Asphalt is a durable substance designed to withstand vehicular and foot traffic, corrosion, and extreme weather. When it comes to applying asphalt paving, excessive temperature fluctuations and the weather can greatly affect the state of the material, which is why asphalt temperature monitoring is important.
For example, asphalt is mixed at an average temperature of 137 degrees Celsius before being applied to the surface. Extremely cold temperatures harden the asphalt, preventing the material from properly staying in place.
What Temperatures Do We Need to Consider?
The proper asphalt paving temperature is science-based. High-quality asphalt paving refers to the temperature of the material itself, as well as the environment.
Professional asphalt paving services understand the importance of the air and ground temperatures in comparison to the humidity levels, local rainfall, and extreme weather conditions.
The first temperature to consider is the asphalt mix itself. An asphalt processing plant will create the substance at temperatures ranging from 140 to 177 degrees Celsius before transporting it in a mixing vehicle to the site.
During the application process, the contained asphalt is kept above 85 degrees Celsius to ensure it compresses properly. If it drops below this temperature, the asphalt will lose its compacted properties and becomes stiff.
In relation to the weather, the ambient temperature registers the current air temperature.
With asphalt, the ambient temperature is required to be at least 10 degrees Celsius for proper application of the mixture. Professional services look for rising temperatures in the following days to ensure the asphalt begins the curing process and dries as it should.
The base, or ground, temperature is another major factor in asphalt paving services. It is recommended for the ground to be at least 10 degrees Celsius for the week before and following the asphalt application.
Professional asphalt contractors may use an infrared thermometer in early Spring and late Fall to ensure the base temperature is adequate. Too cold of a surface can prevent the asphalt from being compressed and cause weak pockets to form and fill with water.
Depending on the location of the site, the wind speed can hamper efforts to lay asphalt properly. The wind, whether cool or warm, can cause the hot asphalt to quickly cool, destroying the compression properties.
In addition, high wind speed during and after application can slow the curing and drying process. The wind velocity can actually change the structure of the material’s molecules, causing the asphalt to break down.
What Is the Ideal Temperature to Lay Asphalt?
In a perfect world with precise temperatures, the ideal temperature would be around 20 degrees Celsius. For most situations, depending on the location, the ultimate time for asphalt paving is late Spring or early Fall.
These times of the year can see the air and ground temperatures varying between 10 and 32 degrees Celsius, prime temperatures for asphalt application. It is also important to ensure these select temperatures are sustained for two to three days before and after the application.
What Happens when the Asphalt Temperature Isn’t Correct?
Whether the project is new or requires asphalt repair and maintenance, the temperature needs to be correct. If the asphalt mixture temperature drops, the density will be reduced, causing the composition of the asphalt to lose stability. From this, the smooth surface will deteriorate to allow moisture to become trapped within the asphalt.
On the other hand, rare extreme air heat of 48 degrees Celsius prevents the asphalt from being able to compress. This too destroys the strength and resilience of the asphalt.
Asphalt is not meant to last forever, and it breaks down over time from the weight of traffic, wear and tear, and as a result of damaging weather. Without the proper temperature upon application, these situations can happen sooner than expected.
Looking for High-Quality Asphalt Paving Services in Toronto? Get in Touch with Us Today!
Sure-Seal Pavement Maintenance Inc. proudly offers top-quality service and products to commercial and industrial properties across the GTA. Our certified technicians work with state-of-the-art equipment under top quality control systems to deliver on-time without compromise.
Our nearly 30 years of experience has gained us knowledge of local climate conditions to ensure your product withstands the test of time. Contact us for a consultation today!