Asphalt driveways are very popular nowadays, as the coating is easy to care for and usually lasts for a very long time. Homeowners often opt for the service without a second thought, but there is a very important aspect to keep in mind before diving into the project: the weather.
Asphalt is a very durable material that can last for many years, but if installed in the wrong weather conditions, it may require up-front maintenance. Keep reading to learn more about the topic and why it’s so important to choose the right time of the year to pave an asphalt driveway.
1. What is the best time to pave an asphalt driveway?
Late spring to early fall is the best time of the year to pave a new asphalt driveway. It is best to work when air and surface temperatures are above 50°F. Firm ground is also best for asphalt paving. Paving over water or wet locations can damage the base layers, and it also causes the asphalt to cool down too quickly.
2. Why does the weather matter?
Warm weather keeps the hot mixed asphalt more pliable for longer, making it easier to pour, spread, and smooth before it cools down. The end result looks much better since the contractor won’t be in such a rush to finish the service and will have more time to work on details. That’s why hot dry seasons are the best to pave an asphalt driveway.
In cold weather, the temperature of the asphalt drops quickly as it leaves the truck. This causes it to thicken, leaving the spillage uneven. Sometimes it can even start to harden before the job is done.
3. Emergency Repairs
If your driveway develops serious potholes, deep cracks, or other structural flaws, it's essential to have it repaired as soon as possible, even in the middle of winter.
You can use a cold mix patch if necessary and wait until the weather is right to do the warm maintenance and get the best conditions for your new blacktop paving.
4. Pay Attention
Temperature is not the only factor that can affect new asphalt. Even though it is fine to lay or repair asphalt in a drizzle, large amounts of rain can cause the asphalt to cool too quickly and water can cause damage when pouring layers of asphalt.
5. How much does an asphalt driveway cost?
The cost for pouring an asphalt driveway usually runs $7 to $13 per square foot, and this includes $2 to $6 per sq ft for materials and $5 to $7 per sq ft for the installation labor.
For replacement, the cost goes up to $8 to $15 per square foot. This makes asphalt less expensive than a concrete driveway, which is another popular choice among homeowners.
6. Recycled asphalt as an alternative choice
Recycled asphalt is basically broken or cracked asphalt that is excavated from somewhere it will no longer be used. Today, many industries are adopting asphalt recycling instead of dumping it in landfills. As the material is not biodegradable, so it does not decompose or decomposes only after a very long time.
Recycling includes grinding old asphalt and sifting out impurities, leaving the asphalt virtually ready for reuse. The cost of recycled or reclaimed asphalt is also much more affordable.
Since this project requires many specific equipment and heavy labor, it is best done by a professional. Contact a local asphalt paving company and request a free quote for the service!