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What Conditions Are Best for Laying Asphalt?
Asphalt is one of the most popular paving materials as it's highly durable, affordable, and has aesthetic qualities. Nevertheless, there are certain things to consider before laying down asphalt. Among other factors, timing and temperature are huge factors to consider. This piece will examine the most important conditions for asphalt laying. Read on!
More than any factor, asphalt needs the right temperatures for installation. This is because asphalt's inherent malleability becomes a big problem in extreme temperatures. When there's extreme cold, the asphalt won't bind properly, resulting in raveling. Additionally, the asphalt will be too brittle and susceptible to cracks and chips. On the other hand, extremely hot conditions will cause the asphalt to bruise, slough, and not cure adequately. Also, ground and air temperatures are key. Ground temperature thresholds are important for proper asphalt installations, so it's never enough to schedule installations using ambient factors alone, like sun and wind. The ideal ground and air temperatures for an effective installation range from 50-90 degrees Fahrenheit. Anything above or below this range will cause serious problems.
The best time of year to install asphalt is in the summer, early fall, or late spring. Nevertheless, you can install it at any time of year, provided that you're meeting the required temperature thresholds. Late spring and early fall in particular are excellent periods to install asphalt, as wind and temperature conditions tend to lie within the range required for laying asphalt.
You absolutely shouldn't lay asphalt when it rains. Asphalt's chemical binders, known as bitumen, are oil-based and don't mix with water. Rain, or even falling snow, can cause the binders to break apart from the aggregate base and cause the asphalt to fall apart or crumble. It may even crack and split or result in potholes forming sooner rather than later. Additionally, the oil in the bitumen could appear on the surface of the asphalt, causing discoloration and stains.
Asphalt requires a solid base to ensure that it remains compact and pothole-free. Hence, it's best to lay asphalt when the ground is dry.
Sometimes, a paving project will involve laying asphalt over the green. As such, it's important to modify the soil under the lawns. Spots with clayey soil may have water drainage issues after drying and hardening. When this happens, the soil becomes hostile to plants, as the compactness is enough to kill roots or prevent them from getting enough nutrients or moisture.
Additionally, compact soils can cause the asphalt to break down quickly. A soil test is essential in such cases so the contractor knows whether to modify the landscape by adding rocks or sand.
The sub-base provides the actual support for the new asphalt pavement. This base acts as a barrier against frost, to reduce winter damage resulting from thawing and freezing. The sub base must be adequately compacted, with thickness and stability in mind. Otherwise, the asphalt on top will not last.
Need help with your asphalt paving project in Pennsylvania and New Jersey? Oakes Paving understands the right conditions for a durable, functional, and aesthetically-pleasing asphalt pavement and will install a commercial or residential pavement that meets your needs. Get started with a FREE estimate now.