Laying SureSet in Global Temperatures

Category: Sureset Blog

Posted 19th December 2018 by Joni Withers


As resin bound paving continues to ‘float’ its way overseas, questions arise regarding the performance under extreme temperatures.  Whether it is hot or cold there is always a way to top off your project with a SureSet layer.

It makes sense to be concerned about the effect of heat and cold on paving in a world where the changing global climate means more places are experiencing extreme temperatures higher and/or lower than the average maximums and minimums on record. One of the most popular alternative paving options melts when the temperature is high enough, and if you remember that happening in the United Kingdom (of all places!), you can understand why some folks, whether they’re here or abroad, might worry about that happening to a SureSet driveway, pathway, patio, or playground. 


The Summer A UK Road Melted 

The UK is known around the world for a temperate climate and generous rainfall, so it’s not the first place that comes to mind when you hear of asphalt or tarmac road surfaces melting in summer. However, that’s exactly what happened on not one, but on at least three separate occasions. 

During the heatwave in 2003, part of the M25’s surface melted between junctions 26 and 27, which saw the motorway reduced to only two lanes. A heatwave in 2006 saw temperatures in some places soar to 32.7C, and in Cumbria, gritting lorries were dispatched to spread rock dust on melting road surfaces. In July 2013, police closed the M25’s clockwise carriageway at Junction 23 because the road surface had melted enough for a ridge to form. 

Arguably the most surprising thing about melting asphalt or tar road surfaces is that it happens more often than we think they do. Speaking to the BBC in 2013, Road Surface Treatments Association chief executive Dr. Howard Robinson said that most of the UK’s roads that do not carry an excessive amount of traffic start getting soft when the temperature reaches 50C (unlike surfaced paved with SureSet, which has an incredibly high melting point and is UV-stable). 

Yes, we know what you’re probably thinking – how often do we experience extreme heat like that? It’s the UK, not the Sahara Desert! According to Dr. Robinson, the dark colour of asphalt and tar means those materials absorb a considerable amount of heat – and they can reach temperatures of 50C and higher relatively regularly. This contributes to the typical ground temperature in summer being higher than the air temperature.  

Unless you chose a colour such as Midnight, a SureSet surface is not likely to absorb as much heat as an asphalt or tar surface. Your surface also isn’t likely to carry as much traffic as, say, the M25, which will also help keep the temperature lower – but what if you live in a part of the world in which the average summer temperatures are in the 40s?  


SureSet And Extreme Temperatures 

The incredibly high melting point and UV stability of SureSet make our paving a great choice if you live in an area that experiences extreme heat. Installing the permeable resin-bound paving in hot weather needs to be done consistently and without any delays, and you’ll find that it cures faster. 

When the paving has cured, it won’t be affected by heat – there’s no chance of it melting. If SureSet was affected by high summer temperatures, the children’s wadi and play fountain in Mushrif Park, Abu Dhabi (where average summer temperatures seldom fall below 40C) would have looked a right mess before it was filled with water. Instead, the Golden Pearl Natural Aggregate and Mint Green and Blue Water Spectrum recycled glass paving products were used to create a popular feature in what is one of the city’s largest and oldest parks. 

As for SureSet’s performance in extreme cold, you need only to look at most of the completed projects in the UK. Those projects are evidence that our permeable resin-bound paving can withstand the extremely cold temperatures that we experience in winter and early spring, especially when it snows, or the thermometer falls below 0C. 


The Take-Away 

When planning to include SureSet Permeable Paving within your project here are a few things to bear in mind when it comes to the weather conditions:

SureSet Resin Bound Paving…

  • Can only be laid in temperatures of 0⁰C and rising
  • Cannot be laid during rain or snowfall
  • has a controlled curing time
  • can be laid anywhere in the world

Hot weather:

  • Resin bound paving will cure quicker in hot weather, this can be controlled accordingly but the installation will need to be consistent and without delay.
  • Once the paving is cured, the temperature will not affect the use and durability of the product.
  • The resin used is UV stable.

Cold weather:

  • Resin bound paving needs to be installed during dry conditions.
  • Once cured, rainfall will permeate through the material which means no puddling or standing water.
  • Frost will not cause damage to the paving itself, water that freezes between the voids of aggregate will sit within the surface until they are able to melt away.
  • Salt can be used on the surface in icy conditions.
  • Snow shovels can be used to clear the area, however, snowplows are not recommended.

SureSet has carried out many installations across the globe in different climates such as:

  • United Arab Emirates
  • Australia
  • Spain
  • Italy
  • Portugal
  • Norway
  • Sweden
  • USA
  • Greece
  • New Zealand
  • Russia

For more information on maintaining your SureSet paving in any weather, see our previous blog – How to Maintain your Resin Bound Driveway During Winter or download our Aftercare and Maintenance Guide from our Downloads Page.

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