Temperatures are cooling in much of the US which means paving season is ending in many states. Before shifting focus to snow removal and winter operations, it’s important to ensure paving tools and equipment are properly cleaned, maintained, and stored so they’re ready for next Spring! Failing to properly clean and maintain paving equipment can cause costly machinery repairs and replacements due to asphalt and other residue damage.
Here are a few commonly asked questions related to end-of-season best practices and clean-up:
How often should I clean my paver?
Pavers should be cleaned at the end of each workday. Leaving asphalt on equipment causes it to jump or break when heated the next day, which could halt operations for hours resulting in costly delays. Hardened asphalt is five times as difficult to clean off the machine, which is another reason cleaning daily is a necessity. Additionally, clean machines also make it much easier to identify issues with the machine and fix them before more costly repairs are required. Using a cleaner with release capabilities can help prevent asphalt build up at the job site and make end-of-day clean-up an easier and less time-consuming process. In additional to end-of-day clean-up, more extensive, detailed cleaning should be conducted prior to storing any tool or equipment.
When does paving season end?
It depends! For the southern parts of the US, temperatures are warm enough to pave year-round; however, in more northern areas, low temperatures prevent full-scale paving operations during the winter. For asphalt to set properly and avoid cracking, it should be laid in temperatures above 45° F. If temperatures fall below this threshold for an extended period, it makes sense for asphalt plants and paving operations to shut down completely until warmer weather returns. Running an asphalt plant in low temperatures is an expensive endeavor as more electricity and heat are needed to keep the asphalt hot. While hot and warm mix asphalt cannot be used in low temperatures, cold patch is still an option for small patching jobs. It’s important to note that cold patch and asphalt used in cooler temperatures is generally harder to clean.
When is the best time for maintenance on my paving equipment and machinery?
Off-season is the perfect time for asphalt plants and paving companies to conduct maintenance, replace damaged equipment, and deep clean all asphalt paving equipment. While paving companies should clean equipment daily, cleaning in the off-season allows areas that are not reached often to be cared for and maintained. Machinery covers and guards should be removed to reach difficult asphalt or built-up grime. Paving equipment and machinery are valuable assets – taking the time each off-season to clean them as thoroughly as possible will preserve their condition and lengthen their useful life.
What is the best daily or end-of-season cleaner for my paving equipment?
PavePro Green should be your go-to cleaning solution for all paving tools and equipment. It is the most effective asphalt remover and will make end-of-season cleanup and maintenance efficient and easy. PavePro Green has a low evaporation rate so it will continue breaking down asphalt over an extended period of time. To get the most out of your cleaning, apply PavePro Green, give it time to work (as little as 10 minutes or, for best results, let sit overnight) before rinsing down with a pressure washer or removing asphalt with a scraper. PavePro Green will degrade rubber and break down paint – if PavePro comes in contact with a part of the equipment that could be damaged by a solvent, simply rinse with water – this will “de-activate” PavePro’s solvency and prevent damage.