Do you have an asphalt paving project coming up? Looking to install a new driveway? Well before you start, it is a good idea to know when is the best time to lay asphalt.
What Are the Ideal Conditions to Lay Asphalt?
One of the most important things when it comes to laying asphalt driveway would have to be temperature. This is why it is a good idea to wait for the appropriate weather conditions, before you start applying asphalt to your driveway.
To easily work with asphalt, it “must be placed and compacted while it is hot. Lift thickness and air and surface temperatures play significant roles in how fast the mix cools” (( “Hot Mix Asphalt: Best for Your Driveway A Consumer’s Guide”. Asphaltpavement.org. Retrieved 2012-12-07)). Because temperature plays such an important role in working with the material, you are going to want to ideally lay it when the time is warm. Warmer temperatures means that the asphalt will not harden as quickly, compared to the cooler temperatures. This is good because it gives you more time to properly pave and plan out exactly where you want to put the asphalt, as well as giving you enough time to smooth it over properly.
You should note that asphalt and moisture is not really a good mix. You definitely do not want to work on a day where it is too humid. ”Moisture may seep into the asphalt and prevent it from setting easily, and may lead to delays and prolonged periods of waiting and setting” (( “Installation Tips for Asphalt Paving”. Handyamerican.com. Retrieved 2012-12-07)).
What Is the Best Temperature to Lay Your Asphalt Driveway?
You can apply asphalt in temperatures as low as 50 degrees Fahrenheit, but for best results, days with a temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit or higher are optimal. This makes it easier to work with the asphalt and you do not have to worry about it setting quickly and you.
Different regions throughout the U.S will have different seasonal temperatures. Asphaltpavement.org has created a nice little table that has highlighted the temperature, lift thickness and the amount of time that is needed for the asphalt to be compacted and cooled.
Applying the Asphalt to Your Driveway
Well you have all the information on hand as it relates to the temperature in laying your asphalt. The next step is to start the job.
Asphalt cools very quickly, so once you get it out of the mixer; you need to apply it evenly before it begins to harden. This is the main reason why laying asphalt is such a quick process. If you look at the table above, you will get an idea as how much time you have to finish your work. When laying the asphalt on the driveway, it is a pretty good idea to layer it at a thickness of about 3-5 inches.
Once you keep the temperature in mind, as well as the amount of time needed to properly lay out the asphalt before its set, in the end you should have a perfect looking driveway.