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Remember that one time you painted a piece of furniture at home and you or someone else touched the surface believing that it had dried but it was not? You had to repaint that portion, or if the damage was too extensive, redo the whole process. If you’re not careful, that can happen when you have your driveway sealcoated, too.
Sealcoating your driveway or parking lot is not exactly cheap, so make sure that you let it dry and cure properly before driving or walking on it. But how long do you need to stay off the driveway after applying sealcoating? Let's find out.
When applied under ideal conditions, you can walk on a sealcoated pavement three hours after application. But if you want to drive on it, then you have to wait a minimum of 12 hours for it to dry and cure. If it’s overcast or if rain is in the forecast, then the drying and curing process will definitely take much longer. For optimum results, we recommend that you use your driveway 48 to 72 hours after sealcoat was applied.
The Best Time to Apply Sealcoating
The day should be sunny. Make sure that the day's temperature doesn't dip below 50°F or rise above 120°F. Make it a habit to check the weather forecast every day to know whether the day is going to be sunny or overcast.
It's not too humid. Humidity is one of the factors that can affect the length of time sealcoating dries and cures. The higher the amount of moisture in the air, the longer it takes for the sealcoat material to dry and cure. So if you're working on a driveway and want it to dry quickly, then make sure that the humidity level is lower than 60%. Again, check your local forecast for each day’s humidity levels.
The pavement is fully dry. Moisture can make it difficult for sealcoat material to adhere to the surface and prevent it from drying properly. Watch out for rain and postpone sealcoat application if it has rained over the past 24 hours or if there's a shower in the forecast.
Learn more about sealcoat drying and curing time with this handy Asphalt Kingdom video explainer:
How long before you can drive on a sealed driveway?
Troubleshooting Common Post-Application Problems
Tire tread marks on newly applied asphalt emulsion sealer
Found tire tread marks on your just-sealed driveway? That's completely normal and nothing to worry about.
You see, asphalt sealer doesn't dry and cure instantly. It takes a few hours for it dry and a few days before it is fully cured. Humidity also plays a huge role in whether it will dry and cure quickly or not.
If your contractor applied sealer during a particularly hot and humid day, then it's going to take a few hours for the sealer to dry. It's also going to take a few weeks for it to fully cure.
So don't fret if you find tire tread or power steering marks on your driveway. It will fade away after a few weeks as the sealer continues to cure.
Asphalt sealer on concrete sidewalk
If the sealer is still wet, you can hose it down with water. Use liquid dishwashing for more stubborn stains.
If the sealer has already dried, try using bug and tar remover or paint and epoxy stripper to remove it. You can also use Goof Off to get rid of hardened asphalt sealer from concrete sidewalks.
Found asphalt sealer on your garage door or car bumper? Check out this Asphalt Kingdom blog to learn how to remove them.
Accelerating the Drying and Curing Process
If rain is imminent in the next 24 hours and you want to speed up the drying and curing process, then you might want to use a sealcoat additive. Asphalt Kingdom offers premium sealing additives to hasten the drying and curing process. Check them out below.
Features nano-cure technology that ensures faster sealcoat drying and curing. Easy to use and economical additive for commercial and residential applications.
Another sealing additive that cuts down the drying and curing time in half. Also improves sand dispersion and helps stop tracking.
Learn more about the best time of year to sealcoat the driveway.
We also have an application temperature cheat sheet for all you new and veteran contractors out there.