Tips for Using Ready Mix Concrete in Cold Weather

Don't let the cold weather affect your project, learn more about protecting your concrete ready mix.

How to Maintain the Strength of Fresh Ready Mix Concrete in the Colder Months

Pouring concrete in cold weather is inevitable for contractors who work in colder climates such as ours. The colder seasons take up a good portion of our year, leaving less warm and hospitable weather to pour concrete successfully. Since concrete loses its compressive strength, durability, and weather resistance if it freezes during the pouring and setting process, it is imperative for concrete contractors and suppliers to protect concrete from the damage of cold weather. So, if your project requires you to have to pour concrete in the colder fall and winter months, consider these steps that you and your ready mix concrete supplier can take to maintain the concrete’s strength and durability even when it’s cold out.

Change the Mix

When ordering your concrete mix, let your ready mix concrete supplier know that you intend to pour it in colder temperatures. They will take the necessary measures to mix the concrete appropriately for cold weather. These changes in mixing could include:

  • Using hot water in the mix to maintain a warm temperature throughout transportation;
  • Adding more cement to heat up the concrete and speed up the hydration (drying) reaction;
  • Using high-early strength cement that will set and cure quickly;
  • Using air-entrained concrete to decrease bleeding;
  • Determine (test) the slump of the concrete at less than four inches;
  • Adding accelerators to the concrete mix to speed up the setting time that is usually longer in cold weather. Accelerators increase the hydration reaction so the concrete will cure faster;
  • Not using fly ash and slag cement in cold weather because they generate less heat and set slowly; and,
  • Not using admixtures on site if they have frozen.

Protecting Concrete from Cold Temperatures

When the air temperature drops below 4 degrees Celsius, you must take precautions to keep the concrete warm and avoid losing compressive strength during the setting process. Here are some ways to ensure that the concrete stays warm, sets and dries well, and maintains strength even when the outside temperature is cold:

  • Set up insulation and vented heaters prior to pouring the ready mix concrete;
  • Avoid placing concrete on frozen subgrades—either thaw the subgrades with steam, or place insulation between subgrades and concrete;
  • Apply triple-insulation thickness at the corners of walls and edges of slabs;
  • Protect the concrete from freezing until it reaches the compressive strength of 500 psi;
  • Avoid exposing concrete to rapid drops in temperature —reduce the temperature gradually over a 24-hour period when removing insulation and enclosures;
  • Don’t leave heaters unattended since they are a fire hazard and may stop working throughout the setting process; and,
  • Keep forms in place for as long as possible to ensure even distribution of heat and to avoid overheating and drying.

Although working in cold weather is inevitable for Canadian concrete contractors, the quality of concrete doesn’t have to be compromised once the temperature drops. By keeping these tips in mind, you and your ready mix concrete provider can make sure your concrete project is successful, even if the weather may be too cold for comfort and concrete.

Snow-Melting Concrete Products Are Almost Here

Concrete products may soon have snow-melting properties, making life easier during winter weather.

Researchers Have Found a Method to Create Concrete and Pavement that Melts Snow

With winter just around the corner, snow plows, salt trucks, and hazardous driving conditions will soon be a regular occurrence on our roads. While we all dread the harsh winter conditions, we’ve come to accept this unpleasant weather as a part of Canadian life. But imagine if the roads cleared themselves of snow and ice on their own—instead of waiting for the snow plow to come by, the snow would melt with the help of heated pavement.

Thankfully, researchers have found a way to create snow-melting concrete. By mixing paraffin wax with concrete products, this new concrete warms and melts the snow and ice when the temperature drops. This new concrete mix can melt snow more efficiently than salt and is also more environmentally friendly.

The copious amounts of salt used on roads every winter contribute to the fast deterioration of pavement and vehicles while also depositing huge amounts of salt in the environment. Salt is costly to use and to distribute on roads all winter long, and the cost of repairs needed from salt damage add up. A cost-effective, environmentally-friendly solution to snow removal is a must for areas hit hard by winter.

