1. Asphalt paving and compaction are vital factors in ensuring the winter durability of roads, parking lots, and other paved surfaces.
2. The myths, such as cold weather affecting asphalt paving or compaction, are – myths.
3. Understanding the processes of asphalt paving and compaction will help ensure that your roads and parking lots are safe and durable all year round.
4. Hire only the best paving contractors to ensure that your asphalt paving and compaction are correctly and effectively done.
With that sense of urgency and worry on the minds of many asphalt paving contractors (as well as homeowners), one big myth continues to persist – that winter weather is detrimental to pavement durability. But the truth is that your pavement can survive even the harshest winters with proper asphalt compaction techniques and winter-specific paving methods.
Laurel Asphalt is here to discuss some common myths about asphalt paving and compaction in winter and how they are only partially related.
Let’s look at some common asphalt compacting myths in winter.
1. Asphalt paving is a cold weather activity
One of the most typical myths about asphalt paving is that it can only be done in cold weather. This is not true. Asphalt can be paved in various weather conditions, including hot and humid weather, as long as the temperature is around 50 degrees Fahrenheit. However, with other specialized methods, some paving contractors can even lay asphalt in much colder temperatures.
2. Winter asphalt paving is more complicated than summer asphalt paving
While it is true that winter asphalt paving can be more challenging than summer asphalt paving, it is not necessarily more complex. Cold weather can make it more difficult to achieve the proper compaction of the asphalt. Still, with the appropriate equipment and techniques, winter asphalt paving can be just as successful as summer asphalt paving. The use of additives that help maintain the viscosity of the asphalt in cold temperatures can also make winter asphalt paving more manageable.
3. Winter asphalt paving is more expensive than summer asphalt paving
The cost of winter asphalt paving is typically the same as the cost of summer asphalt paving. The main difference is that winter asphalt paving may require special equipment, such as heated screeds, to achieve the proper asphalt compaction. However, that’s not your headache, as you can quickly leave it to your paving contractor.
4. Winter asphalt pavements are more likely to crack than summer ones
Cracking is a common issue with all types of pavement regardless of the season it was paved. However, winter pavements are not necessarily more likely to crack than summer pavements. Properly constructed and maintained winter pavements can be just as durable as summer pavements. When it comes to asphalt compaction in winter, you must be wary about using the wrong equipment or techniques, which can lead to cracking and other durability problems.
5. Winter asphalt pavements require less maintenance than summer asphalt pavements
All types of pavement require regular maintenance to stay in good condition. Winter pavements are no different and should be inspected and repaired regularly, just like any other type of pavement. Care is an essential factor that follows asphalt paving, no matter which season you’re talking about. Each kind of weather requires a certain degree of maintenance that cannot be overlooked.
For instance, during monsoon season, when the roads are often wet and slippery, applying a layer of sand or salt is essential to help reduce the risk of accidents.
Some Best Practices for Asphalt Compaction during Winter
Temperature maintenance for asphalt
When it’s colder, you must ensure that your asphalt is delivered to the paving site at temperatures above freezing. The asphalt temperature should be maintained at the recommended range’s higher end. Your paving contractor must make it a habit to use insulated beds, tarps, and heaters on delivery trucks to keep the asphalt warm until it is ready to be laid down.
Maintaining continuous speed
In Greensburg, PA (where winters can be harsh and lethal), you have to make sure that your asphalt is laid down at a continuous speed and smoothly. The asphalt tends to cool quickly when not moving, so keeping the paving machine on the move is essential. Otherwise, when it comes time for compaction, you will find that the asphalt needs to respond better, and some voids can be seen in your finished project.
Increase the mat thickness
Laying and asphalt compacting in thinner, multiple layers can help to increase the overall durability of your asphalt paving. This is because you can establish a more robust and continuous base layer that will withstand the elements and heavy loads better. Additionally, by spreading out the asphalt over multiple layers, you will be able to ensure that it is uniformly and quickly compacted.
Optimum density in a shorter time
Another critical factor to consider when paving your asphalt is the density of the asphalt. Achieving optimal density in a shorter time can help ensure that your asphalt paving can withstand heavy traffic loads and the elements. This is often accomplished using a paving contractor with specialized equipment, such as large-sized roller compactors that can evenly and quickly compact the asphalt layer.
Warm mix additives
Paving contractors often need to consider the benefits of using warm mix asphalt. Using warm mix additives can help improve your asphalt’s durability and performance by maintaining the temperature at as high as 170 degrees Fahrenheit while also reducing the amount of fuel required to produce it.
The winter season is one of the most challenging times for asphalt paving. However, by understanding the fundamental principles behind asphalt compaction and using a paving contractor with specialized equipment, you can ensure that your asphalt paving projects are durable and perform well even in the harshest winter conditions. Leave your worries in the hand of a professional paving contractor who knows what they’re doing.
Paving Contractor in Greensburg, PA!
Laurel Asphalt, serving Greensburg, PA, is your ultimate source for high-quality asphalt paving, maintenance, and repair services. With specialized equipment and years of experience, we are committed to delivering exceptional results that will stand the test in even the harshest winter conditions.
Whether it’s a private driveway, major road, or highway, we know the proper techniques and materials to ensure that your paving project is durable, long-lasting, and performs sound year after year. So why wait?
Get in touch or get a free estimate now.