Is It Worth It To Pave That Small Lot?

If you manage a small apartment complex that's had an unpaved lot for many years, you know how rain can make the soil erode and disappear, leaving an uneven surface. While these unpaved lots are common in more rural communities, that doesn't mean you have to leave the surface unpaved. Instead of having the soil replaced and tamped down, it may be time to have some asphalt or concrete laid down instead. While an unpaved lot might seem like an easier route to take, a paved lot can bring some stunning improvements when done right.

Oil Leaks and Groundwater Issues

One problem with unpaved lots is that, if a car starts leaking oil, that oil ends up in the soil, contaminating it and possibly seeping down into groundwater supplies if the water supply is close to the surface and the leak is severe enough. Oil stains on concrete and asphalt might not be pretty, but they can be cleaned off (or the paved material replaced).

Less Maintenance

You might think a paved lot would be more of a maintenance issue than an unpaved lot, but that's not the case. Other than occasionally patching a crack, cleaning off a stain, and clearing leaves out of a drainage grate, you don't have to do much for paved lots until it's time to repave them, which is many years down the road. Unpaved lots need to be smoothed out and have eroded spots refilled a lot more often.

Parking Help

With a paved lot, you get parking lot stripes. You might find that you can fit more cars into the lot once you have spaces actually delineated.

Better Looks

Paved lots simply look better, especially when it's been raining. They don't turn into seas of mud that make it difficult for residents to move their cars.

More Potential Interest

A paved lot, believe it or not, could bring your complex more attention the next time you have a vacancy. Residents don't want to have to deal with mud and uneven surfaces when trying to move a car, so if you have a paved lot, that is a plus in your favor, and it may make potential tenants look more kindly upon your complex.

Contact local paving companies, including those in more urban areas, to see what prices they offer and what maintenance contracts and warranties they might have regarding cracks and other issues. You may find that it's financially better to get the lot paved now. To learn more, check out websites like