How It Works

This snow-melting concrete relies on the phase-change material quality of paraffin oil. Phase change materials store heat and emit heat during the winter. When the paraffin oil freezes from liquid to solid, it releases thermal energy (heat).

Concrete treated with paraffin wax melts snow by warming the concrete during the phase change process of freezing. During product testing, researchers found that treated concrete melts snow within a day, while untreated concrete leaves snow intact for the most part.

Affordable Solution

Paraffin wax is a low-cost material, so mixing it with concrete products could be a cost-effective and convenient way to keep roads clear during the winter. This would also reduce the amount of salt deposited on roads and in the surrounding natural environment. This paraffin snow-melting discovery is likely to be a time-saver at airports in cold climates. Often, airports face lengthy delays and cancellations during the winter months, which cost airlines millions of dollars each year.

Airports must also constantly stay on top of keeping runways clear of ice and snow. Airport runway pavement that melts ice and snow with the help of paraffin wax could result in fewer delays and cancellations in the winter, making airlines and airport operations more efficient, saving significant costs.

Researchers still need to test how paraffin wax affects concrete in the long run. Concrete durability, stability, and skid-resistance can’t be compromised. But if cleared for use on roads, this innovative solution will have a positive impact on road safety in the winter, while saving millions of dollars on salting roads, and reducing the harmful amounts of salt entering the environment each year.

Photocatalytic ‘Smog-Eating’ Concrete

Smog-eating concrete is making waves across the world, thanks to scientists and concrete suppliers.

This Innovative Discovery Has Caught the Interest of Concrete Suppliers and Scientists Alike

As the world’s population grows, so does the amount of polluted land, water, and air. Natural ecosystems and air quality continue to degrade, only getting worse as more emissions and waste enter the environment. This is a grave concern for natural habitats and the humans that inhabit them.

One major concern is the lack of clean, breathable air in densely-populated cities. When air quality is poor—i.e. with a smog advisory on a humid summer day—those with weakened immune systems and respiratory problems face serious health risks if they go outside and breathe in the polluted air. There are even cities where people opt to wear a mask to protect themselves from the pollutants in the air.

Raising Awareness and Making a Change

Thankfully, the expanding environmental awareness in recent years, especially with the threat of global warming, has influenced the growing interest in green technology. We’re seeing an uprising in the production of innovative technological solutions that are designed to help the environment. From electric cars to solar-paneled roofing tiles, scientists and innovators are making progress for a better, cleaner tomorrow.

One innovation that has caught the attention of both scientists and concrete suppliers alike is smog-eating concrete.

What is Smog-Eating Concrete?

This concrete is mixed with titanium dioxide to become photocatalytic. When exposed to UV light, the titanium dioxide will decompose organic materials and airborne pollutants. Not only is this concrete able to stay clean by preventing bacteria, mold, and mildew growth, but it can clean the air of smog-producing chemicals such as nitrous oxides, sulfuric oxides, benzenes, and aldehydes. However, this concrete has only worked effectively to reduce air pollutants in hot climates so far.

Making Strides Against Pollution

In Ontario, researchers are having difficulty measuring the effectiveness of experimental photocatalytic concrete panels installed along a highway in Toronto. This ineffectiveness may be due to the freeze-thaw cycle that affects concrete, along with the salt used on roads in the winter months. But in hot, humid regions without a freeze-thaw cycle—such as Australia, India, and Hong Kong—this concrete is more effective and commonly used in construction. Italy has even seen a decrease in air pollutants since using photocatalytic-concrete-based paint to coat the walls of tunnels. With the help of UV lights, these walls stay clean and white for visibility, while also reducing smog.

