The best time to sealcoat your parking lot or driveway is a loaded question. There are many things to consider before you add a sealant to your asphalt. The optimal time to sealcoat will depend on the needs of your driveway or lot. With this brief look at the process, you can choose the right time to protect and beautify your asphalt.
Is There an Optimal Time to Sealcoat?
For most homeowners, the summertime is the best time of year to add a layer of sealcoat. In the summer, the air is warmer with low humidity. Many people also choose summer to apply a coat because it is easier to work outside during the warmer weather.
Before you apply the sealer, you need to know the type of sealcoat that you will use. This information will help you to choose whether you want to apply it in colder or warmer weather. Water-based sealers need to be applied when the pavement temperature is no cooler than 40 degrees. With the water in the sealant, it is more prone to freezing than other sealers. When it does freeze, the properties are altered, and the product will be damaged. For that reason, these sealers are rarely applied in the winter. If you need to apply a layer of sealcoat in cold weather, you should choose a solvent-based product. These sealants can be applied at any temperature.
Summertime is often the preferred time because it quickly cures the sealant. Many people do not want to wait more than a day to use their driveways. With warm air temperature and less humidity, your sealcoat will dry and cure quicker than any other time of the year.
Cured and Dried Are Different Stages
The terms “dry” and “cured” are often confused by homeowners. They don’t mean the same thing for your driveway. If the sealant is dry to your touch, that doesn’t mean that the product will not come off on your tires when you drive on it. “Dry to traffic” means that your tires will not pick up the sealant, but there could be tracking marks on the surface. For the best results, you want to wait for the sealant to be fully cured before you walk or drive on the surface.
Apply in the Best Weather Conditions
If you are looking to apply it at the best time, you want to choose a day with plenty of sunshine. The warmth of the sun will help to evaporate the liquids of the sealer. However, you might not be that lucky and will have to apply it on a cloudy day. You want to make sure there are no signs of fog or rain in the forecast for 24 hours or more. That extra moisture will cause problems with the curing process, and it could even damage your driveway.
Avoid Shady Spots
When you want to apply sealcoating, you need to be aware of the amount of shade on the pavement. With direct sunlight, the sealant will dry faster than a more shaded area. This factor plays a part in the time of day that you will need to apply the sealcoat. During the day, your pavement might be covered by shade. While this is not a big problem, it will cause your pavement to take longer to dry. You might want to apply the sealcoat at the start of the day to avoid any shady areas on your pavement.
For many people, their entire driveway is shaded. When that happens, you will have to deal with it and wait for the sealant to dry. Shade does not adversely affect the sealant, but it slows down the time for you to get back to driving on your pavement.
Now that you know the optimal time of year to apply sealcoat, you will need to know when is the best time to apply in the day.
The Best Time of Day to Apply Sealcoat
For the most part, there is no set time for you to apply a sealcoat to the pavement. You can apply sealer at any time of day as long as the pavement temperature does not fall past 40 degrees at night. You can even apply the sealcoat during the nighttime. Many people choose to start their sealcoat project around 10 AM as the sun’s temperatures begin to rise, and the humidity is not too oppressive.
Ten in the morning is an excellent time since the morning dew has evaporated from the pavement’s surface. Whatever you choose, you will need a full 24 hours for the sealant to cure. If you start in the morning, you could park your car on the driveway by evening. However, that is not recommended since you want to make sure the surface is completely dry for your vehicles. You want to choose a time for the sealant to cure without having to move around cars near your home.
For business owners, you want to use these same rules to apply a sealcoat to your driveway. Many businesses choose to apply sealcoat at night. With this schedule, you will not have to shut down a parking lot and lose business during your operating hours. Many sealcoating companies recommend that you apply the sealant from early to late evening, but the decision is up to the individual business owner. If your business is closed on the weekends, you might want to apply the sealant on a Saturday or Sunday for the most optimal drying time.
Depending on your particular sealant, you can apply it throughout the year. However, many people choose to seal their pavement in the summer with warmer temperatures and more sunlight. Whatever time you choose, you will want to avoid rainy or cold days that prevent your sealant from properly drying or curing. If you have any questions about your sealcoating project, make sure to consult the professionals from an experienced sealcoat company.
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