Kane Construction

What Time of Year is Best To Lay a Tarmac Driveway?

Laying a tarmac driveway is a significant undertaking that requires careful planning and consideration of weather conditions. 

Can Tarmac be Laid in the Rain?

While it’s possible to lay tarmac in rainy weather, it’s not ideal, and precautions should be taken to ensure successful installation.

When it comes to laying tarmac in the rain, light rain shouldn’t cause significant issues. However, heavy rain can be problematic as it can wash away the tarmac before it has a chance to set and bond. This is especially true for cold mix tarmac, which already contains water. Excessive moisture can ruin the project, so it’s best to avoid rain whenever possible. 

How Weather Dependent is Laying Tarmac?

Weather conditions play a crucial role in the success of any paving project, whether it be tarmac surfacing for driveways or a road. Apart from rain, other factors like mist, humidity and freezing temperatures can affect the outcome. Ideally, you should aim for high temperatures and low humidity when laying tarmac. Dry temperatures of at least 15 degrees Celsius and rising are recommended with up to 30 degrees Celsius being ideal for optimal curing time. 

Laying Different Types of Tarmac 

The temperature at which tarmac is installed significantly affects the quality and curing time of the pavement. Both cold and hot mix tarmacs are influenced by the temperature during installation. 

Cold mix, which is often used for quick repairs, can be applied in cooler temperatures, and it can even tolerate freezing temperatures.

Hot mix, on the other hand, is commonly used for large projects like driveways. It must be heated before application and should not be laid on wet surfaces or standing water. If it’s actively raining, hot mix should not be applied as the water will cause the tarmac to wash away. The labour costs associated with hot mix are higher than cold mix making it more suitable for large job sites rather than personal projects.

Can You Apply Tarmac to Frozen Ground?

It is important to note that tarmac should not be laid on frozen ground or concrete with frozen moisture present. The frozen moisture will melt once the tarmac is applied, causing issues with the tarmac. It’s best to wait for optimal weather conditions before laying tarmac on any surface. 

When is the Best Time to Lay Tarmac?

The best time to lay tarmac is during the spring and summer months when warm, dry weather is more likely. It’s crucial to check the weather forecast and ensure that there is no chance of rain for at least 12-24 hours after laying the tarmac. Rain during this critical curing period can cause the oils to separate from the aggregate, resulting in a poor finish and potentially ruining the job. 

Does Rain Affect Driveway Maintenance?

Once the tarmac is fully cured, weather conditions won’t have a significant impact on its maintenance. However, proper driveway maintenance is still essential to ensure its longevity and appearance over the years. Taking care of your tarmac driveway will help protect your investment and keep it looking great for many years to come. 

In conclusion, while it’s possible to lay tarmac in rainy weather, it’s not recommended due to the potential for poor bonding and a subpar finish. It is worth waiting until better weather comes around, as tarmac surfaces have many benefits. Dry temperatures, low humidity, and the absence of rain are ideal conditions for laying tarmac. It’s crucial to consider the type of material being used, whether cold mix or hot, and to follow professional advice to ensure a successful and long-lasting tarmac driveway.