One Step at a time

While there’s still much work to be done, especially for Canadian scientists and engineers, this smog-eating concrete is an exceptional innovation to help both the environment and humans to live with cleaner air, especially with the environmental effects of the ever-growing global population. If more concrete suppliers get on board with this photocatalytic concrete, and more construction companies build with it in densely populated areas, they can help to reduce harmful vehicle emissions and smog. By cleaning the air, more people will be able to breathe in fresh air without harming their health.

Introducing the Latest Ingredient in Hot Mix Asphalt—Cigarette Butts

Cigarette butts - the latest ingredient in hot mix asphalt.

Researchers Are Recycling Cigarette Butts for Use in Road Surfaces to Further Help the Environment

Since waste will only get worse as the global population increases, researchers are coming up with clever ways to recycle waste and help the environment. Cigarette butts are one example of waste that will only get worse over time. They litter the environment and make up a huge amount of toxic global waste. But researchers have found a way to put them to good use. By mixing cigarette butts with hot mix asphalt, this asphalt will reduce waste, trap toxins, and create a porous road surface that reduces the urban heat island effect while safely managing storm-water runoff.

How the Porous Asphalt is Made

In an effort to curb the mounting global cigarette-butt-waste problem, researchers looked for a way to reuse this waste in an environmentally friendly way. But since cigarette butts are full of harmful chemicals that pollute the environment, researchers had to make sure these chemicals wouldn’t leach out. Before adding the butts to asphalt, they first coated them with paraffin wax, and then with bitumen—a petroleum base also known as asphalt. After coating the butts, they mixed them into hot mix asphalt to create this porous asphalt for road surfaces.

Stormwater Runoff

Storm-water runoff is a major environmental concern, especially in urban areas. If not properly managed, stormwater runoff will pollute waterways and ecosystems by washing all the toxins, chemicals, and contaminants on pavement into nearby waterways. However, the porous road surface of this cigarette-butt hot mix asphalt can effectively manage storm-water runoff. Instead of the rain washing harmful chemicals and contaminants into waterways, the water can pass through the porous asphalt and be safely absorbed into the soil underneath. The soil acts as a natural filtration system so that these contaminants won’t reach the waterways.

The Urban Heat Island Effect

The urban heat island effect refers to how urban areas are usually several degrees hotter than rural areas due to the higher amount of pavement (buildings, roads, sidewalks) and less vegetation throughout cities. Paved roads and buildings absorb more light and emit more heat (thermal energy), especially when they are dark in colour. While vegetation provides a natural cooling effect on the air during evaporation, the lack of plants in cities means less naturally-cooled air. During hot weather, the urban heat island effect leads to the frequent use of air conditioners, placing a higher demand on energy consumption, and emitting more greenhouse emissions.

But there is hope to reduce this urban heat island effect with porous asphalt. Compared to regular pavement, this asphalt will trap less light and heat, emit less thermal energy, and allow for the evaporation of water in and below the asphalt.

As these researchers concluded, cigarette butts aren’t going anywhere. They will continue to litter the streets across the globe, so we may as well make use of this ever-abundant supply of waste to benefit the environment. Instead of leaving butts on the pavement, we can mix them with hot mix asphalt to become a part of the pavement, and further help to reduce the pollution that’s harming our planet.

Local Stone Quarries Offer Eco-Friendly Materials

Local stone quarries give you access to stunning natural stone and aggregates for eco-friendly construction options.

Why You Should Choose Natural Stone and Aggregates from Local Stone Quarries for an Eco-Friendly Option

Whether you’re using natural stone or aggregates for your construction projects, local stone quarries offer the materials you need, all sourced in an environmentally-friendly way. You can find natural stone and aggregates for a variety of uses while reducing your environmental footprint. Compared to other building materials, those sourced from local stone quarries offer these many great environmental benefits.

Natural

Natural stone and their aggregates are naturally-occurring resources. They do not require other materials or resources for their production. This conserves water, energy, and other resources during the extraction process. This conservation of resources also means fewer emissions, pollution, and waste during production.

