If you have an asphalt driveway, you probably already know that regular seal coating is recommended. The importance of asphalt seal coating cannot be underestimated. The folk at Parking Lot Pros say that getting this done regularly will help to protect the driveway from the elements and will ensure that it lasts for a long time. Furthermore, regular seal coating prevents repairs that are not only costly but that can also be messy and time consuming.
Seal coating an asphalt driveway is like putting a protective barrier over it. This means that liquids such as water and oil are unable to penetrate the surface. Seal coating is particularly beneficial for the winter months when water freezes and expands, causing cracks. When cracks are allowed to develop in an asphalt driveway, they can affect its integrity and severely shorten its lifespan. But when is the best time to get your driveway seal coated? Do you have to do it at a specific time ofyear, and do you need to make sure weather conditions are exactly right?
When to Seal Coat Your Driveway
Many people are under the impression that they should have their asphalt driveway seal coated as soon as it is laid, but this is not the case. In fact, it is advisable to wait for a minimum of three months before the driveway is coated. This is because it needs to fully harden. After it is laid, some of the oils that were required to make it flexible for laying will need to evaporate. If you seal it too soon, you will trap these oils inside and it could become weak. In fact, many experts say that it is better to wait for a period of nine to twelve months before the very first seal coat. After that, it should be reapplied every two to three years.
There are certain times of the year that are deemed better for asphalt seal coating than others. The temperature should ideally be between 55 and 90 degrees, and it needs to be dry. Seal coating asphalt in very hot or very cold temperatures is never recommended as it can result in the coating breaking down quickly.
It is better to wait for the optimum temperatures and checking the forecast to ensure that there is no rain in the days after the coating has been applied. Wet weather can prevent the coating from curing properly.
Where you live will play a role in the best time of year to have the driveway seal coated. As mentioned, optimum conditions are warm and dry. Late spring and early summer are considered to be good for asphalt seal coating, but fall is usually preferable as this is when humidity levels are at their lowest.
When Can You Use Your Driveway After Seal Coating?
In general, seal coating will take around 24 hours to cure, but this depends on the weather. It will cure quicker in warm dry conditions. It is also worth noting that the more coats that have been applied, the longer it will take to fully cure. Larger driveways are often coated twice so you may not be able to use it for a couple of days after it has been sealed. This is why most companies will make sure that there is no rain forecast in the days immediately after a driveway has been sealed.
To conclude, seal coating an asphalt driveway is of utmost importance in terms of protecting it against the elements. Ideal conditions are warm and dry, making late spring, early summer, and fall, the ideal times of year.