Temperature monitoring is Essential for Asphalt Repair

As Summer turns to Fall, temperature monitoring becomes increasingly essential for new asphalt and asphalt repairs. Temperatures are critical because asphalt used for paving arrives on the job site extremely hot (between 270 degrees F and 325 degrees F). 

If this hot-mix asphalt cools too quickly, it can lead to a raveling surface, leaving a rough and rocky surface that retains water, further reducing the life expectancy of your pavement. The same paving practices that are successful in the warm summer months will not produce the same quality results in October. The colder temperatures of Fall require much more skill in managing a paving project.

asphalt driveway paving in the winter

Experienced paving contractors should carefully monitor 3 different temperatures. 

 

  1. Air temperature  This is the easiest temperature to monitor because it involves watching the weather and monitoring what the expected high and low temperatures will be for that day. If the temperature is expected to be at or below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, it can lead to the above problems in some circumstances. 

  1. Base temperature – The base/ground temperature is even more pertinent to monitor. If the ground is too cold, the hot asphalt mix will harden up quickly. The base temperature should also be at least 50-degrees F and rising. 

  1. Hot-mix temperature – Before installing the mix to the base layer, the temperature of the mix will need to be checked. The air temperature and weather conditions can certainly affect the temperature of the mix. You can gauge the temperature of your asphalt mix by taking the temperature in the haul truck, at the front of the laydown machine, and after the laydown machine has passed. 

With an experienced crew and careful monitoring, new asphalt paving can often still be done into October. These colder temps require crews to work quickly and have the right tools and adequate staffing on hand. The longer the pavement cools before it is completely compacted, the less stable it will be. Temperatures below 50 degrees F may only leave 15-20 minutes to go from pour to compaction with a thin layer of asphalt and a bit longer with thicker asphalt layers. A crew that fails to monitor or react quickly to changing temperatures can result in pavement failure or an inferior paving job that will quickly deteriorate.  

parking lot asphalt paving

As we move into fall, a professional paving contractor can help you decide if paving is still possible or if it would be more beneficial to limit your winter preparation to patching, crack filling, and repairs with an eye towards spring for re-paving. If your paving contractor ensures you that temperature is not a factor during your paving project, this should be a big red flag to check out another contractor. 

Booking your paving project or asphalt repair project now is key to staying ahead of the weather. Waiting too much longer will limit the ability to plan out traffic and scheduling. EastCoat pavement is always ready to help get your parking lot back to ideal. Contact EastCoat Pavement today for your fall inspection and any fall asphalt maintenance needed before temperatures drop any further.

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