Surely you know by now why asphalt paving is in such demand. With the United States boasting over 2.7 million miles of roads and highways, it should come as no surprise that over 2.5 million miles (94%) are securely covered by asphalt. You literally see it everywhere you look, but as we take it for granted we tend to overlook its versatility and value. By the way, it isn’t just our beautiful highways and byways across America which benefit from asphalt paving: you will also find it on parking lots and walking paths in your own cities and neighborhoods, and very likely in your own driveway.
Consider the indisputable benefits realized through asphalt paving:
- Cost-Effectiveness – thanks to the initial low cost of materials and its longevity, not to mention its recyclable nature, asphalt is your most affordable paving option
- Durability – it is a flexible pavement, which can withstand some overloading, but more importantly, it can be graded to adapt to weather conditions of given regions (such as blistering summer heats and the freeze and thaw cycles of winter seasons)
- Fast Construction – the beauty of asphalt is its noticeable absence of a “cure” time which means it can be paved and used by motorists almost as soon as the roller leaves the roadway
- Recyclable – with over 80 million tons of asphalt being recycled annually, asphalt is America’s #1 recycled product and is estimated to save over $1.5 billion each year, while also freeing more than 60 million cubic yards of landfill space each year
- Safety – drivers love asphalt as its smooth surface reduces car skids, while its dark surface aids in melting snow and ice, reducing glare, and contrasts perfectly against white highway lane markings for improved visibility
- Smoothness – it is considered a flexible pavement as it is installed in multiple layers spreading a continuous flow of material through the asphalt paver, creating smoother surfaces than other materials
Now that you have been reminded of the superiority of asphalt for laying pavement, let’s talk about the ideal season when asphalt paving works best for you.
Why Summer Is Best for Laying Asphalt
As you search year memory of summers past, you may conjure up the image and smell of asphalt being laid out on the streets by a construction crew. It is not an imagined recollection but the fact the summer after summer you have seen crews of workers laying asphalt without giving it much thought.
There are several reasons why you will find more asphalt being laid during summer, so let’s explore the four more popular reasons for choosing this season over other times of the year.
Reason #1: Avoid Inclement Weather
The hot season is the perfect time for laying down hot asphalt, as the naturally warm weather delivers the consistent heat with which asphalt can harden successfully, forming a solid bond. In comparison, trying to apply asphalt while it is raining is very difficult, as the asphalt cools faster than normal and is less likely to create the strong bond required. This is why it is essential to plan the application of asphalt during dry periods, and preferably when it is not too cold.
While summer storms can and will occur, the rainfall is usually for shorter durations and evaporates much faster than in colder seasons. So if you ever see asphalt workers “standing around” after a summer shower, no, they are not being lazy but are instead being professionally cautious to ensure a warm dry surface with which to work.
Reason #2: Efficient Application
During a repaving, contractors need to first smooth out the asphalt mixture through various machines and equipment. Some surfaces will require the asphalt to be spread and raked by hand, which is obviously time-consuming but more effective than using rollers. One of the hidden benefits of working during the summer are the extended daylight hours, meaning jobs can be completed in one day rather than two and resulting in greater savings on labor costs.
Reason #3: Maintain Stable Material
Under ideal conditions, asphalt should remain at or above 70° Fahrenheit to maintain the pliable consistency desired for applying it. During the summer months, most areas will registers these temperatures and much higher, meaning that working with the material is easier. In colder weather, the pressure is on to apply the asphalt as quickly as possible, with a higher risk of negatively affecting the stability of the material.
When asphalt is kept and worked with at higher temperatures, it can be laid without undue rush; this results in a surface which is compact and ready to accommodate traffic without delay or concern of long term consequences.
Reason #4: Quicker Drying Sealant
In the final stage, after asphalt has been laid and smoothed, a high-quality, breathable, latex sealant is applied. Sometimes referred to as sealcoating, it plays a major role in preserving and protecting asphalt which has been applied. A properly applied quality sealant cannot stop, but will definitely delay for years, cracks and potholes. The inexpensive investment of sealant to finish a paved asphalt area can save thousands in repairs and make the area last twice as long with minimal maintenance.
Because of its value as a protective seal, it must dry completely before traffic can be allowed on the surface. Once more the heat of summer rises to the occasion; since hot asphalt efficiently absorbs the sealant, and since the hot weather keeps that asphalt at a high temperature, the sealant will dry faster and bond stronger than in colder conditions.
This is equally valuable to homeowners as it is to the millions of motorists taking advantage of its benefits on the road, as they find it significantly extends the life of their driveways and other paved areas and improves overall property values.
Your Solution to Your Asphalt Paving Needs
For residents, businesses, and government agencies in Maryland, your most trusted asphalt and concrete contractor is Limitless Paving and Concrete, where we built our reputation from the work we have performed for our many clients. You will find our special touch in many notable locations throughout Maryland, including Arlington National Cemetery and other governmental facilities, Enterprise, Zipcar, Wendy’s, and Armiger Management to name only a few. As a committed member of VeteranOwnedBusiness.com, we remain a proud sponsor of our troops and always offer specialized services for every military base we have the honor of servicing.