How long should asphalt cure before painting

You may want to paint on your new driveway so it won’t look bare and dull because your pavement has a lot to say about the way your commercial spaces and business operate. However, it is necessary to observe certain precautions and allow the new asphalt pavement to cure properly to keep it looking new. 

Asphalt is inadequate for paint stickiness because it is an oil-based surface. It is also a semi-flexible pavement surface that stops paint from sticking to it. Hence, if you paint on your asphalt when it is not cured correctly, it will most likely peel off and damage the asphalt.

How long should asphalt cure before painting on it?

  • You should wait for it to cure for about 30 days if the asphalt is installed in the summertime when the temperature is hot.
  • Wait additional days if the new asphalt is installed during the mild temperature season 
  • The type of paint being used may also determine the waiting curing time.

However, some people may not wait this long before applying the paint, owing to the construction schedule or the vulnerability of the surface to dust or dirty conditions that require thorough cleaning, resulting in extra costs. Irrespective of all these, ensure you observe at least a 30 days curing time before applying paint to your new asphalt.

The newly installed asphalt on top of the gravel.

What is the process of asphalt curing?

The curing process of asphalt involves its oil part. The asphalt will appear black at first, but it will gradually evolve from a black color to gray as it ages. This is as a result of the asphalt steadily losing oil in a process termed “oxidation” due to the sun’s rays.

This process defines how long should asphalt cure before painting on it.

Although this oxidation process may sound like an inappropriate thing, it’s okay because new asphalt has excess oil in it when first installed. As a result of this too much oil, if you are driving on new asphalt and eventually stop and turn your power steering sharply, it can make what is regarded as a “power steering tear,” literally scratching up parts of the new asphalt surface. This is particularly the case on residential driveways as you navigate into your parking lots. 

Why does asphalt need to cure?

It is recommended that you give a bit of time for your new asphalt to cure appropriately. This process’s final aim is to have an enhanced aesthetic appeal residential driveway or commercial parking lot that will last for an extended period.

Of course, you may want to be tempted to use your pavement immediately after it is installed, but you should also consider the implication of doing that. Allowing asphalt pavement to cure appropriately has lots of advantages, which include but are not limited to the following:

  • It makes it last indefinitely
  • Allowing asphalt to cure gives it the flexibility to withstand occasional overloads without severe damage.
  • If asphalt cures properly, power steering gauges will not result when you turn the car wheels sharply on the pavement
The wet asphalt has cracks and sand on top.

How long does it take for asphalt to fully cure?

If you have in mind to install a new asphalt driveway, replace an existing one, or resurface your parking lot, you may be wondering how long it would take for it to cure properly. Knowing this would enable you also to understand how long should asphalt cure before painting. 

Before we proceed, you need to know that there is a difference between the cure time and dry time of an asphalt. Cure time means the process of fusion and oxidation of molecules, while dry asphalt time refers to the time your new asphalt can again withstand foot and vehicle traffic without severe damage. 

The dry time of asphalt is partly weather-dependent. Intense heat can slow the drying process and make the asphalt to soften again before it can cure fully. At that point, watering it can often help.

Thus, it is best not to plan asphalt repairs under weather conditions above 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

So, how long does it take for asphalt to fully cure?

  • It can take new asphalt approximately one year to cure fully. Nevertheless, this does not imply that you have to leave your new driveway or parking lot for such a long time.
  • Ensure you do not park heavy trucks or equipment on the new asphalt for at least one month.
  • You may immediately walk on the new asphalt pavement, but try to keep vehicles, people, and pets away from it for at least 3 full days or more in hotter temperatures.
  • Even after the asphalt pavement has cured, don’t anticipate it to be as tough as concrete.
The clean asphalt parking lot with nice painted lines.

How is asphalt painted?

Each painting project for asphalt pavement consists of the same necessary steps, and each is very important to keep in mind. It does not matter what you want to paint on your asphalt; either water or oil-based paint can be applied to make it look much better. Below are the few steps to painting asphalt:

  1. Step 1: You need to properly clean the asphalt surface before putting a brush on it. Also, ensure you blow off large debris from the pavement and power wash it to help clean it to its core.
  2. Step 2: You can use a pressure washer or hose with a high powered nozzle to clean the asphalt pavement to ensure that all dirt and dust are cleared from it. Otherwise, you may have adhesion issues. After that, allow the asphalt to dry.
  3. Step 3: Fill out any cracks that need to be filled, and then continue to fix any seal coating problems.
  4. Step 4: Wear a correct protective kit and prime the entire area using asphalt primer and rollers with extension.
  5. Step 5: Apply oil-based paint if feasible. Oil-based paint is a perfect choice since it’s incredibly durable. However, because of the impact oil-based paints have on the climate, they have been prohibited in many regions. You can still use water-based paint if oil-based paints are not permitted in your area.

How long does it take for asphalt parking lot paint to dry?

Painting your parking lot can make it safer and improve its aesthetic appeal, which is crucial to your business or home. You may probably want to open the parking lot to traffic as soon as possible after painting; however, it is essential to note that allowing it to dry appropriately has many positive effects. The typical drying time of asphalt paint is 30 minutes; notwithstanding, several factors influence the drying time. They include:

  • Temperature
  • The wind speed and the relative humidity
  • The type of paint used (whether oil or water-based paint)
  • The condition of the pavement.

The mentioned combined factors influence the speed at which the paint will dry. By determining these factors, you will fathom the time your new asphalt paint will dry. Irrespective of all these, it is recommended to contact your parking lot maintenance contractor as only they can provide you with a precise answer to how long should asphalt cure before painting.

And the time it would take the paint to dry.

Asphalt parking lot has a clean and smooth surface with paint yellow lines and numbers.

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If asphalt is not cured before you apply paint on it, it may peel off and adversely affect your pavement. Your asphalt pavement maintenance contractor should carefully select the type of paint to use (water or oil-based paint).

In all, whatever decision you want to take regarding your parking lot or driveway, always ensure to work in hand with a professional maintenance contractor. They know best and have precise answers to all your queries.