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Thread: Too cold to lay asphalt?

  1. #1
    Super Moderator Orchard Ex's Avatar
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    Too cold to lay asphalt?

    At what temp is it too cold to pave with hot mix asphalt?
    Is it just a matter of getting the mat compacted at the right temp as it cools?
    Illegitimi non carborundum

    I seem to be suffering from an "Iron Deficiency"

  2. #2
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    Here's a good source of information on paving temperatures as well and a wealth of other information.

    http://chelsea.k12.mi.us/education/s...Paving_cbf.pdf

    Of course, lots of paving for commercial parking lots and the like gets paved at much lower than recommended temperatures as customers just have to get it done. Makes for ugly joints though. The thicker the mat, the more you can get away with cold temperatures. The higher the wind, the more troubles you will encounter. I've worked on paving projects where the snow was flying and the base was frozen solid and the job thirty years later is still in good shape.

  3. #3
    Senior Member heavylift's Avatar
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    the 40f degrees and rising is what I've heard around here.

    I've seen the state reject several loads of asphalt a day .... during the early winter ...mix to cold ,the rejection temp, I have know idea what it is here.

  4. #4
    Founder Steve Frazier's Avatar
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    I worked for a paving company for a few years and there were times we plowed off the snow to put down the asphalt. We'd do the binder course, it's thicker and finish isn't critical, but top coats would wait until the following spring.

  5. #5
    Senior Member jimmyjack's Avatar
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    like steve said i have also paved in the snow but that was just to try and get the job closed up and we'd do the top in the spring .....done emergency road patches after water main breaks when its in the 20's we'd put an extra ton or two on the truck to keep it hot longer.....alot of the problem is when it starts getting below 40s the problem is at the asphalt plant it starts costing them to much to heat everything up ,thats why most plants up here close for the winter

  6. #6
    Senior Member special tool's Avatar
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    Yeah - this is a non-issue up here.
    Our plants closed up 2 weeks ago.
    I covered up 150 feet of trench last week using cold patch.
    That's all you can get here.
    JLC
    Residential road/bridge/foundation/EDM layout
    203-994-8948

  7. #7
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    Tilcon had a batch going last monday morning at the Plainville,CT plant. I was kinda suprised since i was driving home from sanding icy parking lots...

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    State or federal jobs have specs for surface temp usually. I remember having to wait many times at the hot plant for the inspectors to give us a go ahead with regard to the temp.

    On the other hand, I've laid blacktop in driving blizzards so as to finish the job by a deadline or because we only had a few feet to finish up. Generally, it's up to the inspector or his boss.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Pecord Exc's Avatar
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    we paved last thursday, just binder though. As long as it isnt DOT work you can pave whenever, one thing to keep in mind is you subbase it isn't frozen is it? Frost can create some real problems. Other than that some of the plant around here stay open all year. Oh yeah dont put down top, since the aggregate is smaller it cools to fast to actually work it the to a finished product.

  10. #10
    Senior Member jimmyjack's Avatar
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    around here most towns wont let u leave big road patches for the winter in cold patch, we've paved them in 1/2 binder up to the top , then in the spring the contractor if its held up good would grind it down a little or remove it all together a redo it the right way .....and its all up to the inspector or whats the bid say

  11. #11
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    You can actually pave well down to 0 or below. The problem with laying asphalt in anything lower than 45-50 degrees is that its harder to get compaction due to the asphalt cooling so quickly. Also frozen subgrades would prove to be problematic later on. Asphalt gains compaction due to the fact of the asphalt cement(looks like tar) being hot and actually allowing the aggregate to slide around in the mix and become closer to eachother and fill air voids. After asphalt cools it is harder to gain compaction because the asphalt cement cools and doesn't allow the aggregate to move as freely. You can pave smaller driveways and easily do patches well down to 0-20 degrees because it is small and not as much to gain compaction on. However, the problem with paving in such temperatures for most state projects is that they have compaction and laydown temp requirments. The asphalt cools too quickly to gain such compaction. I suppose if you really needed to pave in such cold temperatures you would need to run many more rollers and it just wouldn't be feasible.

  12. #12
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    Jimmyjack, John over keatons told me Dec 11, Is it!

  13. #13
    Senior Member jimmyjack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinesd3400 View Post
    Jimmyjack, John over keatons told me Dec 11, Is it!
    hows john doing ,havnt seen him in a couple years ....if i remember right keatings keeps that plant open longer cause its a batch plant , thats early this year......i think narragansett improvement company in providence keeps there plant open once a week all winter

  14. #14
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    jimmyjack, Johns doing well but he has his share of breakdowns. Both plants
    Cranston and Achusnet closed Dec 11. Saw Peter Lynch and we may be going
    back maybe getting a deal there. We did miles of paths at Cranston country club
    nice to have a plant down the street Happy new year sam

  15. #15
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    O&G here in CT closed there plants on the 18th of December. For us here in Southwestern CT, we can take a ride to the Bronx or Queens in NYC, and there are plants open all year round. But the asphalt is like popcorn by the time you get back.

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