Heated Equipment OptionsThe biggest issue with paving during the fall and winter months is keeping the asphalt mixture around 300 degrees Fahrenheit so that it can be applied. This is the temperature it must start at when application begins, and when the surrounding temperatures are cooler, it speeds up the asphalt’s cooling process. The best time to pave is when the asphalt is at least around 70 degrees Fahrenheit during the nighttime, during off-peak travel time so you can use the warming equipment without the pressure of traffic and tight deadlines. One equipment option that contractors, like us, rely on is the “hot box”. A hot box allows efficient paving times by allowing the asphalt mixture to maintain its temperature on the inside regardless of the temperature outside. Hot boxes allow us to keep the mixture at its most pliable state for as long as it takes to get it applied. If you work without this, asphalt can start to set before it is properly compacted and it can take up to 12 hours for it to get reheated and mixed appropriately for continued use. As Asphalt Magazine says, “a rule-of-thumb for hot mix compaction is that there needs to be at least 10 minutes available for rolling before the mix cools below 175 degrees F.” This short time frame is what poses the biggest issue for any job that we do in cooler temperature.
Other Equipment ConsiderationsAlthough rollers are not heated, rubber rollers are essential to paving in the cooler temperatures. For Construction Pros Magazine sums up this crucial step in saying that “above all else, the temperature of hot mix asphalt (HMA) during the rolling operation is what will determine how successful the compaction operation will be”. The trick is how quickly you can get the asphalt poured and compacted. Depending on the area paved, there is often a need for using multiple rollers on the site to get it done as quickly as possible before the asphalt is too cool. There are even rubber tire rollers that are more successful at compacting cooler mixes. It is a lot of trial and error to find the magic mix of heated and specialty equipment that will work in each climate, but Cassidy Paving has many years of experience delivering quality regardless of the time of year, even during Massachusetts winters.
Call Us TodayIf you have found some deterioration in your parking lot or driveway give a call today at 866-978-9788 for a free estimate. It doesn’t matter when you need us, we will be there to give you the best in quality and service.
Filed Under: Asphalt