How long do you have to delay foot and vehicle traffic after sealcoating a parking lot?
Sealing a parking lot is a critical aspect of maintaining the pavement since it protects the asphalt and improves curb appeal. Unfortunately, parking lots are constantly subject to wear and tear from UV rays, chemicals, water, and other weather elements. Regular sealcoating is a cost-effective way to add a protective layer to your lot and prolong its lifespan. With that said, how long after sealcoating can it be driven upon? You might be concerned about the downtime needed to finish sealing your lot, so read on to learn more about how long the process usually takes.
How Long Does Sealcoating Take?
So, how long after sealcoating can you drive on it? The timing depends on factors like your parking lot size and the weather conditions. Generally, the application can be made in just one afternoon, but you need to keep your freshly sealed parking lot free from traffic for at least eight hours. But, again, this will vary significantly for each case.
If you seal your parking lot during the summer under direct sunlight, you can already walk on the surface after two to four hours. You can then drive on it after 12 to 24 hours, but it is recommended that you wait 48 hours to be sure.
Of course, if you seal your lot during humid or cloudy conditions, you can expect the drying time to be much longer. Specifically, you need to wait at least 72 hours to give the pavement an extra day to settle. If you are in a rush or there is a high risk of rain in the next few hours, you can ask your contractors to apply additives to speed up the drying process.
You should note that even if your asphalt dries between 24-72 hours after application, it usually takes 30 days to seal fully. You should maintain your asphalt properly and prevent using harsh chemicals on the surface.
Best Time to Seal a Parking Lot
While there is no fixed answer to how long after sealcoating can you drive on it, the bottom line is that it is much shorter under ideal conditions.
Parking lot sealer cures and dries best at high temperatures and low humidity. The warm weather allows for quicker drying and less moisture prevents the asphalt sealer from not sticking to the surface. Generally, this means summer will be the best time to seal your parking lot.
If summer is not possible, you should try to aim for a sunny day when it is not too humid, and there is little to no chance of rain in the next 24 hours. Specifically, the temperature should be between 50F and 120F, while the humidity level should be below 60%. Try to check the weather forecast in advance to find an ideal date for parking lot sealing.
Overall, the downtime for your parking lot after sealing it can vary from case to case. However, if you think about it, even a 72-hour wait will be worth it if it means you get to add many years to your pavement’s life!
Get Professional Sealcoating to Maintain Your Parking Lot rom ACPLM
If you are concerned about parking lot sealing and how long after sealcoating can you drive on it, ACPLM can help you out. Our team will assess your lot to identify the right time for applying sealer to ensure that your pavement dries quickly and properly.
We have over 50 years of combined experience handling parking lots, so you can trust that we will do a high-quality job. Call us today, at 888-959-9637 to schedule a free consultation!