The paving season does not end when the air turns cold but rather when the ground freezes and paving installation becomes impossible.
Appropriate timing, weather, and temperature conditions play a huge role in paving installation. You need to ensure you have optimal conditions when laying down your pavement if you wish for reliable and successful results.
On that note, let’s discuss all the relevant details below.
When Does the Paving Season End?
The season ends when the ground freezes for all paving companies, and they can no longer work on it. This is especially true in the case of asphalt, the most popular paving material. It paves best in summer or warm weather.
During the winter season, the ground stiffens up so much that the labor cannot work with the asphalt anymore, let alone get it right. If you attempt to lay asphalt in the winter season, it will set in long before you have had time to smooth it. Hence, the result will not be high-quality and neat.
Incorrect paving means your pavement will soon suffer more wear and tear, especially in uneven areas where there is more concentration. The bad weather will even render the seal coating finish incapable of doing its job. Do you know why? Because seal coating is a water-based sealer and it does not set incorrectly when the weather is inappropriate.
If you’re paving asphalt on your driveway and don’t want it to crack or spoil, then a temperature above 45 degrees F is ideal.
The Best Time of the Year to Pave Your Driveway or Lot
Paving a driveway or lot is a hefty investment, and surely, you want to do your best. Hence, if you ask, we’d suggest late spring till early fall as the ideal time of the year for paving your lot.
Ideal Conditions for Asphalt Installation
When does the paving season end? The ideal temperature conditions for paving asphalt lots or driveways must be 45 or 50 degrees F and above. Moreover, ensure that the ground is firm enough to lay down your asphalt pavement but not frozen like that in extreme winters.
We do not even recommend early spring as an ideal paving time because of the precipitation and melting snow/ice. Hence, your asphalt paving projects should best bring from late spring onwards.
Ideal Conditions for Concrete Installation
When does the paving season end? According to experts, the ideal conditions for installing concrete on your driveway or lot are between 40 degrees F to 60 degrees F. What happens if you try installing concrete below this temperature range? Supposing you install concrete at 40 degrees F temperature: the chemical reactions that make your concrete stronger will slow down and weaken your paving material.
Furthermore, if the temperature reaches below freezing point when your concrete is curing, the water inside will freeze, your concrete will expand and ultimately suffer cracks. Similarly, temperatures above 77 degrees F will evaporate the water to hydrate and cure your concrete.
As a result, the concrete’s temperature will increase, weaken, shrink and crack your structure prematurely.
Why the Right Weather is so essential for a Successful Paving Project
You may have heard experts stressing the importance of optimal weather conditions for your paving project to be successful. But have you ever wondered what ‘optimal weather’ truly means? When does the paving season end?
In simple words, we’d say that optimal weather is where the base and air temperatures meet the specified requirements. If the two temperatures are colder, your pavement will cool too fast and set in too soon. As a result, you will not get the desired compacted density in your structure.
The thicker layers of your pavement will not cool as fast as the thin ones, though. Additionally, if the ambient or base temperature is low, the pavement material will cool quicker, its density will fall short, and the patch will come undone and fall apart sooner.
Overlay and paving projects don’t last too well if your material mix cools too fast. You will end up with a rocky, rough, and unraveled surface way sooner than you expected. The life of your pavement will reduce as it begins retaining more water and speeding up the unraveling process.
In short, it is crucial to monitor the following during your paving process:
- Wind velocity
- Base temperature
- Ambient temperature
- Hot mix asphalt temperature (for asphalt installation)
How to Prepare Your Property for Paving
You cannot begin laying the asphalt/concrete mix as soon as you decide to pave your property. You need to undergo extensive preparations to ready the site paving. For preparing the area, here is what you need to do:
- Area excavation- you first have to excavate the area where the pavement material will go. Mark out the site and dig down to the depth you require for the base layers. Along with flattening the foundation’s bottom thoroughly, you must also clear all large rubble from underneath.
- Flattening- using a plate compactor, the next step is compacting and flattening the earth. The compactor helps with flattening and leveling the earth for a firm base. You will have to repeat this step after each base layer for perfect leveling.
- Access road- the workers need an access route for transporting equipment and material to and fro from your property. Hence, you may have to build a temporary access road with their help.
- Demolition and clearing- the project site needs to be clear of vegetation, debris, trees, and rocks. Demolition of the obstacles and clearing them off is essential.
What to Plan for when paving a New Driveway/Lot
A new driveway demands attention to detail and careful planning. Remember, it is a structure that has to last you for years and return your value for money; hence it is only right to give it your best shot.
But what defines the success of a driveway or lot? The answer is thickness of the asphalt and a proper drainage system. Let’s discuss these factors in details below:
A. Proper Thickness of Asphalt
Residential driveways do not need to bear heavy traffic loads: they cater to a small number of vehicles at the most. That too, at slow speeds. Hence, the proper thickness would be 3″ for this use. This thickness further compacts to 2 ½ “.
By combining your carefully compacted sub-base with this thickness, you get the optimal measurement for a reliable and long-lasting residential driveway.
The problem with applying a thick asphalt layer in residential driveways is that it does not compact well and, with time, causes depressions on your surface.
B. Proper Drainage
One of the greatest enemies of a driveway is the freeze/thaw cycle. It damages the structure and deforms asphalt faster than it should. You can prevent the devastation of water infiltration by installing a proper draining system for your new driveway.
A proper drainage system will also minimize the damage from flooding on your new driveway. You may also consider installing a linear drainage system for your residential lot. It will help drain the water along the entire length of the pavement.
The ideal season for paving projects begins from late spring to early fall because it does not freeze to an unfavorable extent. Furthermore, the temperature conditions and wind velocity also remain feasible for paving projects.
The success and maximum life of a pavement depend on how well you built it and how well you selected the season, temperature, and time of the year. All of these factors play a significant role in extending the best performance of your paving materials and structure.