Sealing your driveway is one way of maintaining it, ensuring that it lasts for a longer time. You don’t go-ahead driving on a newly sealed driveway or make use of your parking lots immediately after applying a sealer; instead, you allow it to stay dry or cure for a particular number of hours before using it.
The number of hours a newly sealed asphalt driveway or parking lots could stay dry depends on weather conditions and the season you carry out the application.
If you want to know the appropriate time to wait before driving on your newly sealed driveway or make use of your parking lots, this article is for you.
How long before you can drive on a sealed driveway?
- If you apply sealer on your asphalt driveway during summer when there will be full sunlight exposure in the high heat of the day, you can walk on it within 2 to 4 hours.
- Sealed asphalt can be driven on after 12 to 24 hours in the heat of the summer. However, we recommend you allow 48 hours to maintain an excellent looking finish.
- If you carry out the application of sealer under cloudy, humid weather conditions, or the winter season, we recommend you wait for at least 72 hours before using your asphalt driveway. Because driveways sealers usually dry like paint, the surface may appear dry, but the underneath may still be wet.
When is the best time of the year to seal your driveway?
This depends on some factors, such as:
If you are curious about the best time of the year to seal coat an asphalt driveway, this section will guide you through finding the perfect answer.
Based on the general recommendation, summertime is the ideal time of year to seal your asphalt driveway due to the low relative humidity and high ambient temperature in many places during the period. The length of hours or days it takes asphalt sealer to dry and cure fully depends on temperature and humidity. Hence, summertime is perfect (although not necessarily the rule of thumb) for applying a sealer to driveways or parking lots.
The primary reason the summer period is recommended for sealing driveways or parking lots is due to the fast curing times the warmer weather brings. Sometimes, you may not want to wait beyond 24 hours for your driveway to cure fully, especially if you own a business with asphalt parking lots.
In a nutshell, the warmer the temperature, the less air humidity, the quicker the sealer will dry for traffic, and the faster it will cure completely.
In addition, if you apply the sealer on a 50-degree day, you might need to wait for at least 48-72 hours before the sealer is completely cured.
How to prepare for sealing your driveway
The below steps are how to prepare for sealing your driveway:
- Select a reasonable span of days
- Obtain your materials
- Intensive Cleaning
- Make Repairs
Although it is difficult to seal your asphalt driveway in the heat of the summer, it is necessary to ensure its integrity is maintained. Sealing your driveway should be part of its routine maintenance for many reasons. It will not only serve as a protective layer against several damaging spills, chemicals, and UV damage, but it also increases its curb appeal and overall makes it last for a more extended period.
Select a reasonable span of days
The first thing to do here is to check the weather forecasts and see where there is a decent three or four-day cycle of hot weather without any rain.
You can measure your driveway and keep the record for use when you decide to pick up the material needed for the project.
Obtain your materials
The needed materials are:
- asphalt patch
- driveway sealer: ensure you buy the five-year sealer if you want good value and durability.
- brush and squeegee attachment
- 70s disco outfit
Make sure you do intensive cleaning the day before you start sealing. First, ensure you clear everything off your driveway, including dust, dirt, loose debris, oil stains, leaves, etc.
Power washing is vital for the success of sealing your driveway. While your driveway can look clean, there are possibly gas by-product deposits that may be present. If your driveway has some secret material or film left, the coating will not stick. So, ensure you give the driveway enough time to dry after the wash before application.
Another task to be done the day before sealing your driveway is to fill all the cracks in it. After that, you can take the asphalt patch you purchased, then follow the instruction for string, and apply where you find a crack.
How often should you seal your driveway?
Some people like to seal their driveway more often to ensure it keeps looking smooth and well-maintained. But generally, it is recommended that you reseal your asphalt driveway every 2-3 years in the summertime or spring to preserve their appearance and shield them from cracks and oil damage.
However, choosing the best time to reseal your driveway is highly variable and depends on the climate in which you live. You must recognize the state of the environment in which you reside.
You should also evaluate the quality of the sealer you will use for the pavement. As you know, the higher the sealer’s quality, the longer the pavement lasts.
Why Should I Sealcoat My Driveway?
Your driveway, like anything else, is degraded by regular natural activities. Your asphalt driveway will start cracking, chipping, and eroding, whether due to the presence of sun, snow, rain, wind, or just the wear and tear that originates from daily foot traffic and vehicle.
Sealing the driveway refurbishes those holes and cracks, giving a new look to your driveway that will keep it strong for years. It would be best if you thought of sealing your driveway as painting your house’s walls or obtaining regular maintenance for your car.
How long does seal-coating last?
In reality, it relies on a few different variables, such as the level of traffic in your driveway or parking lot and exposure to sunlight, gas, or oil. However, seal coating typically lasts for a few years if properly cared for.
Many business owners and homeowners wait as long as ten years before they consider resealing their driveways and lots. But the industry standard is for driveways or lots to be replaced every two to three years to ensure longevity.
Why is sealing driveways necessary?
Sealcoating your driveway gives you the chance to provide it with protection that will make it last longer and resist degradation. When you apply a seal to your driveways, it can repel water, which is the most hazardous agent for degrading asphalt surfaces. Besides water, other factors like salt, oxygen, chemicals, and sunlight cause corrosion and cracking.
What happens if you don’t seal your driveway?
The sealer is composed almost solely of asphalt. This thin coating will be attacked by UV rays, and it will start to harden and fail. If you don’t remove your shoes on coming home, you will track the asphalt indoors, which will discolor your vinyl floors and carpet.
Sealing your asphalt driveway or parking lots is an excellent way to maintain it for apparent advantages. Asphalt sealers act as protective layers against several harmful spills, UV damages, and chemicals.
Besides, it enhances your lot’s curb appeal and overall facilitates a longer-lasting duration.
However, it would be best if you observe some waiting hours before using your driveway or lots after sealing to maintain a great looking finish.