Reasons Why You Can’t Lay Asphalt in Freezing Weather

April 11, 2019 2:23 pm Published by

Does it seem like most road work that involves laying asphalt in Santa Rosa, CA seems to take place during the summer months? Road crews tend to do most of their paving work in warmer weather because it’s almost impossible to lay asphalt properly in freezing temperatures. Read on to learn why you can’t lay asphalt when the temperature dips and things start to freeze!

Time is Short in Cold Weather

In addition to unfavorable working conditions for the crew, freezing weather actually affects the asphalt itself. Low temperatures and other cold-weather conditions cause asphalt mix to cool down too quickly. This gives your paving company less time to compact the asphalt mix. Cool asphalt is thick and difficult to spread, making it nearly impossible for a paving crew to evenly spread the pavement for a professional finish before it hardens.

Different Temperature Types

To determine if conditions are right for laying asphalt, a paving crew will look at several different types of temperatures. In addition to the temperature in the air, the temperature of the ground and asphalt mix can make a big difference in laying pavement. In colder weather, each of these three temperatures can cause asphalt mix to cool too quickly and make paving unrealistic:

  • Ground temperature: The ground temperature is usually the most important temperature factor when paving in colder weather. The ground beneath the pavement serves as the foundation on which your new pavement will sit. The cooler this foundation is, the faster the asphalt mix loses heat and hardens. If the ground is too cold, the asphalt cools too fast and the crew doesn’t have time to compact it.
  • Ambient temperature: Ambient temperature, or the temperature of the air, is another contributing factor for determining whether it’s too cold to lay asphalt in Santa Rosa, CA. The ideal ambient temperature for your paving project is 70 degrees Fahrenheit. While the air temperature has a much smaller effect than ground temperature, it can still make a difference. Wind can greatly change how the ambient temperature affects your paving project. On a day with high winds, the air temperature will drop and the wind will act as a fan to cool the asphalt mix more quickly.
  • Asphalt mix temperature: A truck of asphalt mix is warm when it leaves the asphalt plant. Unfortunately, the asphalt mix will cool while in transit to the job site. If a crew has a long way to go from the plant to the job site, the asphalt may have cooled too much to be effective.

Avoid Cold Weather When Laying Asphalt

When temperatures are lower, asphalt mix hardens faster and can cause issues in your paving project. You can help avoid these issues by paving in warmer weather and hiring an asphalt company in Santa Rosa, CA to handle the job. A professional paving crew will know if the temperature is right to lay asphalt and can have your pavement looking great on the first try. To learn more about our asphalt services, reach out to Sikes Asphalt Group Inc. today!

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