If your asphalt is experiencing cracks or deterioration, then it may be time to repair, or in some cases, replace it. That is easier said than done, especially during the fall or winter when it seems too cold to lay asphalt. If you are experiencing problems with your pavement during the colder seasons, you may have resigned yourself to wait until summer to start working on it. While there are a lot of benefits to laying down asphalt in the summer, that doesn’t mean you can’t repair it in the winter. Professionals work year-round to help with any problems you have with your asphalt, and that includes the winter. Here’s how they do it!
Can You Pave in the Winter?
Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to pave asphalt in the winter. With that being said, it is not recommended. A quality asphalt paving project requires the weather to be at a specific temperature before anything can be done. On top of that, to finish it, the temperature will have to have little to no fluctuations during the process. This is a tall order, especially if you live in an area where the weather changes often. Overall, while it is possible to pave in the winter if you live in a warmer climate, try it anywhere else, and you may be out of luck.
The Problem With Laying Down Asphalt When It’s Cold
There are only two types of asphalt, hot mix, and cold-mix. These two asphalt mixes have different methods of installation. For example, hot mix asphalt can’t be installed in temperatures below 55 degrees, whereas cold mix can.
The Difference Between Hot Mix And Cold Mix Asphalt
Why does cold mix asphalt perform better than hot mix in lower temperatures? Hot mix asphalt must remain warm to compact properly when laid down. Otherwise, it will cool down too much, rendering it unusable. Because it generally doesn’t get above colder temperatures in late fall and winter, hot mix asphalt is usually only used during the spring and summer.
On the other hand, cold mix asphalt works year-round regardless of the temperature outside. The difference is that cold mix asphalt cannot be paved while hot mix can. This means that cold mix is only suitable for repairs to a pre-existing driveway and can’t be used to lay down a new one.
How Long Does Asphalt Take to Cure in Cold Weather?
Despite the challenges of laying down hot mix asphalt in cold weather, there are still a few benefits. It was mentioned that hot mix asphalt could cool down during transportation, rendering it unusable. However, this also means that it will cure faster once it is laid down. Upon paving a driveway or parking lot, the cold weather will significantly reduce the compaction time required before your surface is drivable. You should expect to wait a number of days during the summertime before the asphalt is usable. Colder temperatures could cut this wait time down to as little as three days!
What Is The Best Time Of Year To Lay Asphalt?
While it is possible to lay down asphalt in the fall and winter, summertime is superior. You should only put down asphalt in the winter as a repair. Otherwise, you should be timing your big paving projects during the hotter seasons. This leaves you plenty of time to finish the project, so you don’t have to rush and cut corners.
If you are planning a new driveway or parking lot, don’t wait until Spring to schedule. “Asphalt Season” is a thing, and asphalt contractors often schedule projects months in advance. Call for an estimate during the winter months so that you can get on the schedule.
Have More Questions?
You can count on Walt’s Paving to complete your residential or commercial paving project in an efficient and timely manner. We have over 40 years of experience paving asphalt driveways, making asphalt repairs, and seal coating asphalt. We are located in Osceola, IN, and service homeowners and businesses within 50 miles of Elkhart, IN. If you have any further questions regarding our services, do not hesitate to contact us today.