You’ve likely read many articles about asphalt when you are looking for paving material to make your next driveway or sidewalk. Although asphalt is a popular paving material because of its strength, aesthetic appeal, and low cost, certain conditions, such as a specific temperature, must be satisfied for an asphalt installation to be successful.
Asphalt can’t be laid at your leisure. New asphalt must meet environmental and temperature requirements for proper installation. Let’s find out at what temperature asphalt should be applied and other considerations.
The Importance of Asphalt Temperature When Laying
When laying asphalt, the temperature of the asphalt must meet specific requirements. When the right temperature is not reached, malleability becomes an enemy of asphalt.
The asphalt temperature has a significant impact on how effectively the mix sets. It reduces the surface’s smoothness and allows too much water to enter. If it cools down too quickly, it will lose density and eventually lose consistency.
Cold temperatures can cause raveling by preventing the asphalt from binding correctly during installation. Cold temperatures can make asphalt more susceptible to cracks, chips, and other cold-related damage. You will get a poor product if asphalt is laid in the extreme cold.
Extreme cold and extreme heat can lead to poor asphalt installations. Intense heat can be a problem for freshly laid asphalt. It can cause the asphalt to melt, slough off, and not cure properly.
The success of any asphalt project depends on timing. Therefore, the experience and skill of the asphalt contractor’s crew are so important. The contractor must make sure that the workers have the correct equipment. For example, jobs in colder weather might require wider or more powerful rollers. You may need to change the rolling pattern for maximum compaction. To avoid equipment breakdowns during the job, contractors must maintain their equipment properly.
Three Asphalt Temperatures to Watch
Compaction and long-term durability of newly paved sections and patches depend on various factors, including ambient (air) conditions, base (aggregate and existing asphalt) temperatures, and hot blended asphalt temperatures. The following three temperatures determine the paving strength and ease of installation.
As its name suggests, hot-mix asphalt is delivered to job sites at very high temperatures, between 275 and 300 degrees Fahrenheit. It is recommended to maintain the right asphalt temperature and not let it cool down significantly before applying. Mixtures below 185 degrees will not compact appropriately over paving surfaces.t
The asphalt thickness is a significant determinant of how long it takes for the contractor to complete compaction. The thinner the layers, the quicker it will cool down. The wind speed and the ground and ambient temperatures also affect the cooling rate of asphalt.
Most people are familiar with the ambient temperature, also known as the air temperature. It refers to the temperature in the surrounding environment. For most applications, the ambient temperature is required to be at least 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
Checking the weather is necessary to know the most favorable time for asphalt installation. Wind conditions can significantly affect the cooling rate of the asphalt mix. Asphalt will cool more quickly if it is moving at a high speed. It can be why the ambient temperature might need to be higher than 50 degrees on very windy days.
Ground temperature is the temperature of the surface on which asphalt will be laid. It is expected to be much lower than the ambient, especially after a cold night.
Contractors often use infrared thermometers to measure the ground temperature. Its temperature requirement is at least 50 degrees Fahrenheit and increases as the ambient temperature does during the procedure. Infrared thermometers replace traditional temperature probes, which are ineffective because they cannot be inserted deep enough into the pavement.
The Ideal Temperature When Laying Asphalt
We now know how asphalt reacts to external temperatures. What is the ideal temperature for hot-mix asphalt installation? Asphalt should be installed when the ground temperature and air temperature are between 50 and 90 degrees.
It’s possible to have a bad pour if the temperature is below 50 degrees Fahrenheit or over 90 degrees. Asphalt is best installed in late spring, summer, and early autumn, but it doesn’t matter what season it is, provided you meet the temperature limits. Before installing, ensure that the ground is ideal and that there are 2-3 days between installation and average temperatures.
Several variables affect the quality of an asphalt installation, including mix, ground conditions, and even the weather. You can guarantee that your asphalt pavement is of the highest quality by ensuring excellent compaction. Work with the most reputable paving company to achieve your goals. You can rely on Biondi Paving and Engineering. To learn more, contact us now.