There is an abundant supply of these materials in local stone quarries, offering various natural colours, veining, textures, shapes, and characteristics suitable for a variety of building uses. And since no harmful chemicals or toxins are present natural stone, these products won’t harm you or the environment. Natural stone also creates fewer kilograms of CO2 per ton compared to other building materials, such as timber, brick, cement, and steel.

Long Life-Cycle

Natural stone is durable and can last almost forever. It needs little maintenance, requiring less energy and water for upkeep. This material can withstand high traffic and extreme temperatures without warping and needing repairs or replacement. The long life-cycle means less demand overall for resources for the creation of new building materials.

Recyclable

Due to the long lifespan of natural stone, it’s possible to salvage and repurpose this material. The use of recycled stone further reduces the energy, water, and resources needed to create other building products. And if stone happens to end up in a landfill, it won’t leech any harmful chemicals into the Earth. Both of these advantages will reduce the negative impact of material production on ecosystems and natural resources.

Locally Sourced

Since local stone quarries are nearby, this proximity reduces costs, transportation time, fuel consumption, and emissions for transporting the materials to customers. Local stone quarries also take precautions to prevent environmental damage with modern mining techniques and will reclaim the quarries to improve the landscape and environment. Often, reclaimed quarries end up as natural ecosystems that provide habitats for wildlife, vegetation, and natural landscapes for people to enjoy.

Natural stone and aggregates from local stone quarries offer a durable, environmentally-friendly option for building materials. These materials are versatile, suiting a variety of needs for projects large and small. Consider these many sustainable benefits when choosing building materials. The durability and eco-friendly characteristics alone make these worth the investment for your wallet and the environment.

How to Protect Your Concrete Foundation

Learn how concrete companies can help protect your home's foundation.

Tips and Tricks from Concrete Companies on How to Protect Your Home’s Foundation

Although home foundations are essentially large slabs of concrete built to last, changes in the surrounding environment can lead to damage over time. The biggest culprit for foundation damage is water. If there isn’t enough water, your foundation can dry out, shrink, and crack. But cracking can also happen with too much water around your foundation. To prevent cracking and to repair cracks in your foundation, consider these tips from concrete companies.

Inspect the Foundation

Make sure the top six inches of your foundation is clean and clear on the outside of your home to provide proper air circulation. Keep an eye out for cracks and moisture in your foundation. If there are small cracks, you can repair them easily. However, if the cracks expand, you may need professional help for repairs. Take note of the size of your cracks to see if they expand over time.

There are two types of moisture sources that affect a home’s foundation: condensation and hydrostatic pressure. Often, basement walls are wet from condensation. To test this, use duct tape to secure a rectangular sheet of aluminum foil or plastic wrap on all four sides on your basement wall. After two days, remove the patch. If the wall behind the patch is dry, you have condensation. But if it’s wet, you have hydrostatic pressure. To prevent further damage from hydrostatic pressure, you should address the water source immediately.

Hydrostatic pressure is a result of water trapped around your foundation. Pressure from the water grows and eventually pushes through the walls. Water seeping through cracks in the foundation is the most obvious sign of this problem.

Make Repairs

Smaller cracks are easy to repair on your own. But for severe cracks to your home’s foundation, a professional—such as a structural engineer—should do the work to ensure that it is structurally sound and safe.

For cracks that aren’t expanding, and don’t require a structural engineer to repair, you can order foundation repair supplies from concrete companies. Use a mortar for patching if the crack is dry, or hydraulic cement if there’s leaking water. Once repaired, you can seal the foundation walls with a crystalline waterproofing material.

Take Precautions

If your region has experienced a dry summer, keep your foundation moist by occasionally watering it from the outside. If there is condensation in your basement, use a dehumidifier, insulate pipes, and ensure pipe joints are tightly sealed. To prevent hydrostatic pressure, avoid piling snow along the walls of your home during the winter, keep your window wells clear of snow, and make sure water flows away from your home with clean gutters and downspouts that drain water 10 feet away. Proper grading is also a must—the ground should slope away from your home to prevent hydrostatic pressure. For water buildup around your foundation, such as pooling after rainstorms, install in-ground drains (i.e. a French drain), or adjust the grading of your yard.

