Drying fresh asphalt can be a frustrating task if the appropriate method is not followed. Asphalt’s actual drying process is relatively straightforward. After the asphalt is placed, sealants are used to prevent moisture from leaking into the asphalt. This assists in preventing the asphalt bond from deteriorating over time.
It is critical to recognize the distinction between asphalt cure time and dry time. It will help you know when the perfect time is to use your asphalt pavement. This post will explore the distinction between the two and what you can do to protect your asphalt as it dries and cures.
Fresh Asphalt Curing and Drying Process
It is critical to understand when the optimal time to use your new asphalt driveway is. As a result, it is critical to understand the distinction between asphalt cure time and asphalt dry time.
Asphalt Drying Time
The drying time of asphalt is the period at which the fresh asphalt can withstand foot and vehicle traffic without being damaged. Asphalt dries in approximately 2-3 days (48-72 hours). For that period, your parking lot or driveway will be slightly more vulnerable to damage.
The weather partially determines the time required for asphalt to dry. Extreme heat is an enemy to the drying process of the fresh asphalt that can cause it to soften and delay its drying and curing process. It is recommended to spray the asphalt with water after application or install it during the cold season.
Asphalt Curing Time
The curing process of asphalt refers to the combination of molecules for the oxidation process. A cured asphalt is asphalt that has completely hardened. Asphalt can cure for up to a year, but after about 30 days, it has partially cured to the point that you can seal it.
Asphalt gradually changes color from black to grayish as it cures. It is because of a process called oxidation. The asphalt slowly loses its oil as a result of exposure to the sun’s heat. This process is very beneficial for asphalt to cure quicker than usual. It helps eliminate excess oil that may result in the “power steering rip” of your new asphalt surface due to wheel rotation.
Tips To Protect Your Fresh Asphalt While It Dries and Cures
Because the drying process of fresh asphalt does not guarantee a long-lasting driveway, there are a few things you should do while your asphalt is curing.
Here are some ways to assist you in curing new asphalt more quickly and effectively:
- Do not drive or park your car on it for a full five days after it has been paved.
- Maintain a safe distance between heavy trucks and newly constructed asphalt.
- Avoid parking in the same area repeatedly.
- Avoid walking over it.
- Avoid putting any sharp things on top of it.
- Avoid driving too close to the edge of newly laid asphalt.
- Ensure that a sufficient drainage system is in place.
Asphalt cooling is directly related to temperature and other environmental factors. After it has settled and hardened, it is ready to withstand foot and vehicular activity for years to come. Therefore, follow the tips above to ensure that you can help your fresh asphalt dry and cure as quickly as possible.