After a long, cold New England winter, asphalt surfaces all over the region require attention. Fortunately, the return of warmer weather and longer days allows asphalt maintenance services to fill their calendars and restore roads, driveways, and parking lots. Indeed, spring marks the beginning of the asphalt repair and paving season. But while spring conditions are on average ideal for asphalt projects, the season of renewal comes with its share of caveats. If you or your asphalt professionals aren’t paying close attention to the weather, you may have to put your spring paving project on hold. Here are three important factors to keep in mind when laying asphalt in the spring.
Three Things to Keep in Mind When Laying Asphalt This Spring
1. Spring Showers
No matter how you feel about rainy days, moisture is necessary for the return of green grass, gorgeous flowers, and full trees. Rain isn’t so kind to asphalt, however, especially if said asphalt is already riddled with cracks, holes, and other issues. Not only will a stretch of rainy days further threaten your asphalt – but it will also cause a commercial paving company to put their operations on pause. Simply put, fresh asphalt cannot be applied when it’s wet outside. Asphalt contains oil, which reacts with water when the two substances meet – ultimately, this reaction negatively affects the asphalt’s drying and curing processes, resulting in an uneven surface. Some contractors will risk laying new asphalt on a day with light rain or mist, but it’s always best to opt for a dry day.
2. Extreme Temperatures
Much like autumn, spring temperatures can fluctuate quite a bit in relatively short order. This transitional season might see a 40-degree (Fahrenheit) day followed up by a 70-degree day immediately after. Likewise, you might find unseasonably cold or hot days during certain stretches of spring, feeling more like winter or summer, respectively. Ideally, asphalt is best laid when temperatures fall around 70 degrees Fahrenheit – anything lower than 50 degrees can present problems. Conversely, extremely high temperatures can prevent apshalt from properly curing. Generally speaking, it’s better for things to be warmer than cooler. The same goes for pavement repair projects. Average spring temperatures usually meet these requirements, but some days are outliers. Moreover, temperatures on a given spring day can fluctuate significantly as the sun rises and falls – if these temperatures change too drastically, your fresh asphalt can suffer.
3. Unexpected Snowfall
Speaking of unpredictable springtime conditions, New England has been known to enjoy the occasional snowfall as late as May. Though spring snow is rare and usually light, it can get in the way of commercial paving and repair projects. Even if the snow melts immediately after touching down, it acts like rain, dampening the pavement. For the most part, professional asphalt contractors avoid late-spring snow in the first place, since these conditions only occur when temperatures are too low for proper paving in the first place.
Renew Your Asphalt This Spring – If Conditions Are Right
Plenty of spring days are ripe for laying fresh asphalt, which is great news for both asphalt contractors and their clients. Rain, snow, and extreme temperatures are all features of spring, however, and they can put your paving plans on hold. At Cassidy Paving, we’re well aware of all the challenges posed by spring in New England, and we do our best to stay one step ahead of the weather every time. Call us today at 866-978-9788 to receive a free estimate on your next asphalt project.