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Best Time to Install Asphalt Driveway

Hint: Winter Isn't the Best Time


No doubt you've seen hardy road crews laying down asphalt highways in all sorts of terrible conditions. Well, these terrible conditions would not include severely cold temperatures--since hot-mix asphalt paving is dependent on warmer temperatures for workable conditions.

That's highway paving. Does the same hold true for hot-mix driveway asphalt? Yes.

Cold is Bad for Hot-Mix Asphalt

The colder the air temperature, the less time asphalt paving crews have to work with your driveway asphalt. The less time they have, the worse it is. Crews need time to smooth the asphalt across your driveway. If the crews don't have enough time, your driveway will be bumpy, uneven, irregular--or the project may not even get finished. While it depends on where you live, winter is not a good time to install driveway asphalt.

Depth of Hot-Mix Asphalt Matters, Too

The more asphalt you're dealing with, the more leeway you have. For instance, at 40 degrees F the work crews have only 16 minutes to work with 1.5" depth hot-mix asphalt. But as the depth of asphalt grows to 3 inches, so too does the workability time to 46 minutes.

Generally, for thin applications of asphalt (1.5"), you'll want to wait until the temperatures are at 70 degrees F or better. Between 50-60 degrees F, you'll need to consult with your contractor. The hot-mix is still workable during this timeframe, but time is limited.

Spring and summer are always the best times to lay down hot-mix asphalt driveways.
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