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Too cold to lay asphalt?

Discussion in 'Pavers' started by Orchard Ex, Dec 18, 2009.

  1. Orchard Ex

    Orchard Ex Super Moderator

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    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?
     
  2. tripper_174

    tripper_174 Well-Known Member

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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/...29cf3/1261174468/02741_Asphalt_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. heavylift

    heavylift Senior Member

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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. Steve Frazier

    Steve Frazier Founder

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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. jimmyjack

    jimmyjack Senior Member

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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. special tool

    special tool Senior Member

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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.
     
  7. KevD815

    KevD815 Well-Known Member

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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...
     
  8. surfer-joe

    surfer-joe Senior Member

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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. Pecord Exc

    Pecord Exc Well-Known Member

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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. jimmyjack

    jimmyjack Senior Member

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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. TERM101

    TERM101 Active Member

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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. pinesd3400

    pinesd3400 Well-Known Member

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    Jimmyjack, John over keatons told me Dec 11, Is it!
     
  13. jimmyjack

    jimmyjack Senior Member

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    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. pinesd3400

    pinesd3400 Well-Known Member

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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. mcc1075

    mcc1075 Well-Known Member

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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.
     
  16. Orchard Ex

    Orchard Ex Super Moderator

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    Well, the reason I asked was that there was an overlay project going on here and there were paving in temps right around freezing. I saw a lot of trucks sitting waiting to unload. There was an inspector with a compaction tester (nuke?) and I assume it was passing. We all notice that the overlay "sings" when you drive on it, with some sections much louder than others. I think that the louder sections were done in the mornings on the colder days IIRC. It's one of the roughest overlays I've seen in a while too. It was funded with stimulus money so I guess it didn't matter if it was made to last.
     
  17. Iron Horse

    Iron Horse Senior Member

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    Is it only the compaction problem you guys have with the cold or is because it wont bond to the sub base and will de-laminate from the old base if to cold ? If it is a bonding issue , we use tow behind Infrared heaters to heat the sub base as the Asphalt or Bitumen top coat is applied .
     
  18. special tool

    special tool Senior Member

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    At what temperature are you using these heaters down there?
    Our plants close because today, for instance, had a high of about 30 F.
    You better have a 10 ton roller on a 3 foot drum if you want no pocorn.....in other words, you ain't doing it.
    You need so much portable heat that the fuel cost outweighs the profit.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2010
  19. hardhatman

    hardhatman Active Member

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    In the State of Maine,contractors can only pave wearing surface course at 50 degrees or rising and they can pave base or binder courses at 40 degrees or rising on state D.OT projects.
     
  20. The Tackman

    The Tackman Well-Known Member

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    Down here it has to be 45 and rising for less than 2" and Engineers discretion for depths above 2"