Many homeowners are surprised when they find out that asphalt paving can’t just be performed whenever and wherever. Contractors need to be careful about when they pour asphalt, or they can risk laying pavement that’s prone to cracking or has a shorter lifespan.
The best time of year to pour asphalt is typically in the fall, spring or early summer when temperatures are hot but not too hot. Continue reading to learn more about laying asphalt in different weather conditions.
The minimum temperature for laying asphalt
The minimum temperature for asphalt paving is 50°F. This temperature keeps the asphalt soft to allow for proper rolling and compacting. Asphalt starts cooling as soon as it touches the ground; once it gets down to 185°F, it becomes too stiff and dense for proper compaction. Since asphalt begins to cool as soon as it touches the ground, skilled contractors begin rolling it as fast as possible to prevent the possibility of it curing too rapidly on cool days.
How hot is too hot?
While we want the asphalt to stay hot enough to roll and remain pliable, we don’t want the outdoor temperatures to be too high. Asphalt can even start to melt if it’s over 120°F out. Generally, it’s not recommended to lay asphalt if it’s over 90°F outside. When working in the summer in Arizona, it’s crucial that asphalt contractors get out early and wrap up their paving duties before the temperatures climb above that 90°F maximum.
How long asphalt takes to cure
Although asphalt cools as soon as it hits the ground, it can take anywhere from six months to a year for it to fully cure. While that doesn’t mean you can’t use your new driveway for that long, we don’t recommend parking or driving on your new driveway for a few days after we’ve laid the new asphalt. Additionally, it’s a good idea to avoid parking in the same spot every day during the curing period.
Is it possible to speed up the curing time?
The best way to reduce the curing time is to keep the fresh pavement as cool as possible because colder temperatures help the asphalt harden and set. Commercial-grade paint dryers can be used to cool asphalt down faster, but they’re not necessarily a magic tool that can drastically reduce the curing time.
Can asphalt paving be a DIY job?
Now that you know when to pour asphalt, you may be tempted to get out there and start fixing potholes yourself. Even though it’s possible to do some DIY asphalt work, it’s a job best left to the professionals. You can trust that the results will be much better when you hire a pro to do any type of asphalt work. Plus, it saves you from all the hard outdoor labor.
If you need a new asphalt driveway, talk to our team at Sunstar Seal Coating, Inc. With transparent pricing and years of experience, we’re the most-trusted team in town for asphalt paving. Contact us today to get a quote for your next project.
Categorised in: Asphalt Paving
This post was written by Writer