Many parts of New England have already received their first snow of the season. That’s right: winter is here. But what does this mean for your asphalt surfaces? After putting off paving for a while, you might feel motivated to repave your driveway in time for the new year. However, winter poses some problems for asphalt driveway paving. If you’re not familiar with the asphalt paving process, you might assume that snow is the main obstacle preventing asphalt paving contractors from doing their job. While snow is certainly an issue for a variety of asphalt projects, winter weather creates other problems for paving as well. Let’s explore whether or not you can pave your driveway during winter if it’s not snowing and why.
What to Know About Paving in the Snow
Asphalt Must Be Dry for Paving
First, let’s go over why snow is such a problem for driveway repair and repaving projects in the first place. For one thing, a buildup of snow covers asphalt surfaces, making it impossible to see what’s going on underneath. Even if you hire snow clearing services to keep snow off your driveway, though, some amount of moisture will remain for a while. Warmth from the sun will gradually evaporate this remaining moisture, but this can take time during the winter due to increased cloud coverage and cold temperatures. If you’re wondering what this has to do with repaving your driveway, understand that hot-mix asphalt must be applied to dry surfaces. If water is present, the mixture will not cure properly, resulting in an uneven, cracked, and weakened surface. So, even if it’s not currently snowing, you can’t pave your driveway if there’s any moisture leftover from previous precipitation.
Snow Isn’t the Only Paving Problem -- So Is Cold
Snow is only one of the winter-related issues you’ll face when it comes to asphalt driveway maintenance and paving projects. Not only must your driveway be bone-dry for new asphalt to properly cure -- it must also retain a certain temperature. Indeed, though air temperature has little effect on paving projects, ground temperatures must be considered. During winter, ground temperatures can fall to levels far below what’s required for optimal paving. Ideally, you want to apply fresh asphalt when the ground retains temperatures between 70 and 150 degrees Fahrenheit. In other words, the presence or lack of snow is irrelevant in this regard if the ground is too cold in the first place.
So, can you pave your driveway during winter even if it isn’t snowing? Theoretically, yes -- but only if your driveway is completely dry and ground temperatures reach or exceed 70 degrees Fahrenheit and don’t dip too far below that range overnight. In a region like New England, such warm winter temperatures are unlikely, so you’ll probably have to wait until spring to invest in proper driveway paving. If you have other asphalt concerns in the meantime, however, you can still seek other asphalt services during winter, such as cold patching, crack filling, snow removal, and more. Whatever your driveway needs, we do it all at Cassidy Paving. Call us today at 866-978-9788 for a free estimate on your next paving project.