When should new asphalt be sealcoated?
If you’ve recently installed a new asphalt parking lot, you may be wondering, “How long should you wait to sealcoat new asphalt?” Sealcoating protects the surface of asphalt, its sublayers, and its foundation. It extends the life of your parking lot by protecting it from water, oil, the sun, and other environmental hazards.
Applying sealcoating makes your asphalt stronger and less likely to crack, which keeps your pavement in tip-top shape. You definitely want to sealcoat your parking lot, and timing things right will help your investment last.
What Is Asphalt, Exactly?
Asphalt is a petroleum-based binder and mineral aggregate composite. It contains a mixture of oils that improve its hardness, resilience, and durability. New asphalt is soft, flexible, and susceptible to damage like tire marks, gouging, and indentations.
Over time, as asphalt oxidizes, hardens, and compacts, its color lightens from black into gray. The lighter oils evaporate as the heavier ones settle, making the pavement more durable.
How Long Should You Wait to Sealcoat New Asphalt?
The amount of time it takes asphalt to cure varies, but experts agree that asphalt needs to cure for six to twelve months before you seal it. Sealcoating asphalt too early can keep it soft or prevent the sealer from setting properly.
Although you can apply sealcoat after 90 days, experts recommend that you wait at least six months for the asphalt to cure. The best time to sealcoat your asphalt is when your parking lot is nine months to a year old. In the warm, humid climate of Florida, it may take a year for asphalt pavement to fully cure.
If you’re wondering, “How long should you wait to sealcoat new asphalt?” then consider that within the span of a year, the longer you wait to apply sealcoat, the stronger your pavement will be.
How Can Water Harm Asphalt?
Asphalt has to retain the right moisture balance to withstand wear, weight, pressure, and changing weather conditions. If water seeps into asphalt, it can wash away the oils that keep it from deteriorating. Water can also saturate the soil beneath the pavement, which can cause the asphalt to buckle.
What Are the Best Weather Conditions for Installing Asphalt?
A warm, sunny, dry summer afternoon is the best time to sealcoat your asphalt parking lot. The temperature should be at least 50 degrees Fahrenheit, and the air and ground should be dry for two or three consecutive days. Acrylic and coal tar asphalt sealers must be applied in warm weather. If weather conditions are too cold, hot, humid, or damp, the sealcoat may not properly adhere to the asphalt surface.
How Long Does Sealcoating Take to Dry?
It takes at least two to three days for the asphalt to fully absorb the sealcoat. Any business owner who wants to keep their parking lot open during business hours can sealcoat it on the weekend or have it applied on a warm evening so it will dry overnight. If you sealcoat on a 50-degree day, it could take longer to dry. If possible, wait a few days to open new asphalt for use.
What is the lifespan of asphalt pavement?
The lifespan of asphalt pavement can be affected by environmental conditions and the amount of traffic it receives. Well-maintained asphalt pavements can last 20 years or even 30 years before they need to be resurfaced.
How Often Do I Need to Sealcoat My Parking Lot?
Sealing your asphalt parking lot every three to five years will keep it in good condition and protect it from extreme weather conditions. Watch out for uneven areas and other damage to your pavement.
Why is Asphalt Maintenance Important?
Parking lot maintenance is a cost-effective solution to boosting your property’s curb appeal. When you schedule a sealcoating for your pavement, you should also take care of any other asphalt repairs like upheavals and parking lot pothole repairs that need attention.
For All of Your Parking Lot Sealcoating Needs, Contact PLS
It’s important to give your asphalt surface enough time to cure before sealcoating your parking lot. The next time you’re wondering, “How long should you wait to sealcoat new asphalt?” contact the experts at Parking Lot Services of Florida (PLS) to schedule a consultation.