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Blog » What Is the Best Time to Install an Asphalt Driveway in Minnesota?

What Is the Best Time to Install an Asphalt Driveway in Minnesota?

If you’re a homeowner in Minnesota, you know how important it is to have a well-maintained driveway. Not only does it provide a safe and convenient place to park your car, but it also adds curb appeal to your property. When it comes to installing a new asphalt driveway, timing is everything. This comprehensive guide explores the best time to install an asphalt driveway in Minnesota, why the time of year matters, and what to expect during the installation process.

The Best Time to Install an Asphalt Driveway in Minnesota

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Generally, asphalt season runs from May to October, but the best time to install an asphalt driveway in Minnesota is late spring to early fall. This time frame varies depending on the region you live in. Warm year-round areas, like Florida or Texas, have a longer acceptable window for paving than the colder northern areas. Since Minnesota has bigger swings of temperatures throughout the year (9°F to 83°F), there is a shorter window to install an asphalt driveway.

Asphalt paving projects are best performed at 70°F or higher. While it’s possible to lay asphalt at temperatures as low as 50°F, it’s not ideal. Late spring can be an excellent time to pave your driveway, as long as the ground is completely thawed and outside temperatures are above 50°F. Summertime is when the paving season is in full swing. The dry weather, long hours of sunshine, and high nighttime temperatures offer the best environment for the new asphalt to cure properly. Early fall can also be a great time for your asphalt driveway project, but it’s better to get started sooner rather than later.

Why Time of Year Matters for Asphalt Driveway Installation

The time of year matters because ambient temperatures, surface temperatures, and humidity levels all significantly affect how paving projects turn out. Hot mix asphalt remains manageable and pliable for much longer in warmer weather. The asphalt mix must stay between 175°F and 275°F to compact and set correctly. Higher temperatures will ensure that the asphalt pavement doesn’t harden too quickly. The asphalt is easier to pour and spread during the warmer months, allowing paving contractors to take their time in delivering a smooth and durable outcome.

Aside from temperatures, precipitation is the other weather factor to be concerned about. Early springtime usually means melting snow and rainfall. Those wet conditions cause water to seep down into your new driveway, which negatively affects the structural integrity of the pavement and the binder. Also, paving over wet ground can damage the base layers of the asphalt and cause it to cool too fast. It’s best to put off your paving project until the weather conditions are dryer later in the year.

Richfield Blacktop Installation Process

Now that we’ve covered the best time to install an asphalt driveway in Minnesota let’s take a closer look at the installation process.

Consultation and Estimate

Before installation begins, you’ll need to contact a reputable paving company like Richfield Blacktop. Within one business day of your call, they will contact you to arrange a convenient time for an experienced professional driveway consultant to visit your location. During that consultation, they’ll assess your soil conditions, measure the driveway carefully, make recommendations, and answer all questions you may have. Then, they’ll prepare a written asphalt driveway estimate for the job, including all options you have selected.

Making the Decision to Go Ahead

Once you’ve decided to have Richfield Blacktop install your new driveway, you’ll sign the estimate, and they’ll provide written confirmation. All terms of the estimate will appear on your copy, including their written limited driveway warranty. As always, they’ll answer any questions you may have.

Scheduling

Richfield Blacktop will let you know when your project will begin based on their workload, your preferences, and other factors. Typically, your project will begin within 2 to 4 weeks. Weather and other issues may alter the schedule, but they’ll keep you fully informed.

Permits and Utility Location

Richfield Blacktop will pull any necessary permits from your local jurisdiction and arrange to have all utilities located and marked before beginning construction. They’ll notify you of the construction start time a week before the start date.

Remove Old Paving

Using various equipment, Richfield Blacktop will remove all old paving and excavate as needed for any new sub-base that will be added. The removed material will be hauled away for recycling. This job is typically done in a single day.

Install Sub-Base and Compact

Any new sub-base materials will be placed, and the sub-base will be carefully smoothed and compacted using a vibratory roller and vibratory plate equipment. This important process will occur on the same day they remove the old paving.

Paving

Richfield Blacktop’s paving machine will lay down a smooth, even thickness of asphalt. Trucks will arrive with hot-mix asphalt to supply it. The crew will also do handwork in tight spots. Once the paving machine is finished, a roller and other equipment will smooth and compact the hot asphalt.

Initial Curing

For the next 3-5 days, depending on weather and other conditions, you’ll have to keep all vehicles off the new pavement. Richfield Blacktop will put up warning tape to alert visitors and vendors to keep vehicles off the driveway. During this time, however, you’re free to walk on your new driveway and admire the fresh, newly paved surface.

Additional Curing

After the initial curing time, driving vehicles on the driveway to get in and out of your garage is okay. You should wait at least two to three weeks, though, before parking on your driveway, depending on the weather. Richfield Blacktop will let you know how long you should wait before you park on the pavement.

Installing an Asphalt Driveway in Minnesota

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Installing an asphalt driveway is a significant investment, and timing is everything. To ensure the best outcome for your project, choosing the right time of year to install your new driveway is important. By working with a reputable paving company like Richfield Blacktop, you can ensure a smooth and efficient installation process and enjoy a beautiful new driveway for years to come. Contact Richfield Blacktop today to learn more about the best time to install an asphalt driveway in Minnesota. 

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