Ever heard the saying, “the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, and the second-best time is now?” Well, asphalt pavement is like that. The asphalt plants are open for business year-round, but you shouldn’t plan for asphalt installation in the winter. It’s not worth it! You might not know that asphalt paving can be more expensive during winter than convenience. The following post by Prime Asphalt discusses why asphalt pavement installation isn’t always feasible or cost-effective during the cold months.
It’s not a good idea to pave in the winter since asphalt paving uses hot-mix asphalt, which must be heated before applying. Hot-mix asphalt must be kept hot throughout compaction and performance to compact appropriately. If the ambient and ground temperatures are too low, they will chill the hot-mix asphalt during transportation from the manufacturing plant to your home.
The Ground Itself
When sidewalks and driveways are installed in winter, a lot can go wrong before asphalt touches the ground! For the pavement to be laid down properly, contractors will need to wait until soil moisture levels drop below a certain point – usually around six percent. If they don’t do this, it could result in a poor surface or sink from lack of stability.
The Sinking Problem
The ground naturally contracts and expands depending on temperature levels throughout the year. During colder months, the soil will shrink as things freeze up – including water within its structure! If there isn’t enough moisture to bind it together, the surface beneath your driveway or sidewalk may sink before asphalt is laid over it. You just invested money and time to fix that won’t last the winter.
It’s Possible, But Not Worth It
There is a way to pave during wintertime, but it’s expensive and not worth it unless your driveway is in extreme distress. You’ll need to excavate the area, lay a drainage system, and then put down a layer of sand before the asphalt can be installed. This process takes weeks longer than regular paving, so you’re looking at a total project time of around four months.
Homeowners looking to avoid the messy work of paving may not like this option, but it may be the only choice if you have an urgent need.
While it is possible to pave during winter, it’s not recommended unless your driveway is in terrible shape. Save yourself some money (and hassle) and wait until spring!
If you’re considering having your driveway paved during winter, make sure you speak with an experienced professional from Prime Asphalt, serving Waco, TX, first! They will help assess your property and determine if paving is even an option at this time of year. And if it is – they’ll know how to do it. Request an estimate.