper compaction rate. Adequate compaction also helps to create a smooth and even surface. The proper compaction will prevent the need for pavement repair.
Due to the mild climate in San Jose, asphalt parking lots will last longer than parking lots in cold climates. This is because we very seldom must deal with freeze-thaw cycles. Also, since it seldom snows here (1976 was the last snow) parking lots don’t have the punishing abuse of snowplows. A properly install and well-maintained parking lot will last 20-30 years.
The thickness of commercial asphalt in San Jose will depend on the lot's usage. A light-duty parking lot such as an office building, multi-family residential or retail space will typically be 3”-5” thick. The asphalt will range from 6”-9” thick in industrial and manufacturing buildings considered heavy-duty lots. Additionally, a heavy-duty parking lot will have a thicker sub-base to support the weight of large trucks. Installing the correct thickness of asphalt, will decrease your pavement maintenance costs and costly parking lot repair.
A lift is one layer of asphalt. In commercial paving, asphalt is laid in multiple lifts. A lift is typically no thicker than 3”. The reason for multiple lifts is compaction. Thinner lifts allow for better compaction of the asphalt. In the San Jose region it is very common asphalt construction to be handled in multiple lifts
Just like a car, an asphalt parking lot does have some preventive maintenance. You will want to have cracks sealed annually. Sealing cracks in asphalt prevents water from entering the base. Also, potholes should be repaired quickly. Even with our mild climate, potholes can grow rapidly. Finally, every three years, you will want to apply sealcoating to the parking lot.
There should not be any traffic in the parking lot for at least 24 hours. Deeping on the temperature, we may request that you wait 48-72 hours before opening the parking lot.
We recommend concrete trash pads and loading dock areas. Basically, anywhere you have heavy trucks or equipment sitting for periods. EARTHTEK does provide asphalt and concrete services.
As a family-owned local Bay Area business, we can actually have a conversation with you about the planning and execution of your commercial asphalt project. We don’t believe you should have to settle for a one-size-fits-all solution, so we won’t try to push one on you. Providing the best commercial paving services is what are company is built on and our expertise shines in all of our projects.
Your business is a unique entity, and it deserves to have its parking space planned and designed in such a way that it allows as many potential customers onto the property as possible. But it should do so in a reliable and cost effective manner.
Likewise, we won’t inundate you with calls or waste your time, but we certainly don’t mind having you monitor our work and keeping conversation with us - your level of interaction with us is entirely up to you, and we’ll appreciate you either way.