As an extra precaution, avoid having trees and plants growing close to your home. If plants block air circulation, they can trap moisture in your foundation. Trees will also suck up the moisture needed to prevent shrinkage and cracking in a foundation, and their expanding roots can damage the foundation as well.

Contact your local concrete company for more information on the best products and methods to maintain a strong foundation for your home.

Crushed Stone Vs. Gravel

How your local gravel suppliers can help you pick between gravel and stone.Why Gravel Suppliers Sell These Two Aggregates Separately

Did you know that crushed stone and gravel are not the same? Although both come from the same material and the same quarries, these two products have different uses in construction and landscaping projects. Crushed stone and gravel suppliers keep these two aggregates in separate categories because of their differing production methods, sizes, and uses. When deciding on which type to use for your construction project needs, consider these differences when speaking with your local gravel supplier.

Production

Crushed stone is a product of rocks being broken down using a crushing machine. The most common rocks used for crushed stone are:

  • Limestone,
  • Granite,
  • Trap rock,
  • Scoria,
  • Basalt,
  • Dolomite, and;
  • Sandstone.

Crushed stone typically has more angular surfaces due to the crushing process; it also ranges in size from fine stone dust (screenings) to larger and heavier stones.

Although gravel is a natural product of erosion and weathering, gravel suppliers will mine gravel in quarries using the same crushing equipment for crushed stone. Compared to the angular surface of crushed stone, gravel tends to have a rounder shape and is usually much smaller than crushed stone. Gravel comes in various sizes, starting from about a ¼ inch, and going up to 2 inches or more.

Uses

The most common use for crushed stone is as an aggregate for construction projects. The angular surface of crushed stone makes it easy to tamp, roll, and vibrate into place, locking and forming a stable surface. Other common uses for crushed stone include:

  • A base for pavers, roads, and driveways,
  • A sub-base,
  • Fill,
  • Shoreline riprap,
  • Railroad track ballast beds,
  • Cement,
  • Concrete and asphalt mix,
  • Concrete blocks,
  • Drainage systems, and;
  • Retaining walls.

Gravel is more often used for aesthetic purposes due to its smooth, round surface and various natural colours like hues of yellow, red, blue, beige, and grey. Gravel is ideal for:

  • Decorative landscaping,
  • Garden beds,
  • Patios and patio bases,
  • Walkways,
  • Around stepping stones in walkways,
  • Driveways and driveway bases, and;
  • Drainage in flower pots and flower beds.

If you originally considered these two aggregates to be the same, you are not alone. They are often confused for one another since both gravel and crushed stone comes from rocks and are aggregates used for construction projects, however, these two aggregates serve different uses.

Ultimately, if you want an aggregate for construction, such as building, paving, and any hardscaping, go with crushed stone. If you are looking for decorative stones for your landscape, garden, walkway, and driveway, go for gravel. For more information on these two aggregates and to figure out which is the best option for your construction project needs, contact your local crushed stone and gravel suppliers.

Natural Threats to Concrete Foundations

Don't let plants and water damage ruin your home, contact your local concrete supplier now!

How Concrete Products Can Repair Damage to Your Foundation From Pesky Weeds and Water

The foundation is a home’s main structural support. Without a strong foundation, homes can shift and sustain both structural and water damage. Unfortunately, there are natural threats to a home’s foundation—such as water and plant roots. However, if you catch damage right away, you can use concrete products from your local concrete supplier for repairs, and prevent the need for future costly repairs.

