Furthermore, the asphalt needs to be hot enough to be compacted but asphalt has fast cooling properties so that leaves pavers a short window of time to lay the asphalt and compress it before it cools down. If you choose to do it during the colder air temperatures, your driveway contractors will have less time to perfect the installation, and you know very well that anything done in haste results to poor quality output and even early deterioration.
Typically, the ideal time to pave is during the warmer months of spring and summer so winter is definitely a no-go, but “How about fall?” you may ask. Yes, paving can still be done during fall provided that the weather is nice with no chance of rain, the air temperature is not too cold and the ground is not frozen. If you put hot asphalt on frozen ground, it will speed up the cooling process of asphalt and freeze up the material. In that case, it will be difficult to properly roll and compact the asphalt. But if you were able to grade it despite the cold surface temperature, you’ll still likely end up with a loosely compacted material which will fall off and crumble eventually.
According to the National Asphalt Pavement Association, knowing the average air temperatures serve as a better reference of when you should be able to proceed with a paving job rather than solely relying on a specific range of months. Aside from air and surface temperatures, lift thickness is also a major factor in the curing process. Below is a table provided by the National Asphalt Pavement Association that indicates the compaction time in reference to the air and surface temperatures with respect to the lift thickness of the paving work to be done.
Note: Red areas indicate temperatures where these lifts of asphalt are not recommended and yellow indicates caution. Table developed based on 300°F delivery temperature and 175°F final temperature.
As per the NAPA (National Asphalt Pavement Association), the above data was calculated based on a mild wind condition of less than 10mph. While some amount of wind will help in the curing process of the asphalt emulsion, the NAPA advised that for every increase of 10mph in wind speed will impact a decrease of 5-10 minutes in compaction time.
Hence, as a general rule of thumb, 70 degrees F is the most ideal time to begin paving your asphalt driveway to provide leeway for other factors that might not be anticipated. Moreover, the condition of the soil or rock to be paved, type of equipment, the number of crew workers and the quality of the material are also additional factors that you should consider before you start paving. It would help a lot if you can do your research early on so you can have a list of options to choose from. This way, you can also make sure that your driveway will be in good hands.
However, if you want to be on the safe side, it would be much wiser to just wait for the warm season to arrive before paving your driveway. But if you already are scouting for a reliable and a trusted paving contractor, you may reach Driveway repair in Lancaster PA for expert high-quality paving work.
As for paving experts, grow your paving business by consulting with an asphalt paving marketing professional.