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How To Complete Asphalt Repair in Cold Weather

Posted by Randiriel Blairre on

snow-covered van parked outside a house on a wintery day

Although repairs can be unpredictable, completing a risk assessment of the area during warmer months can help you take preventative measures well in advance, avoiding the need for a full-scale repair during the winter. 

Despite efforts to get uber-organized, we understand things don’t always go to plan. We’ve constructed this comprehensive guide to applying various asphalt solutions in cold weather, highlighting a few risks and sharing some preventative measures to ease your concerns.

Can you Patch Asphalt in Cold Weather?

You can perform asphalt repairs throughout cold weather spells. Use a suitable asphalt solution compatible with cold weather, such as asphalt tape, to get longer-lasting results. Springtime temperatures of around 50-70 degrees Fahrenheit provide optimum asphalt laying conditions.

So, what happens to asphalt in freezing cold weather? First of all, the cold weather significantly speeds up the rate at which asphalt dries, meaning it’s a race against the clock to pour and spread the asphalt well before it becomes too thick to maneuver. 

That aside, aggregates inside the asphalt can detach or loosen while laying it, particularly in frosty weather. The results show an uneven ground that’ll need adjustments in the future. If you’re completing repairs in freeze-and-thaw cycle states, like New York or Minnesota, you may opt for hot asphalt so you have more time to pour and move the substance. 

How to Complete Asphalt Repair in Cold Weather

Sometimes, asphalt repairs are unavoidable, no matter the time of year. The following steps outline how to lay asphalt in cold weather, with a few additional steps on what measures you can take against low temperatures: 

woman blowing on a mug of hot beverage while working on a laptop

1. Check the Weather Forecast

As driveways, pavements, roads, and parking lots are in use the whole year round, you may need to complete repairs throughout cold weather. If you work or live in warmer states like Arizona or California, this step may not apply to you, as you face a lesser risk of frost.

Try to plan ahead by keeping an eye on the forecast of your area and aim to pencil in repairs during a time without a freezing and thawing cycle. Laying asphalt in freezing temperatures maximizes the risk of cracking and new holes. 

2. Clear the Area Thoroughly

No matter the weather, clear the area thoroughly of debris, dirt, and litter. You may also need to shovel snow and avoid wetness during the winter months. If you’re working with a dreaded pothole, sweep out any pooled water and cover the hole whenever it’s unattended. A propane torch is an excellent tool for clearing cracks of organic debris and moisture.

3. Even the Cavity’s Outside Edges

Regulate the outside of the pothole by making it a more even shape, such as a square or rectangle, and smooth out jagged edges where possible. This step will ease the strenuous compression phase. A chisel or similar tool will do the job nicely.

4. Lay the Asphalt

There’s no one-size-fits-all method for laying asphalt. Variables such as the crack or hole size and type determine your approach. We’ve highlighted a few critical applications for cold weather:

Cold Patch Asphalt for Potholes

If you’re using cold patch asphalt, and the cavity is more than two inches deep, consider laying gravel aggregates and using compression. Once you’ve filled the pothole to two inches, you may spread the cold asphalt patch. Compress the patch well with a metal tamper. 

Top tip: Overfill the cavity slightly to get a more even surface that blends in nicely with the existing area after compression.

Asphalt Emulsion for Resurfacing

You can apply our asphalt emulsion resurfacing sealer in weather as cold as 50 degrees, using a seal coating spray tool, brush, or roller. Ensure you clear the resurfaced area until the sealant has dried for the most satisfactory results. Conveniently, curing starts instantly.

Hot Asphalt for Cracks

You’ll love the HOTBOX10 Crack Filler Machine if you’re a professional contractor or have a lot of repairs to do. Its convenient features include internal heating to increase the temperature of your rubberized crack filler within just 20 minutes. It’ll sustain that temperature against cold weather throughout your use. 

The machine is suitable for cracks in driveways, pathways, and pavements. Simply press the trigger lever and roll the device over the gap. The scraper will do the hard work for you, smoothing out the asphalt as you walk along.

5. Apply a Seal Coat

Applying a seal coat will improve the durability of the repaired patch, protecting it against further damage. Apply a protective layer using a brush to create a barrier against adverse weather like snow and frost.

6. Clean Equipment Well

Whether you're a contractor or a DIYer, thoroughly cleaning your equipment is vital to the longevity of your tools—our non-flammable, non-toxic pavement equipment cleaner for asphalt tools like shovels, tampers, and rollers can be instrumental in ensuring your tools remain durable and effective for years to come.

How Do You Fix Cold Patch Asphalt?

A crack sealer is an excellent way to restore your asphalt surface. Our easy-to-use gilsonite sealer is an innovative solution against those threatening driveway cracks. It acts as a restorative agent for older driveways of five to ten years.

Try our burn-on asphalt tape if you’re a keen DIYer looking for a hassle-free solution. The torch burner heats the product, helping the tape seep into and fill the cracks, so your surface is as good as new. Once applied, the surface is traffic ready in just five minutes, mitigating the risk of disruption.

Our next solution spotlights the cold pour sealant, which is ideal for cold weather conditions. It’s compatible with air and surface temperatures of 45 degrees Fahrenheit and up! Ensure the filler doesn't freeze during the curing process for best results.

How Long Does Asphalt Take to Cure in Cold Weather?

Cold patch asphalt is already at working temperatures when laid, meaning it starts curing instantly. Hot pour crack filler and tape only take a few minutes to cure, making it ideal for quick fixes. Cold or damp weather can prolong your projects, with curing taking up to a week. If you’re looking for a heat-free solution that takes minutes to apply, our instant asphalt tape is right for you. Simply peel, stick, and done! This is our fastest, easiest, and least hassle crack repair solution, shipping free to the lower 48 today!