A Guide to Repaving Your Driveway: The Best Time to Be Laying Asphalt

laying asphalt

A Guide to Repaving Your Driveway: The Best Time to Be Laying Asphalt

A home’s driveway is its first impression.

Unfortunately, right now, yours is giving off an ‘old and cracked’ vibe.

And while your driveway doesn’t need to resemble an approach road from the Country Place Era or be a three-mile stretch to a gilded age mansion, it would be nice to give it an updated look.

It’s time to make a change and laying asphalt is a perfect way to give your home a clean, up-to-date look that will last. But, when is the best time to get it done?

Let’s take a look.

Introduction to Asphalt

The mixture that is most commonly used for pavement includes liquid asphalt that has been heated to 300 degrees Fahrenheit and mixed with an exact blend of sand and stone.

Depending on how large a particular job is, an appropriate amount of the mixture is transported to the site and laid on the prepared area while it is still hot. The mixture then cools and is ready for everyday use.

Benefits of Asphalt

Asphalt driveways can be used soon after installation because of how fast the asphalt cools. On the other hand, concrete driveways have to cure. This requires a waiting period of a week until they can be driven on.

Asphalt is also a more cost-effective route than concrete driveways or pavers. On top of that, it is more durable than alternatives.

Finally, asphalt also lends its benefits when winter comes. It’s designed to withstand the freezing temperatures of the season and doesn’t deteriorate when it comes time to salt the driveway.

The Best Time to Pave Your Driveway

The holiday season may be known for spreading joy and cheer, but it is also known for it’s colder temperatures. Once the weather turns frigid, it becomes less and less practical for laying asphalt driveways.

Cooler temperatures compact the asphalt quicker, forcing workers to lay the asphalt at a quicker pace before it compacts.

Additionally, wind speed plays a major role when paving driveways. Similar to cold temperatures, if the wind is blowing above 10 mph, it can reduce the workers’ window of opportunity by up to 10 minutes.

In the end, the cold air can easily result in a lower quality driveway than you would get if it was redone during warmer temperatures.

For the installation of an average 1-1/2 inch lift, the temperature should be at or above 70 degrees. As the lift gets thicker (2-3 inches) you have more freedom as far as temperature goes, but 70 degrees or above is a good rule of thumb.

Knowing this, the best time have your driveway redone begins during late spring and runs through the summer until temperatures begin to drop again.

Additional Weather Constraints

Before asphalt goes down, the area that is to be paved is prepared for its arrival.

This area underneath the driveway is known as the subgrade and you will want this area to be dry before any work begins. If moisture gets to the lower layers it can compromise the structure of your driveway and, quite literally, rain on your parade.

So, a warm, dry day is always going to be your best bet.

Maintenance

One of the main benefits of having an asphalt driveway is how easy it is to maintain.

You can expect to clean your asphalt driveway just a couple of times a year. This is a general cleaning that can be done using a hose and a broom to rid the driveway of debris.

In order for the asphalt to preserve its luster, it is also recommended that you have the driveway seal-coated every 2-5 years.

Sealcoating is an important form of weatherproofing your driveway. Without the seal coat, you run the risk of water being absorbed into the lower layers of your driveway. When the weather cools, this moisture freezes underneath your driveway and will cause cracks on the surface level.

Repairs

Wear and tear can differ depending on the weather of the area that you live in and the amount of use your driveway gets.

Obviously, multiple car homes whose driveways see more traffic can expect their driveway to wear quicker than a single car home would.

This is why maintenance is key, but if you do happen to slip up maintaining your driveway, it is far from the end of the world. Problems like alligator cracking, raveling, and block cracking that can be caused by inconsistent maintenance can be fixed by professionals.

Assuming your driveway was installed in the correct environment by a quality contractor and you are able to continue upkeep, you can expect your asphalt driveway to last up to 20 years.

Things to Avoid

Poor Drainage

Before having your driveway installed, be sure that the contractor has made plans to slope your driveway so that water can drain properly. The last thing you want in your brand new driveway is standing water, especially because it is easily avoidable.

Scams

Unfortunately, there are people out there looking to make a quick buck and will attempt to take advantage of you. No reputable contractor will ever come to your door and attempt to pave your driveway that day.

It is a common scam that is run to try and dupe people into purchasing a low-quality driveway repavement.

They will often say they have extra asphalt from a recent job and can pave your driveway for a discounted rate. Don’t fall for it! If that is the case, the asphalt is far too cool to produce quality pavement for your driveway.

Laying Asphalt is the Right Choice

You want to make the first impression of your home a good one.

With the countless benefits that come with an asphalt driveway, there is no reason to come home to an unsightly, cracked driveway again. Laying asphalt is the most cost-effective way to repave your driveway and its durability will give you the peace of mind that you won’t have to worry about repaving for decades to come.

Asphalt pavement will not only make your driveway more aesthetically pleasing, but it provides a smooth surface that is a welcome addition to any home.

You can check out our blog for more useful driveway maintenance tips and quality services to keep your asphalt driveway looking pristine.