Asphalt Maintenance & Winter Paving
If you live in the Las Vegas area, you know that the winters are typically rather mild. On average, overnight lows drop below freezing only 16 times per year, and it is a rare day when temperatures do not exceed 45 degrees Fahrenheit at some point during the day. Given the climate, some people are surprised to learn that installing asphalt pavement in the winter can present certain challenges for area contractors. It all has to do with the need to compact the asphalt while it still retains sufficient heat.
Asphalt Maintenance & Winter Paving – All About Compaction
As each layer of asphalt is installed, it needs to be compacted well or the pavement can fail. On average, a minimum of 10 minutes is needed for compaction, and if the temperature of the asphalt drops too quickly, there will be insufficient time to compact it as the asphalt can become unworkable.
Although the ambient temperature plays a small part in how quickly asphalt cools, it is the difference between the temperature of the asphalt and the temperature of the surface to which it is being applied that can create the biggest challenge. Asphalt is very hot when it is applied, but the colder the surface temperature is, the faster this heat will be lost. Therefore, it may be necessary to apply thicker layers than would be used in the summer; the total thickness of the pavement would be the same, but thicker layers retain heat longer than thinner layers do.
Asphalt Maintenance & Winter Paving – Can Winter Paving Be Delayed?
If you are planning to open a new hotel on March 1, you may not be able to avoid having asphalt pavement installed during the winter months. However, if you are planning to replace an existing parking lot, you might be better off to fix it up while the weather is cold and delay having it repaved until the spring or summer. Crack filling and patching can be performed to prevent water infiltration that could destabilize the pavement’s foundation. There are several benefits to postponing the paving.
• There are fewer hours of daylight during the winter. This means that a paving job that might be completed over two long summer days could stretch to three or more days in the winter.
• Las Vegas receives most of its rainfall during the winter, and February is typically the wettest month. Precipitation could delay your paving project or interrupt progress before it is substantially complete.
• Some companies that specialize in asphalt pavement reduce staffing levels during the winter. Thus, the contractor you prefer might be shorthanded or relying on relatively inexperienced workers, potentially affecting the quality of your job.
• Many asphalt companies do not have their own production plants, and some manufacturers close their production plants during the slower months of winter to perform upgrades or test new formulas. It is possible that your contractor would have to source asphalt from a supplier located a greater distance away. This could increase your costs, but it could also cause problems with the temperature of the asphalt when it arrives at your site.
Affordable Striping & Sealing specializes in repairing and maintaining asphalt pavement. Our services include asphalt sealing, parking lot striping, asphalt repairs, road markings, parking lot design, traffic signs and ADA compliance. We deliver superior work at competitive prices and are committed to providing reliable, professional service. For a free estimate, call (702) 222-9009 or fill out the online form.