Asphalt Drying Time: What Are The Influential Factors?

If you have decided to invest in an asphalt surface, such as a driveway, it is important that you understand it is not a process that will be completed overnight. Newly poured asphalt needs sufficient time to cure prior to weight being put on it. Asphalt is applied while hot, and asphalt hardens as the material cools. There are two main factors that impact the curing time: temperature and humidity. Keep reading to learn more.

Ambient Temperature

As a general rule, the temperature outside has to be at least 50 degrees Fahrenheit before asphalt can be installed. Ultimately, the warmer it is outside, the slower the asphalt will cure—which is a good thing. If it is windy outside, there is a chance that the asphalt may cure at or close to 50 degrees; therefore, it is best to have asphalt installed on colder days when there is no wind or on warmer, windy days.

Ground Temperature

Similar to outside temperatures, the ground temperature needs to be relatively warm; otherwise, the asphalt material will cure at a rapid pace. The colder that the ground is, the faster that the asphalt will lose its heat when it is installed, which makes it difficult—virtually impossible, in fact—for the material to stabilize and cure. This is all something to consider on a morning after an evening frost has come through, as the ground is likely too cold for asphalt to be installed. An asphalt professional can use an infrared thermometer to take the temperature of the base layer of the ground to ensure that the ground temperature is sufficient for installation, and they can continue to take temperature measurements throughout the installation process to ensure the temperature is rising.

Mix Temperature

Asphalt tends to be mixed between 284 and 338 degrees Fahrenheit inside the truck. When the asphalt is applied, the material needs to remain at a high temperature. In the event that the asphalt goes below 266 degrees Fahrenheit, it will be unable to successfully compact due to its stiffness. Therefore, asphalt professionals must work quickly, particularly if they are applying a thin layer, since thin layers will cool quicker than thicker layers of asphalt.

Humidity

The higher the humidity is, the more moisture that there is in the air and the less absorbent that the air is. Because of this, it will take longer for the asphalt to dry. However, the dryer it is outside due to less humidity, the faster the air will be able to absorb moisture and heat from the asphalt pavement.

If you would like to learn more, get in touch with an asphalt paving company like Phend & Brown.

Share