Asphalt, which is made from a blend of gravel, sand, and bitumen oil, is commonly used for driveways and road surfaces. It’s durable, low maintenance, and relatively inexpensive to install. But once asphalt is in place and the surface has been smoothed out with a roller, it’s important to think about sealing the asphalt surface.
So how soon after asphalt is laid should it be sealed? Read more as we’ll explore the timeline for sealing newly-laid asphalt, as well as why it’s important in this post.
Timing Is Everything
When it comes to asphalt sealcoating after installation, timing is everything. Ideally, you should wait thirty days before applying an asphalt sealant. That allows enough time for the mixture of oils and solids that make up the asphalt to cure completely. Once they’re cured, they can hold together longer and resist cracking better when exposed to elements like water or heat.
However, waiting thirty days isn’t always possible or practical due to weather conditions or other circumstances. If you need to apply a sealant sooner than that – say within the first 24 hours – there are specialized products available specifically designed for new asphalt surfaces that can be applied even before the 30-day mark passes. These typically contain rubberized components that help create a strong bond between the substrate and sealant material even without needing full curing times.
Why Sealing Is Necessary
Sealing your newly-paved asphalt helps protect against damage from regular wear-and-tear like water penetration or UV radiation from sunlight exposure. Not only does this help protect against premature cracking or potholes developing in your pavement during its service life but it also preserves its color over time so your asphalt looks fresh for years to come with minimal effort from you.
Additionally, sealing your asphalt driveway or parking lot provides an extra layer of protection against oil spills or other chemicals that could otherwise seep into the surface faster if left unsealed due to poor adhesion properties between them and untreated asphalt substrates (i.e., not sealed).
The first step in the sealing process is to clean the asphalt surface. This should be done with a pressure washer, using an appropriate cleaning solution, and is the key to successful sealing. After the surface has been properly cleaned, it should then be left to dry for at least 24 hours before proceeding with the next step.
Once dried, a primer or sealer should then be applied to the surface of the asphalt. This will help create a bond between the sealer and the asphalt, ensuring that it adheres properly. The primer should also be left to dry before continuing with the sealing process.
The final step in sealing asphalt is to apply a sealer on top of the primed surface. It is important to choose a sealant that is appropriate for the type of asphalt being sealed. Generally, it is recommended to wait at least 30 days after laying down the asphalt before sealing it, but this time may vary depending on the climate and other weather conditions.
Which Sealant To Choose
When it comes to selecting the right sealant for your asphalt driveway, there are a few important things to consider. The most important factor is the type of asphalt that was used in your pavement’s construction, as some sealants may not be compatible with certain types of asphalt. Additionally, you will also want to select a sealant that is designed to protect the pavement from damage caused by temperature fluctuations, UV rays, and water.
Here are the types of sealants to consider:
Coal Tar Sealant – This type of sealant penetrates the asphalt and forms a waterproof coating on the surface. Generally, it is best used within one year after the asphalt is laid.
Asphalt Emulsion Sealant – This type of sealant creates a protective film on top of the asphalt to protect it from UV rays and water damage. Generally, it is best used within three years after the asphalt is laid.
Acrylic Sealant – This type of sealant forms a protective film on top of the asphalt that prevents the pavement from cracking or becoming brittle due to temperature changes. Generally, it is best used within five years after the asphalt is laid.
Who Should Seal Your Asphalt Pavement
It is important to select a professional paving contractor who has experience sealing asphalt pavements. Professional contractors will use the correct sealant for your pavement and ensure that it is applied correctly, which can extend the lifespan of your pavement significantly.
Additionally, professional contractors also have access to specialized tools and equipment that help them apply the sealant evenly across the entire pavement.
Therefore, it is important to select the right sealant and have a professional contractor apply it as soon as possible after your asphalt has been laid. This will help you ensure that your asphalt pavement remains protected from damage and lasts for many years to come.
Overall, waiting thirty days before applying a sealant is ideal – especially in larger areas like parking lots – shorter timelines may exist, if necessary, thanks to specialized materials designed specifically with these instances in mind.
So no matter what kind of job you’re working on – whether it’s a small driveway at home or an industrial parking lot – make sure you take time into consideration when sealing freshly laid asphalt.