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Hot Stuff: Asphalt Pouring is Better When It’s Warmer

Many of Pro-Pave’s clients want to know what time of year is best for their asphalt pouring job. It’s a somewhat tricky question to answer, as asphalt can technically be poured throughout the year, depending on the demands of the project and variables including time and location. That being said, summer is a prime time for paving jobs, and for good reason.

Hot-mix asphalt is a versatile and durable paving option that is far easier on the wallet than laying concrete. However, asphalt must maintain a certain temperature in order to set correctly – somewhere in the realm of 175-275 degrees Fahrenheit. For that reason, ideal climate conditions typically hover in the 70 degree range or, more to the point, late spring and summer. Anything cooler and asphalt pouring can become a difficult, though not impossible, task.

Successful asphalt pouring is largely a matter of timing. The process requires deft and even application within a matter of minutes, otherwise ripples, bumps, and irregular surfaces might result. Higher temperatures allow the hot-mix asphalt to remain pliable and easily compacted. As the temperature drops, the hot mix becomes more viscous and stiff, making it resistant to rollers. Because of this, cooler temps drastically shorten the window for installation. If not compacted in a reasonable timeframe, the asphalt will lose stability.

Pouring in warmer weather is particularly important for customers who live in rural areas, where proximity between the project and the asphalt plant becomes problematic. The asphalt mix will inevitably cool during the commute, which is why many contractors working in autumn typically do so using a tarp to seal in heat.

An additional concern while pouring asphalt is precipitation. While a gentle drizzle will not necessarily sideline a project, a steady rain can cause a hot mix to cool too rapidly, and may lead to structural damage in the long run.

Whether paving a parking lot or a simple pathway, hiring an experienced crew with appropriate equipment is every bit as crucial as your asphalt’s core temperature. Efficiency is the key. The faster an asphalt pouring job can be accomplished, the better.

Pro-Pave has provided exemplary paving services to churches, colleges, HOAs, and commercial clients throughout the Mid-Atlantic for more than 15 years. To learn more about our quality asphalt and concrete work, call us today at (703) 433-9500.