What Is The Best Time To Install An Asphalt Driveway?

Ossiana Tepfenhart
by Ossiana Tepfenhart

Asphalt is one of the most popular driveway materials in the world. However, it’s not without its faults. Installing it can be a bit of a pain, especially when it comes to getting it to cure. It’s temperature-sensitive. Scheduling out your asphalt driveway installation is a smart idea, especially if you want to make your driveway last. But, when should you install?

In most parts of the country, the best time to install an asphalt driveway is during late spring. This is the season when temperatures range between 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. This is the ideal temperature range for asphalt and will help it cure faster than ever.

Believe it or not, timing is everything when it comes to asphalt. Before you book your install, it’s a good idea to read up on what we have to say.

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Is It Possible To Install An Asphalt Driveway Year-Round?

Not really. Asphalt can only be installed in temperatures above 50 degrees, which means that most parts of the country won’t be able to do asphalt installations in the winter and fall. Cold temperatures make asphalt stiffen up too early. This, in turn, means that installers won’t be able to work with the asphalt. It might not even cling well.

Moreover, it’s important to remember that having asphalt installed in too warm a temperature isn’t ideal, either. Many of us have seen asphalt that stayed melted for hours after baking out in 100-degree temperatures. It makes things harder and can also cause problems for people who walk on top of it. (I should know. I ruined sneakers that way.)

Why Does The Time Of The Year Matter?

In order for asphalt to be properly applied, it has to remain at a temperature between 175 to 275 degrees Fahrenheit. Asphalt below or above this range will not compact properly, and may actually prematurely set. While heating asphalt is not that big of an issue, temperatures below 50 will make it difficult to keep it hot.

As a result, many paving crews won’t work during the winter and early spring. It just doesn’t bode well for people who are working on your driveway. Besides, do you really want to risk having a bad installation after paying so much money for it?

Can You Install Asphalt In The Rain?

Unfortunately, rain is one of the biggest reasons for a delay in asphalt installation. You cannot install asphalt in the rain, since the water from the rain can cool down the asphalt prematurely. Moreover, too much water can actually change the makeup of the asphalt.

Exposing your asphalt to water can make it become brittle before it dries. This leads to a driveway that is extremely prone to cracking. In some cases, the asphalt may not even be able to move out of the pot. So, unfortunately, you cannot even think about getting your asphal laid in rain. Even misting rain is too much!

How To Find The Best Time To Install Pavement In Your Area?

It’s important to stress that pavement installation is not a “one size fits all” type of deal. In reality, it’s more of a “one size fits your particular region” kind of thing. Late spring might be the right time, but it also might not be. Here’s how to figure out the best season to pave your driveway:

  • Check out your local annual average temperatures from month to month. You can get this information from the National Weather Service, or from a local weather service of your choice. If you want to get city-specific, you can go to Wikipedia to check out the average temperatures from month to month.
  • Cross out any months that have a low temperature that is 50 degrees or less. You can’t pave during this time. To stay safe, you might actually want to rise the lower bar to 55 degrees. After all, weather flukes happen.
  • Seek out months that have a maximum temperature of 80 degrees. Most of the time, you should seek out warmer months rather than colder. Even so, having temperate weather tends to be the easiest in terms of both curing and drying your asphalt. Cross out months that have excessive heat.
  • Cross out any months that are notorious for heavy rainfall, too. For example, if you have certain months that are famous for near-daily rainfall, you probably will have to skip those months. The rain will cancel out any benefits that you would get from trying to narrow down the months you can pave.
  • Select any of the months that are not crossed out. Now that you know which months are optimal, you can plan out your installation. Easy, peasy.

Do You Need Asphalt Paving Services?

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Related Questions

Which is cheaper, concrete or asphalt driveway installation?

Asphalt driveways are cheaper to install, often being around 50 percent cheaper than their concrete counterparts. However, maintenance is where prices tend to even out. Concrete is cheaper to maintain and can last longer. With asphalt, the cost of resealing is higher and also tends to be more frequent. So, it’s important to look into both the long and short-term.

Can I lay asphalt on my own driveway?

While it is theoretically possible to do it, it’s not doable on a practical level. Laying asphalt is extremely hard work and requires the use of heavy machinery. Moreover, it is never a one-person job. You will need a team of people to accurately and properly lay down the asphalt.

Doing it on your own will often mean that you’ll get tired halfway through the project or have the asphalt set prematurely. This could lead to more damage than you initially started with, raising the price of both repairing and installing the rest of it.

Is 2 inches of asphalt enough for a driveway?

For most standard driveways that are used to cars and bikes, two inches is enough. However, it’s often better to spring for a third inch of asphalt. This makes it possible to have heavier machines (like larger trucks and campers) on the driveway without a risk of damage to the asphalt.

Ossiana Tepfenhart
Ossiana Tepfenhart

Ossiana Tepfenhart is an expert writer, focusing on interior design and general home tips. Writing is her life, and it's what she does best. Her interests include art and real estate investments.

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