Do construction crews pave in the rain?

There is a widespread misconception that asphalt pavement can only be installed on extremely hot, dry days. Although ideal conditions are precipitation-free days with air temperatures above 60 degrees Fahrenheit, asphalt can be applied under a range of conditions.

That said, it is never a good idea to start a project while rain is falling. If it begins to rain while work is underway, the job can proceed if the rainfall is not too hard and the surface is free from standing water. However, if the rain is too heavy, work should be suspended.

There are two primary problems with installing asphalt pavement in the rain. The first is that the rain will make the asphalt cool faster as it hits the top layer. It will also expedite the cooling rate if the foundation is wet. This can cause steam to form between the asphalt and the base, compromising the installation. The trapped steam will eventually condense into water, further undermining the integrity of the asphalt.

The second problem is that asphalt must be compacted properly to form a proper bond. It is more difficult to achieve sufficient compaction in the rain. Additional effort is needed, including monitoring temperatures to ensure that adequate density is achieved.

If work must be suspended because of rain, it is important that the conditions be evaluated before work resumes. Standing water, such as might be found in potholes, must be dried up before paving operations resume. If the rain has washed mud or dirt onto the surface, this will need to be removed as well. If the foundation was left unprotected, it may be necessary to allow it to dry for a while or recompact it.

Since 1983, Asphalt Pavement Solutions has been serving clients in the states of Maryland, New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania from out office in South Jersey. We provide a full range of asphalt services from new asphalt paving and pothole repair to asphalt sealcoating and line striping. Our crews have the experience and training to handle jobs of any size and type. Contact us for a free quote on your next project call 1.800.559.Seal (7325).