3 Major Differences Between Summer And Winter Asphalt

Posted on: 3 October 2022

Asphalt is a versatile and affordable material that can serve a variety of purposes. An asphalt contractor can create a parking lot, driveway, or walking path using specialized asphalt mixtures.

While you might think that all asphalt is the same, there are some significant differences between the asphalt installed during the summer months and the asphalt installed during the winter months.

Learn more about these differences so that you will be able to appreciate the importance of using the right asphalt mix during any given season.

1. Product Preparation

One of the major differences between summer asphalt and winter asphalt is the type of preparation used to get the asphalt ready for installation.

Summer asphalt is often referred to as hot asphalt because it requires heat during the preparation process. Summer asphalt must be kept at a certain temperature consistently prior to installation in order to cure properly.

Winter asphalt does not require consistent heating, and this unique asphalt mixture will maintain its strength over time regardless of the temperature maintained during preparation.

2. Coverage Area

Another major difference between summer and winter asphalt is the type of coverage each mixture is intended to give. Summer asphalt is typically reserved for larger products. Contractors will usually use summer asphalt when installing a new parking lot, road, or driveway.

Winter asphalt works better for projects that require a smaller coverage area. The primary use for winter asphalt is patching damaged areas within existing asphalt structures.

Winter asphalt has a longer cure time, so reserving it for use on smaller projects helps maintain a contractor's efficiency throughout the year.

3. Ground Conditions

The condition of the ground on which asphalt will be laid can determine whether summer or winter asphalt is the better choice.

Summer asphalt can only be installed on ground that is warm and dry. If the ground is too cool, the asphalt will not cure properly and the resulting structure could be unstable.

Winter asphalt can be installed over a cold ground surface without compromising the integrity of the asphalt mixture. The colder ground temperature contributes to the extended cure time of winter asphalt, but winter asphalt can be incredibly tough once it has been thoroughly cured.

Both summer and winter asphalts fill a niche that makes it possible for contractors to work throughout the entire year.

Save your larger asphalt projects for the warmer summer months, and focus on patching or repairing asphalt surface damage when outdoor temperatures drop. For more information, contact a company like J & B Asphalt & Paved LLC.