Why You Should Work With Asphalt in the Summer


Before working with asphalt, consider outdoor temperatures, ground temperatures, and the overall weather, as weather elements like snow and rain can affect the integrity of the asphalt. Work with your asphalt in the summer for these four reasons discussed below.

Heat Helps to Cure the Mixture Faster

Asphalt is a mixture of stone, sand, and petroleum-based bitumen or binders. During installation, the professionals start by combining the mixture at the processing plant or in a drum. The temperature for regular HMA should be about 275° F to 300°F and polymer-modified HMA about 285°F to 320°F. The mixture will likely lose heat in transit, but the mixture should remain hot or warm during laying down.

The summer heat will allow the mixture to retain its heat, curing much faster and allowing for proper compaction. Additionally, when the temperatures after laying the asphalt down are right, professionals can easily press it down to create the right density and enhance the stability of the asphalt. On the other hand, if the mixture doesn't cure properly and cools down past 180° Fahrenheit, the mixture will often be stiff, causing inadequate compaction.

Note that the right compaction is essential for many reasons, including maximizing the strength, minimizing water permeability, and minimizing fatigue of the asphalt. All of these help boost the performance and longevity of the asphalt.

Heat Allows the Seal Coat to Dry Faster

A seal coat is a sealant that professionals apply over the asphalt to keep it durable and enhance its appeal. During the summer, the seal coat can dry faster, meaning your work can also move along faster. Regardless of which seal coat you use, whether an acrylic polymer, synthetic seal coat, traditional seal coat with an emulsifier, or coal tar sealant, the summer heat will hasten the drying process.

Additionally, applying the seal coat in the summer offers the asphalt its first line of defense against the sun's UV rays. UV radiation from the sun can cause asphalt oxidation, which means the mixture starts to break apart. This deteriorates the durability of the asphalt by causing cracks and rutting. Therefore, if you can apply the seal coat in the summer and it dries properly and evenly, then rest assured that the asphalt paving will last.

Summer Has Longer Days With Longer Working Hours

Geographically, summer days last longer than 12 hours compared to winter days. Therefore, because the days are long and warm, this means the contractors could work and complete projects in the shortest time possible.

Besides reducing the inconvenience of working more days, the long summer days also allow you to save costs, assuming some contractors quote their work based on days or hours worked. That said, the shorter the project time, the less you'll pay for your project.

Summer Asphalt Repairs Help You Prepare for Winter

If you do your pavement repairs in the summer, you'll allow the pavement enough time to regain its durability before the winter months.

Harsh winter weather can do a lot of damage to your asphalt, including further deterioration by creating potholes. Therefore, if your asphalt surface has visible cracks or other forms of damage, summertime would be the best time to repair or replace your asphalt before different weather elements further damage it.

The summer heat usually contains the highest humidity, often making it more tiresome to work in the summer. But when working with asphalt paving, summertime is the best period. The heat offers optimal asphalt paving and ensures cost saving, faster completion, and greater asphalt durability.

Here at Star Paving Company, we'll be more than happy to install, repair, or replace your asphalt paving to residential, commercial, or government customers. Reach out to us today to speak to a professional about your asphalt.