What’s the Best Time of Year to Pour Asphalt?

October 29, 2020 Published by Leave your thoughts

If you’ve noticed that your asphalt driveway or parking lot is looking worse for wear, it might be time to replace it entirely. Even though we live in Arizona, the generally warm weather won’t last forever—which is why many of our clients ask when the best time of year to pour asphalt is in Phoenix, AZ. Although Arizona winters tend to be milder than anything you’d get outside the Southwest, you’ll likely want to wait until spring or summer rolls around before you repave your asphalt.

When’s the best time to pour asphalt?

Asphalt is incredibly durable—especially if it’s poured properly in the first place. The mix is heated up and poured in layers, then compacted by heavy equipment to ensure a smooth, stable surface. In order for the structure to hold up, it requires enough time to cool properly.

Generally, the best temperature for pouring asphalt is around 70 degrees Fahrenheit, as long as it’s not raining. In Arizona, this can be the case well into the fall and winter. If the weather forecast looks stable enough, you might be able to pave later in the year.

Can you pour asphalt when it’s raining?

The 70-degree temperature guideline is just part of the asphalt equation. For example, heavy rains can cause the asphalt to cool too quickly, which will affect the structural stability. Furthermore, while a light sprinkle here and there won’t harm the project, heavier precipitation will damage the base layers. That defeats the purpose of paving.

Typically, a dry, warm (or hot) day is best for pouring asphalt—luckily, Arizona has more than enough of those to go around. You won’t have to wait long before spring and summer temperatures arrive once more.

What happens if you pour asphalt when it’s cold?

Your asphalt arrives at the property in a special truck, which heats the mix in a liquid state, for pouring. In warmer temperatures, the mix stays liquid long enough to be poured, spread out and leveled off. If it’s below 60 degrees, however, the mix starts cooling off much faster. This can cause the asphalt to thicken and seize up before it’s been perfectly laid and smoothed.

The worst-case scenario is that it sets before the job is done. This creates an uneven paved surface. A less-than-level surface will trap water, which freezes when the weather turns cold. This can develop into cracks, potholes and crumbling as the freeze/thaw cycle continues.

If you’re spending the time and money to pave your property, waiting for warmer weather is key. Otherwise, your pavement will be unsatisfactory—and it won’t last nearly as long, either. That can get expensive in the long run. Waiting for warmer weather might push your project back a few months, but no reputable paving contractor would risk a bad result.

Reach out to Sunstar Seal Coating, Inc. today to schedule your project. We’ll always let you know if we think it’s a good time of year to pour asphalt in Phoenix, AZ!

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