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Asphalt does an incredible job of maintaining roads and driveways for a smooth, stable surface that functions optimally. But can you specifically lay asphalt in winter? If you are on the hunt for answers to this question, look no further because we did all the research to get answers for you!
It's possible to lay asphalt in winter but you need to ensure that you'll compact at least a 1.5-inch layer of cold-mix asphalt with temperatures ranging from 40-45 degrees. However, if the ground is too frozen, it's better to wait for the temperature to rise before laying this asphalt. Otherwise, the asphalt will freeze and stiffen, resulting in ineffectiveness.
With knowledge of useful information and correct application techniques, asphalt could come in really handy for the next winter! If you want to know more about this, you can read further and learn!
What is Asphalt Made Of?
According to EAPA, asphalt is a brown or black petroleum-like material that can vary from viscous liquid to glassy solid. It is a combined mix of aggregates, binder, and filler that is commonly used to maintain roads, parking lots, runways, and sidewalks.
The aggregates in the asphalt mixture can contain crushed rock, sand, gravel, or slags. Today, some waste products and demolition debris are also used in aggregates which greatly helps the foundation of the asphalt.
Factors To Consider When Laying Asphalt In Winter
However, before addressing your problems directly, you need to consider three important factors before laying asphalt in winter.
This factor plays a huge role, especially for hot-mix asphalt. You should never install hot-mix asphalt if temperatures are above 55 degrees and rising. The same goes for cold-mix asphalt, too.
Doing the opposite turns the asphalt into a poor-quality mixture that will instantly break down after application. Asphalt on frozen ground can not properly mix, cure, and set if the temperature is too cold so it's best to wait for at least an above-average winter temperature.
For other concerns regarding paving in frozen temperatures, it's best to contact an asphalt contractor and hear some advice on what is the best course of action to take for a full paving project during winter.
The weather forecast is perhaps one of the most important things to monitor on the day you plan to do some asphalt work on your surface.
You need to ensure that wild temperature swings will not go in the way of your asphalt installation or repair as it can cause cracking, softening, and raveling creating extreme deficiencies on the job.
Winter does not only bring in frost and snow but also freezing rain and this causes precipitation that is utterly not good for asphalt paving.
Precipitation causes asphalt temperatures to drop swiftly during the installation process and this also causes inconveniences and imperfections to the mixture of asphalt.
What Is The Best Type Of Asphalt For Winter
Winter causes a lot of inconveniences specifically on pavement. This harsh climate creates cracks in asphalt that might cause you to trip on your pavement, making it hard for you to walk or bumpy to drive. Imperfections and pitting in the pavement are not just a threat to its structural integrity, but for your convenience and safety.
While it seems risky and unfeasible to do this during winter, it is still possible to do this, according to Colorado Pavement Solutions. That being said, you need not wait for warmer temperatures in spring and summer to fix your pavers.
But, in the process of doing so, there are of course some important key factors you need to know about asphalt paving in winter.
Firstly, you have to understand and distinguish the two types of asphalt, which are hot-mix asphalt and cold-mix asphalt. Hot mix asphalt is mostly used in paving projects and is required to remain hot to function appropriately. This insinuates that hot-mix asphalt is not ideal for the winter as it will chill during production and lose its aptness.
On the other hand, cold-mix asphalt is made to perform even in cold temperatures so this can be of great use for the winter. Unlike hot mix asphalt, it does not require to be heated and you can even pour this directly from its bag without using any additional equipment.
A concrete example of a good working cold-mix asphalt would be EcoClean Solutions' Asphalt Patch and Pothole Filler. It instantly works and fixes potholes fast and guarantees a long-lasting solution. Plus, it's traffic ready in an hour of its application!
See this EcoSolutions' Asphalt Patch on Amazon.
About Cold-Mix Asphalt
Cold mix asphalt is composed of aggregates, cutbacks, and bitumen emulsions. It's also integrated with a quarter inch-chip and proprietary oil that serves as a great feature that maintains the asphalt's smoothness and durability. This specialty mix is what makes this type of asphalt repellant to water. Plus, its additives allow pothole patching in all kinds of weather conditions.
For your convenience, you can have a look at this YouTube video by Wolfpaving showing you how asphalt is manufactured.
Cold Mix Asphalt Applications
Potholes are one of the problems a cold mix asphalt can easily fix. The mixture can just be easily poured directly into the cleaned pothole to do its job and repair it. The material is then stamped or compacted to ensure that it will not budge and cause further problems on the driveway.
Cold mix asphalt also aids wheel rutts, by leveling and surrounding the area to cure it properly in place. You can also utilize cold mix asphalt on your rooftops or parking lot as a waterproofing layer to protect these areas from water damage.
There are other ways that cold-mix asphalt is applied. But this type is best used for repairing small areas only such as your driveway and patio. When it comes to big-time paving projects like highway roads or even low-traffic roads, hot-mix asphalt stands as the better alternative to ensure strong capacity to handle large trucks and buses.
Can You Lay Asphalt On Patio Pavers?
Asphalts are low-maintenance and perhaps one of the most attainable options in driveway materials and this is no wonder why a lot of homeowners opt for this.
As much as asphalt is applicable for roads and driveways, experts recommend that you should not use asphalt on patio pavers and opt for other healthier materials instead like gravel or concrete.
Does Rain Ruin Fresh Asphalt?
Rain ruins fresh asphalt. Because of this, you should never install asphalt while it's raining as this can cause the asphalt's curing to fail, ruining the quality of the asphalt.
Asphalt mixtures contain oil. When oil and rainwater come in contact, they create a negative product. Another reason why rain ruins fresh asphalt is that rain brings tiny streams and puddles that damage the effectiveness of asphalt, as well.
Rain generally risks the stability of subsoil as it makes it wet. When soil is wet, it's not a suitable surface to pave on so it's best to put on fresh asphalt when the ground is completely dry.
What Are The Harmful Effects Of Asphalt?
As much as asphalt brings stability and convenience to paving projects, this can be a downside as it has harmful effects on the environment so you need to look out for this factor as well.
Here are some harmful effects of asphalt:
- Asphalt depletes natural resources.
- It causes water pollution.
- Asphalt creates harmful astmospheric emissions.
- Being exposed to asphalt and its fumes potentially causes ill health.
- Asphalt is hazardous.
For the best, you can have a look at this YouTube video by Paul Cochrane discussing asphalt fumes and other concerns regarding it.
Now that you know it's possible to lay asphalt plus learn along with important factors that come with this, you are now equipped to prepare for the forthcoming winter. Keep your pavers safe and stay warm!
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How Thick Should An Asphalt Driveway Be?