Structural Damage from Roots

Plant roots are a common threat to foundations. Currently, Ottawa has a foreign invasive plant species with roots strong enough to break through concrete and asphalt. The Japanese knotweed is growing aggressively along Ottawa’s shorelines. If not controlled, this plant will spread, having the potential to break through walls and roads, threatening the city’s infrastructure and the foundations of homes and buildings.

Roots from trees and shrubs exert extreme amounts of pressure on their surroundings as they spread, searching for water and nutrients. This movement and pressure displace the soil around them, which can lead to weakened support for a structural load—i.e. a house or building. If the soil moves, the building will too, causing cracks in the foundation. Roots can eventually move through and widen these cracks, causing greater structural damage to the home.

Source of Damage

When you inspect damage to your foundation, it’s important to identify the source of the damage. If the damage is a result of roots from an aggressive plant, like the Japanese knotweed, or a nearby tree, you will have to remove the plant to prevent future damage. Horizontal cracks in the foundation are a sign of soil displacement and settling from aggressive roots.

If there is too much water around your foundation, the resulting cracks are usually vertical or diagonal. Inspect your gutters and downspouts for blockage and damage. When these are working properly, they will direct the watershed from your roof far enough away from your foundation to avoid water damage. Also, avoid having larger plants and shrubs growing near your foundation. The daily watering of plants will lead to root growth which can cause structural and water damage.

How to Fix Cracks in Your Foundation

If you notice any cracks forming in your foundation, you should repair the damage immediately to prevent further costly damage. The type of concrete products used for repairs will depend on the size of the cracks. Before filling the cracks, make sure to clean out any debris. Use a putty knife and a trowel to fill and level these concrete products. For thin hairline cracks, use a vinyl concrete patching compound, or fill with a cement mixture.

For larger cracks:

  • Fill with a Polyurethane, silicone, or latex concrete caulk;
  • Use foam backer rods in addition to the caulk if the cracks are deep;
  • Apply a concrete patching compound afterwards; or,
  • Use hydraulic cement to fill in the cracks.

Once the cracks are filled, set, and dried, apply waterproof masonry sealer to your foundation walls to prevent further moisture from getting in. Note that you should fill and seal cracks on both the interior and exterior side of the foundation for extra protection.

Don’t let plants and water threaten the structural integrity of your home. Keep an eye on your foundation and make the necessary repairs with products from your local concrete supplier. Small repairs now will save you from further damage and high repair costs in the future. Keep your home well supported with a strong foundation.

Why Concrete Companies Prefer Ultra-Thin Hot Mix Asphalt

Concrete companies prefer using ultra-thin hot mix asphalt.

Thin HMA Extends Pavement Service Life While Saving Companies Time and Money

Paving roads can be a long and costly process that’s hard for both construction workers and drivers. In the scorching heat of summer, the last place people want to be is on a road, working in the heat or stuck in traffic. Thankfully, using ultra-thin hot mix asphalt reduces the time and costs of road repairs. This asphalt has become a favourite among concrete companies because of its money- and time-saving installation process.

Ultra-thin asphalt uses limestone and trap rock aggregates for a hard, strong, and durable surface. When installed with a strong tack coat and a specialized paving machine, this superior asphalt mix creates thinner lifts (layers) that are very durable and less costly.

The paving machine used for ultra-thin asphalt is also a tack truck. The tack coat is a polymer-modified bonding agent responsible for bonding the new asphalt to the old road surface. The truck installs the tack coat about 18 inches in front of the hot mix asphalt. Concrete companies typically install the tack coat at a heavier rate to ensure the new asphalt bonds well to the existing concrete or asphalt surface. This installation process results in superior bond strength and an increased lifespan.

Cost Savings

Traditional asphalt overlays take more time and money to install than ultra-thin asphalt. Traditional 2-inch overlays require milling to remove existing asphalt while maintaining the curb height along the edges. This ensures that driveways, sewers, and intersections keep the proper water drainage.

