Can Asphalt Paving Be Done in the Rain?


Willamette Valley Paving


May 22, 2024

When it comes to asphalt paving, weather plays a crucial role in determining the quality and longevity of the finished product. A common question many homeowners and contractors alike ask is whether asphalt paving can be done in the rain. The short answer is no, asphalt paving should not be done in the rain. Here’s why.

The Science Behind Asphalt Paving

Asphalt paving involves laying a mixture of aggregates (stone, sand, and gravel) and asphalt binder (a sticky, black, and highly viscous liquid) onto a prepared surface. This mixture needs to be hot when applied to ensure it binds properly and compacts well, creating a smooth, durable surface. The ideal temperature for laying asphalt is between 50°F and 90°F (10°C to 32°C), with a preference for dry conditions.

Want to learn more about the paving? We’ve written a Comprehensive Guide.

Why Rain and Asphalt Don’t Mix

  1. Temperature Sensitivity: Asphalt needs to be at a high temperature to be workable. Rain can rapidly cool the asphalt, preventing it from compacting properly. This can lead to weak spots and a shorter lifespan for the pavement.
  2. Moisture Interference: Water is the enemy of asphalt. When rainwater mixes with hot asphalt, it can cause the binder to separate from the aggregates. This separation weakens the pavement, leading to raveling, potholes, and other forms of damage over time.
  3. Compaction Issues: Proper compaction is essential for a durable asphalt surface. Rain-soaked ground and wet asphalt hinder the compaction process, resulting in a less dense and more porous surface that is prone to cracking and potholing.
  4. Surface Damage: Laying asphalt in the rain can lead to immediate surface damage. Water trapped under the asphalt can cause blisters and bubbles, which will eventually pop and create potholes.
  5. Safety Concerns: Wet conditions make the paving process more dangerous. Workers are at a higher risk of slipping, and equipment may not operate as efficiently or safely on wet surfaces.

Best Practices for Asphalt Paving

employee on paving roller along curb

To ensure a successful asphalt paving project, it’s essential to monitor the weather forecast closely. Here are some best practices:

  • Plan Ahead: Schedule paving projects during periods of favorable weather. Avoid the rainy season or times of unpredictable weather patterns.
  • Weather Monitoring: Keep an eye on the weather forecast in the days leading up to the project. If rain is predicted, it’s best to postpone the work.
  • Surface Preparation: Ensure the ground is dry and adequately prepared before laying asphalt. This includes proper drainage to prevent water from pooling on the surface.
  • Use of Tarps: If an unexpected rain shower occurs, be prepared with tarps to cover and protect the asphalt mixture and prevent it from getting wet.

In summary, asphalt paving should not be done in the rain. The presence of water can compromise the integrity of the asphalt mixture, leading to a weaker, less durable surface. For the best results, plan your paving projects during dry weather and ensure all surface preparations are complete before laying the asphalt. By following these guidelines, you can ensure a high-quality, long-lasting asphalt pavement.

starting paving at old pavement with dump truck loading asphalt

To learn more about asphalt concrete paving or to request a quote or consultation, please contact us at 503-999-1235 or complete our contact form. We look forward to serving you.



AMAZING from start to finish! Justin and his entire team were a exceptional to work with. I had the pleasure of working with Justin on a large project with many moving parts and the project flowed seamlessly. It was and is fantastic that Willamette Valley Sealcoating is able to facilitate so many services with exceptional results. Repeat customer, for sure! Thank You.

Brookshore Apartments

Services: Asphalt resurfacing, Parking lot repair & maintenance, Excavation & grading, Asphalt paving & repair, Driveway sealing, Pavement crack filling & sealing, Concrete work, Street maintenance, Bumper block & post installation, Paving line striping, Driveway replacement, Sealcoating, Paving job site preparation, Parking lot striping, Driveway repairs