Under ideal conditions, asphalt sealer requires 24–48 hours to dry before it can withstand vehicle traffic. In humid or cloudy conditions, wait 72 hours before driving on a newly sealed asphalt surface. However, asphalt sealer is generally dry enough to tolerate foot traffic after 6 hours of dry time. When possible, it’s best to wait at least 24 hours before exposing it to any use.
Table of Contents
How Long Before You Can Walk on Asphalt Sealer?
In most cases, asphalt sealer is safe to walk on 6 hours after application. However, it is not yet safe for vehicle traffic. This is because asphalt sealer cures from the top down. The top layer will harden first, but beneath this will be a soft layer. If you drive on asphalt too soon, you will break through the dried upper layer and leave ruts in the layer below.
- It is safe to walk on asphalt sealer 6 hours after application.
- Asphalt sealer that is dry enough for foot traffic does not mean it is dry enough for vehicle traffic.
- When possible, stay off sealed asphalt entirely for 24 hours.
Walking on asphalt sealer too early in the curing process can leave footprints and mar the surface of your newly sealed asphalt. To ensure no damage occurs, it’s best to stay completely off the asphalt for at least 24 hours.
How Long Before You Can Drive on Blacktop Sealer?
Sealed asphalt requires 24–72 hours of dry time before it has cured enough to withstand vehicle traffic. If the weather is sunny and dry and temperatures above 70℉ (21℃), then sealed asphalt is likely to ready for vehicle traffic in 24 hours. However, it’s best to wait 48 hours before driving on sealed asphalt, even in ideal conditions.
- In dry, sunny, warm conditions asphalt can be ready for vehicle traffic in as little as 24 hours.
- When possible, wait at least 48 hours before driving on newly sealed asphalt.
- If the weather is humid, cool, or cloudy, wait 72 hours before driving on your new sealer.
If the weather is cloudy, if the sealed area is in the shade, if humidity is high, or if temperatures are below 70℉ (21℃), then wait 72 hours before driving on your sealed asphalt driveway or parking lot. This extra precaution is worth it to protect your new sealcoat from damage.
What Makes Asphalt Sealer Cure Faster?
Asphalt sealcoat curing times are accelerated by heat and dry air. Not only does cool, humid weather slow drying times, if it rains too soon after application, your asphalt sealcoat can be damaged. For this reason, it’s essential to choose a warm, bright day with no rain in the forecast.
How Do You Prepare a Driveway for Sealant?
Asphalt sealer is meant to seal level, smooth surfaces. It won’t form an effective protective coating on cracked pavement. So, it’s essential to use a crack filler to prep the surface before applying sealcoat.
- Seal cracks in your driveway before applying your sealcoat.
- Clean your entire driveway thoroughly before you seal it.
A clean driveway is essential for achieving a good asphalt sealcoat. Although power washing your driveway isn’t necessary, a thorough sweeping with a stiff-bristled broom or using a leaf blower to remove stubborn debris will make your sealing job turn out beautifully.
What is the Best Temperature to Seal a Driveway?
Seal your driveway when temperatures are 70–90℉ (21–32℃). If necessary, you can seal your driveway any time temperatures are above 50℉ (10℃), however, drying times will be extended.
- For the fastest curing times, seal your driveway when temperatures are 70–90℉ (21–32℃)
- Do not seal your driveway if temperatures are below 50℉ (10℃)
- Avoid sealcoating your driveway when temperatures are above 90℉ (32℃)
Too much heat can be bad for your driveway sealer. Temperatures above 90℉ (32℃) can cause flash-drying of the sealant as you apply it. This is detrimental because the sealant dries before it penetrates the surface below and forms a bond. This leads to bubbling and peeling sealcoat.
What is the Best Time of Year to Seal a Driveway?
Sealing a driveway is an ideal summer task because temperatures are ideal for fast curing times. Not only that, but there is typically less frequent rain during the summer months. Less rain means there is a decreased chance of a rainfall washing away your driveway sealer.
- Summer is the best time of year to seal your driveway, due to high temperatures and low precipitation.
- You can apply sealcoat in spring or fall as long as temperatures are above 50℉ (10℃).
- Avoid applying a sealant to your driveway in winter.
While spring and fall can be decent times to seal your driveway, you should not apply asphalt sealer in winter. Low temperatures can slow or halt curing, and rain or snow will ruin your sealant before it dries. Sealing pavement is a summer task, just make sure to check the weather forecast to prevent rain from ruining your sealcoat.
How Long Does Asphalt Sealer Take to Cure?
Asphalt requires a 24–72 hour cure time before it can handle vehicle traffic. Weather conditions will impact the curing speed of your asphalt driveway sealer. In warm, dry, sunny conditions, you can drive on your sealed surface in 24 hours. In cloudy, cool, humid conditions, wait 72 hours before you drive on your new sealcoat. Keep in mind that asphalt sealer cures from the top down. Sealant can typically handle foot traffic after only 6 hours, but will be destroyed by vehicle traffic if you don’t wait at least 24 hours.