It’s no secret that the bitter cold and whipping winter winds can be tough on asphalt paving. The most reputable asphalt paving companies like Surface Solutions in Cambridge, MA, will tell you that it’s best to avoid significant work in the winter months. There are a few complicated reasons why asphalt paving is avoided in winters. Please keep reading to learn more about them!
1) Ground Temperature
Asphalt fails to retain heat on a cold foundation making compaction difficult. The ground temperature supporting the pavement is a crucial factor in asphalt installation. If the ground is too cold, the asphalt will not stick to it and could create a weak spot on your pavement.
In addition, when the temperature drops below freezing at night but then rises during the day, this can cause something called “thermal cracking.” This happens when the ice formed on top of the asphalt melts and re-freezes again at night. This expansion and contraction create tiny cracks in the surface of your pavement, which can lead to more significant problems down the road.
2) Lift Thickness
When the ground is too cold, it can be challenging to achieve the recommended lift thickness for asphalt paving. A thinner lift means a greater chance of the pavement cracking and failing in the future.
Even if you manage to get all necessary materials installed properly, additional challenges can arise during winter. For example, snowplows can damage newly paved surfaces if not operated correctly. Salt and other de-icing chemicals can corrode your new pavement, leading to early failure.
3) No Sunlight
sunlight is essential for asphalt pavement curing. Without adequate sunlight, the pavement will not cure correctly and could end up being more susceptible to cracking and other damage.
Simply stated, sunlight reduces the cooling rate of the asphalt. If the asphalt cools too quickly, it can crack and fail.
4) Air Temperature
Air temperature also has a significant impact on asphalt pavement. Colder temperatures can cause the asphalt to become brittle, breaking it apart. The wind speed and temperature can make it challenging for a freshly installed asphalt surface to retain heat leading to premature asphalt failure.
You need to consider many factors when deciding whether or not to pave during the winter months. By understanding the potential risks involved, you can make a more informed decision about when is best for your particular project.
These are a few examples of why winters are not typically the best time for asphalt paving. If you’re considering an asphalt paving project, be sure to contact a professional contractor who will advise you on the best course of action for your specific situation.
Cambridge, MA, witnesses its fair share of cold during winters. This is the main reason why experienced asphalt paving contractors like Surface Solutions advise against pavement installation during the winters. As a credible asphalt pavingcompany, we make decisions in the best interest of our customers. We safeguard your pavement investment by delivering a durable asphalt surface. Schedule a free estimate from our team now!