applying sealer to asphalt parking lot

How Long Should I Stay Off Asphalt After Applying Sealer?

Summer is sealcoating season and if your parking lot is due for an asphalt sealer application, you may be wondering how long you need to stay off your asphalt after applying sealer.

This is a particularly important question when it comes to parking lot sealing, because a closed lot can put strain on your business or your tenants/residents. The exact dry time of asphalt sealer will vary, specifically in relation to weather conditions. This is why summer is such an idea time for applying asphalt sealer. Asphalt sealer generally dries quickly, but by applying sealer in the summer you are ensuring that the application is allowed the proper time to cure effectively with natural warmth and sunlight. The heat, low humidity, and strong sun of summer makes for a speedy dry time.

So, let’s answer the question how long should I stay off asphalt after applying sealer?

  • applying sealer to asphalt parking lotFor summer application, with full sunlight exposure (that means no shaded areas and in the high heat of the day) you should be able to WALK on the asphalt within 2-4 hours.
  • You can typically drive on sealed asphalt after 24 hours, but we recommend giving it 48 hours, if possible, to be sure.
  • If the weather is humid, cloudy, or cool, it is recommended to give your asphalt an additional day to dry.
  • It is important to remember that while your asphalt is dry within a couple days after applying sealer, it is not fully cured for 30 days. This means within this 30-day period, you want to treat your asphalt with care and avoid harsh chemicals or turning tires while a car is parked etc.

When Is The Best Time Of Day To Seal A Parking Lot?

  • For business owners, the answer to this question may vary from the answer given to a homeowner. With a parking lot, there are many things to consider in addition to dry time like; traffic flow, restriping traffic markings, and closing off sections of a lot for extended periods of time.
  • The best time for applying sealer to an asphalt driveway is really based on preference, as staying off a driveway is much easier and much less intrusive. When you apply the sealer, will determine when you can walk and drive on your asphalt again.
  • For businesses, the best time to seal your lot is very specific to your business’s needs. A lot of businesses typically seal their lot at night to allow for the least traffic interruption. If your business is closed on the weekends, that would be an ideal time for applying sealer.

We understand that for condo complexes and businesses that closing a lot, or a larger portion of parking for 24-48 hours is just not possible. While this dry time is often ideal (when possible), at EastCoat Pavement (since we specialize in commercial paving) we have been able to perfect our system to allow for these tight timelines. We can often clean, crack fill, sealcoat and line stripe a large section of a condo, for example, and have people back on it around 6pm when most people get home from work. In many cases, properties have no extra parking overnight, so if we have to move a large amount of cars to do the work, there is no where for them to go. Because of this, we will only do sections large enough to allow for reopening that same day to accommodate your building’s needs.

applying sealer to asphalt parking lotHow Do I Prepare For Asphalt Sealer?

  1. Cleanup – This allows for proper inspection to be done.
  2. Inspection – Determining your asphalt’s current condition is extremely important to reveal where crack filler and patching is needed, prior to applying sealer.
  3. Complete Repairs – Sealcoating cracked asphalt is ineffective and you should be applying sealer in conjunction with crack filler.
  4. Inspection/Prepare Conditions – You will want to make sure that your pavement is dry prior to applying sealer (be aware of sprinklers and expected rain). Also take note of shaded areas to allow for adequate dry time.

Applying asphalt sealer should be a part of your regular parking lot maintenance for several reasons. Not only does asphalt sealer serve as a protectant layer against many harmful spills, chemicals, and UV damage, but it also increases the curb appeal of your lot, and overall allows for a longer lasting asphalt.

Summer is upon us, and that means it is sealcoating season! Wondering how much does asphalt sealer cost? Find out HERE.

Contact EastCoat Pavement Services today for your free parking lot asphalt sealer consultation!

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