Ultra-thin asphalt provides a new, durable pavement surface for a much lower cost than rebuilding the road entirely. It also reduces the need for structure adjustments. Ultra-thin hot mix asphalt rarely requires milling, uses less asphalt, and is quick to install, saving time and money for concrete companies.

Easy Construction

Ultra-thin asphalt doesn’t just take less time for milling. It also requires a smaller work zone and reduces road closure time, making construction easier for both workers and drivers. The specialized bonding machine is smaller and speeds up work, removing the need for a separate tack truck onsite. The thin hot mix asphalt cools quickly, which lets the construction team re-open the newly-paved road almost immediately. This results in fewer, shorter traffic delays, and bypasses the frustrations of construction season.

Repairs & Strengthens

Ultra-thin asphalt is a preventative measure that seals pavement to delay deterioration. Concrete companies will often use this asphalt for pavement that is structurally sound but shows signs of aging, oxidation, or minor surface deterioration, such as low-skid resistance. Unlike other pavement maintenance, ultra-thin asphalt restores the pavement, improves its structural integrity, and extends its service life—for about five to nine years. The result is a nice, smooth road that is easy and quiet to drive on and has better skid resistance.

The extended lifespan of pavement with ultra-thin asphalt means that roads won’t need further repairs anytime soon, further reducing the time and money concrete companies need to spend on road construction. Although road construction is a common summer occurrence, everyone benefits from shorter projects and road closures, especially with a newly-paved quality road that takes less time to install.

Too Hot, Too Cold, Just Right

Hot mix asphalt requires certain conditions to ensure a high-quality finished product.

The Critical Role of Heat for Successful Hot Mix Asphalt Paving

When paving or patching with hot mix asphalt, conditions determine the finished product. Quality hot mix asphalt relies on good weather. More than that, it is important to track the temperature of the air and the ground. If the asphalt cools too fast, compaction density suffers. Too slow, and the asphalt won’t set. Temperature is vital for long-lasting paving with this material.

When hot mix asphalt is too cold, it will set, ravel, and fall apart. Thin layers of pavement will cool too fast, providing the same results. Cool temperatures are, in some ways, worse for hot mix asphalt (HMA) paving. Rough, rocky, water-retaining surfaces are a mark of poor paving. In turn, this shortens the pavement’s lifespan.

To avoid disappointment when paving or patching, track temperatures through the day. Order from a trusted, local hot mix asphalt supplier to ensure speedy delivery. This helps maintain an even temperature when it’s time to pave. Here are a few helpful tips for monitoring temperatures when you pave with HMA:

Ambient (Air) Temperature

Always check weather forecasts when you pave. Pay attention to the daytime highs and lows, and keep an eye on temperatures through the day. Paving is not recommended when temperatures dip below 10 degrees Celsius. Ideal conditions include a moderate, rising temperature, low wind, and low precipitation. Rainfall and heavy breezes cool asphalt at a rapid pace, which hurts the quality of pavement.

Base (Ground) Temperature

Although air temperature is important when paving, base temperatures are even more so. Think of this as the temperature of the ground. Use an infrared thermometer to measure ground temperatures. This also works for existing pavement. Like the air temperature, your base should be at least 10 degrees Celsius if you plan on laying asphalt.

HMA Temperature

As a final consideration, watch the temperature of the hot mix asphalt. Check it when it’s loaded into the haul truck and when it’s at the front of the laydown machine. Be sure to check again after the laydown machine has passed, when the asphalt is behind the screed. The temperature of your hot mix asphalt on its base determines compaction time.

Avoid poor-quality, raveling pavement by always keeping an eye on these temperatures. Better to plan ahead, stay cautious, and postpone to another day if conditions are poor. Wait for good conditions and weather to install long-lasting, high-quality pavement. Do it right the first time.

Contact Information

AL Blair Construction
7 Labrosse, P.O Box 220
Moose Creek, ON K0C 1W0, Canada

Phone: 613-538-2271
E-mail: [javascript protected email address]