Your driveway needs some sprucing up. After doing your research you've settled on asphalt but are wondering whether the season is right for the job.

As you probably already know, asphalt used in paving works is normally hot. However it is not enough for the asphalt to be hot, the temperature must also be right.

Below are the temperatures you need to consider for optimum results.

Manufacturing Temperature

This is normally between 275⁰F and 325⁰F.  It is the manufacturer's job to ensure that this temperature is attained. You also need to remember that temperatures will drop on the way to the site.

Base Temperature

This is the temperature of the ground at the time of the paving work.

Hot Mix Asphalt Temperature (HMA)

This is the temperature of the asphalt before pouring it on the base. If temperatures drop to 200F before the initial rolling, the result is poor compaction.

Ambient Temperature

This is the temperature of the air. Monitor the day's highs and lows and also the temperature during the time of the paving job. The optimum ambient temperature for asphalt paving should be 50⁰ F and rising.

You will also need to factor in the wind speed and precipitation as these may cause the asphalt to cool faster, thereby ruining your job.

So why is temperature so important in asphalt paving? This is because when asphalt cools too fast, you don't get the right compaction or the right density and the paving will fall apart. In warmer temperatures, the mix will remain pliable and therefore easy to compress.


Time is another crucial factor in asphalt paving. To reduce the chances of fast cooling, you'll need to complete the work faster.

In cool months you will require 15-45 minutes to complete the job which, I must say is rather tight. Pressure for time may also lead to a less than perfect job.

In warmer weather, you have the luxury of time, ensuring a better quality job. The ideal temperatures for paving often occur in the spring or early fall. 

Final Thoughts

Asphalt paving is a delicate job that requires careful monitoring of temperatures and time. The best time to do it is during the warm months of spring and summer.

Paving in cooler temperatures is possible but with expert help. An educated and experienced asphalt paving specialist, such as from Circle Asphalt Paving, will know how to attain the delicate balance between time and temperature, in all seasons.