Why does asphalt need certain temperatures for installation? Because one of the factors that makes asphalt versatile, it’s malleability, becomes an enemy when temperatures hit extremes. During installation, cold temperatures can prevent asphalt from properly binding which causes raveling. It can also make asphalt brittle and more prone to chips, cracks, and cold-related damage. Asphalt laid during extreme cold will leave you with a poor final product.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, extreme heat is an enemy of freshly laid asphalt too. Extreme heat can cause new asphalt to melt, slough, bruise and won’t allow asphalt to properly cure. Both extreme cold and extreme heat make for a poor asphalt installation.
There are two types of temperature that affect asphalt installation, ground temperature and ambient (air) temperature. Ambient temperature includes wind and sun so while your thermostat says 60, the ambient temperature might be lower or higher.
Asphalt installations also require ground temperature thresholds for a great installation. Ground temperature is normally lower than air temperature so never schedule installation using ambient temperature alone.
Now that we know how asphalt is affected by external temperature, what’s the best temperature for asphalt installation? Ideally you want to install asphalt when both ground and air temperature are anywhere between 50 and 90 degrees. Anything below 50 or above 90 can cause a poor pour that will give you issues down the road. For most of the country this temperature range means asphalt is most suitable for install during late spring, summer, and early fall but if you’re meeting temperature thresholds it doesn’t matter what season it is. Aim for 2-3 days of ideal ground and ambient temperature before installation.
Local Asphalt Pros Know Best
If you’re still hesitant about choosing the right day take out the guess work by hiring or consulting a local asphalt contractor. Local asphalt contractors know the different environmental factors your asphalt will be up against and the perfect temperature for installation in your neighborhood.
When you choose a local professional, they’ll scour the weather forecast for suitable installation temperatures and the best install date. Professionals don’t like doing a job twice, so they’ll only pick perfect days for installation.
Asphalt is a fantastic product, but it takes the right temperature on both the ground and in the air for proper installation. Generally, the best temperature for asphalt installation ranges from 50 to 90, so most of the country can only install asphalt during the warmer months. If you’re ready to start your asphalt project talk to Colorado Pavement Solutions about your job, the temperature, and other factors to be certain your asphalt is installed as just the right temperature.