Is it too Cold to Pave?

DSC_1626Asphalt pavement needs to be applied hot and compacted before it loses too much heat. Late spring, summer and early autumn months are typically best for installing asphalt pavement, but in the greater Las Vegas area, the job can often be performed at other times of the year. Small repairs, such as cracks or potholes, can frequently be made even in mid-winter through a special technique known as infrared asphalt repair. Although the transportation agencies in many states advise against paving when the air temperature is less than 40 degrees Fahrenheit, ambient temperature only tells part of the story.

1. The asphalt plant used by the contractor must be open. Because volume drops substantially during winter months, many asphalt plants choose to suspend operations in December or January.
2. The ground cannot be frozen. Asphalt pavement is a three-layered construction, comprised of a base, sub-base and asphalt. The base and sub-base form the foundation that asphalt must have to remain strong. All of these layers must be compacted to provide stability. If the foundation is too cold, it will absorb too much heat from the asphalt, making it impossible to achieve adequate compaction.
3. Care must be taken when transporting asphalt from the plant to the site. If asphalt leaves the plant hot and cools in transit, it can segregate, form patches of crust or form clumps. Therefore, even if temperatures are the same, a job that is 10 miles from the plant normally has a better chance for success than a job that is 100 miles from the plant.
4. Everything — and everyone — on the job site must be ready to go as soon as the first load of asphalt arrives. All advance preparation, such as compacting the substrate, must be done. Equipment must be in place; crews cannot be left waiting for a roller to arrive, for example.
5. Each job must be evaluated independently. If the job is a massive undertaking that will span many days, it might be best to delay work until the spring. On the other hand, if existing pavement has been damaged and cracks or potholes have formed, delaying repairs can be unwise as more damage is likely to occur over the winter.

Affordable Striping & Sealing is your asphalt pavement expert in the Las Vegas metropolitan area. We have successfully handled many pavement jobs under less than ideal conditions, so we have the experience to determine whether we can take care of your asphalt needs while still providing the high level of quality we insist on furnishing to all of our customers. Our services span the complete range of asphalt maintenance and repair, from asphalt sealcoating and crack filling to parking lot striping and traffic sign installation. You can contact us by submitting our online form to request a quote, or you can call us at 702-222-9009.