How Rain Can Halt Your Asphalt Paving Project

April 20, 2022

There is a popular myth about asphalt that it can only be installed on a hot day. Even though ideally, precipitation-free days are better for installation, asphalt can still be installed under a range of conditions. With that said, never start your asphalt paving project when it is raining. If it begins raining when you are in the middle of work, work should be suspended.

Why Can’t You Install Asphalt When It Is Raining?

The reason you cannot install asphalt on your driveway when it is raining is that it compromises the stability of the subsoil and the asphalt. Wet soil is soft, meaning the surface is not ideal for installing asphalt. One needs a strong and stable surface.

What Does Rain Do to Asphalt?

The first question to ask is how rain can affect asphalt drying time. Not only does rain make asphalt dry slower, but it also reduces the durability and quality of the asphalt. Rainwater causes the asphalt to cool faster than usual when it hits the top layer. Plus, if the foundation is wet, it also expedites the cooling rate. This can lead to steam forming between the base and the asphalt, hence compromising the installation. The trapped steam will cool and become water, which will undermine the integrity of your asphalt.

Another issue is that asphalt needs to be compacted properly to form a solid bond. When it is raining, it is hard to achieve sufficient compaction. One has to put in extra time and effort, including monitoring the temperature to ensure the right density is achieved.

Is It Ok for Fresh Asphalt to Be Rained On?

It is not okay because of how rain affects asphalt curing time. When fresh asphalt is rained on, the oil rises to the surface, and this affects the curing time of the finished product. Old asphalt is not vulnerable to rain compared to fresh asphalt. Note that how the asphalt is installed will influence how it will be able to withstand rain. Without proper surface sloping, new asphalt can deteriorate faster.

How to Prevent Asphalt Damage From Rain

You can prevent asphalt damage from rain by installing a proper drainage system and through asphalt sealing.

  • Drainage System: A proper drainage system ensures that there will never be any stagnant water on your paving. The water needs to be directed off the surface to a drainage structure.
  • Asphalt Crack Sealing: The other method is through asphalt crack sealing. Asphalt sealing ensures water does not slip into the subgrade layer and compromises the structure of the asphalt. Plus, regular sealing keeps your driveway appealing.

How Soon Can New Asphalt Get Wet?

After twenty-four hours, there is no problem if your asphalt gets into contact with water. However, it is best to give it a minimum of three days before exposing it to water. If you are installing asphalt, check the weather conditions first to ensure your area will not experience any rain within the next couple of days.

If you are ready to install asphalt paving on your property, reach out to Maryland Asphalt LLC. We provide quality services to clients, ensuring the asphalt is well installed to last a long time. Give us a call today.

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