If you are thinking about repaving your old, asphalt driveway, basketball court, or other paved surface, it is likely that you are filled with questions. This is especially true if you are a beginner paver. The most frequent questions about paving usually involve installation. Interestingly enough, many property owners want to know if asphalt can be paved when it’s raining. Although it is obvious you cannot attempt any type of outdoor work to the best of your abilities when it’s storming outside, compromises can be made depending on the situation. Continue reading to learn more about paving asphalt in the rain.
Paving and Rain
When we use the term, “rain”, it can mean all sorts of things, like heavy rain, light rain, constant rain, scattered rain, sprinkles, and more. Of course, during times of heavy storms, torrential downpours, and continuous precipitation, a paving operation should be shut down completely until the weather clears.
On the other hand, a few sporadic sprinkles may not be enough to stop a pavement job for the entire day. It all depends on the particular circumstances, including laws that govern this type of work, liability, and personal preference. In order for an asphalt surface to be paved well in light rain, the base must be firm, stable, and well-draining aggregate.
Some states have laws and regulations in order that mandate contractors to stop work upon rain or inclement weather, while others leave it up to the contractor’s personal discretion. Overall, the general industry-accepted standard is to NOT PAVE in rain, regardless of its strength, pattern, and persistence.
Here are some reasons why:
🌧 Paving in rain can result in the aggregate mix to cool too quickly. This can make it challenging, or even impossible, to achieve proper compaction for the job.
🌧 Any type of moisture can inhibit the asphalt lifts from bonding together, which can result in improper compaction, as well as decreased stability and longevity.
🌧 Puddles that are covered with hot mix asphalt will turn the underlying water into steam. Steam will cause the asphalt binder to separate from the aggregate, leading to premature surface defects and blemishes, like potholes, crumbling, and cracking.
Light or Sporadic Rain
If it is already raining, it is best to wait another day to start your asphalt paving project. However, if it begins to rain after you have already begun, you should suspend all work until the rain stops. If the rain is heavy, you will need to wait at least 24 hours for the rain to stop and the surfaces to dry. If the rain is light, you may be able to get back to work the same day. If this is the case, be sure to cover all your equipment and supplies with waterproof tarps, construct a vertical-faced construction joint, safely dispose of any material you have in your machine, and be very careful to not let mud or dirt interfere with your work space.
Asphalt paving is a complex process that requires a certain skill set and inventory of equipment. It is important to hire professional Indianapolis asphalt paving contractors to install, replace, or repair your asphalt pavement. They retain the hands-on experience, as well as the knowledge, skills, equipment, and resources necessary to deliver long lasting results.