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How long does it take Asphalt Sealcoating to dry?

Asphalt Sealcoating

Asphalt sealcoating is a technique used to protect and beautify asphalt surfaces. When planning for an asphalt sealcoating project, one might wonder, how long does it take for the sealcoating to dry? Please note that you need to give your pavement the required time to dry after sealcoating it if you want the sealant to effectively protect your asphalt pavement. With that said, it’s important to understand that several factors determine how long asphalt sealcoating takes to dry.

In this post, we shall discuss how long it takes for asphalt sealcoating to dry, the factors that affect the drying time, as well as the best time for asphalt sealcoating. 

How Long Does Asphalt Sealcoating Take to Dry?

Asphalt sealcoating takes about 30 minutes to dry, depending on the weather. For instance, if it’s hot and humid or raining, asphalt sealcoating will take longer to dry; whereas, if the weather is dry and windy, asphalt will be ready for use in as little as 30 minutes. As a result, you should avoid any foot traffic or car traffic until it’s completely dried because you risk leaving footprints and tire tracks in the sealcoat.

However, it’s important to note that it takes between 24 and 48 hours for an asphalt sealer to cure completely and be ready for foot or vehicular traffic. The professional experts from CSG Sealcoating, Tampa recommend that you should wait at least 60 days before applying additional sealer onto your already sealed blacktop/asphalt pavement.

Factors Affecting Drying Time

The following factors affect drying time:

  • Type of Asphalt Sealcoating – Acrylic sealcoat normally dries much faster than other types. This is because it doesn’t need evaporation for drying, but it quickly cures underground due to its chemical nature. It only takes a few minutes to dry compared to solvent-based asphalt that takes hours.
  • Heat and humidity slow down the process of curing, which leads to the delay in the time for asphalt sealcoating to dry. In general, warm weather increases the amount of moisture in the air, causing slower drying time; whereas, cold weather reduces it by absorbing moisture from surfaces which speeds up the process. The temperature also affects how long asphalt sealcoating takes to dry; the hotter it is, the faster it will dry. How much material is used during asphalt sealing has a significant impact on how long it takes for sealcoating to dry. If you use too little, then drying time increases and vice-versa.
  • Ambient conditions can also affect drying time – Wind blows away the moisture from the road, which speeds up drying time. Sunlight can speed up or delay drying depending on whether heat and humidity are high or low, respectively. This helps when pavement temperatures rise so that sunlight helps to evaporate water quickly. Buildings and trees cast shadows which increase humidity levels by blocking out sunlight.
  • The amount of traffic in a given time influences how long it takes for asphalt sealcoating to dry because cars and trucks often spray dirt on the road, which adds to the amount of water needed for evaporation. Heavy traffic also increases heat from friction which speeds up the drying process.
  • Asphalt quality also affects how long it takes for asphalt sealcoating to dry – high-quality asphalt is denser, smoother. It has more open pores, which allows moisture already present in the air to move into the material quickly and easily compared to low-quality pavements with less-open pores that can delay evaporation. 
  • The humidity during application also affects how long it takes for asphalt sealcoating to dry. If you apply asphalt when there is a high level of water content in the air, you have increased your chances of getting poor results because sealcoating will take longer to dry, resulting in wrinkling or cracking. In fact, if it rains after sealing, that area won’t ever get completely dried, which means you risk having a dull finish instead of a shiny one due to water exposure.

When is the Best Time to Apply Asphalt Sealcoating?

The best time for applying asphalt sealcoat is during the summer season when temperatures are warm (85-95°F), and humidity levels are low (less than 50%). This allows moisture to evaporate quickly, reducing your chances of getting poor results, such as black spots that could form if water seeps through cracks in your road. Moreover, asphalt pavement shows its best performance when asphalt sealcoating is applied in a warm and dry climate.

Regardless of the time you choose to apply asphalt sealcoating, if it is raining or snowing outside, wait for the weather to clear up before proceeding with the work. This is because wet roads reduce direct evaporation, which would cause longer drying times that could lead to sealing your pavement twice in one season. Please don’t add more sealant than needed: The more sealcoat you apply on top of what was already there, the longer it takes for asphalt paving to dry. You may consider using an extra coat if cracks and potholes were filled up but avoid putting too much of it! Just like liquids, adding too much material can also overflow and spill, leading to uneven surface or lengthening the drying time.

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