Paving your driveway is a big investment, so you want to ensure it’s done right. But how long after your new asphalt is laid should you wait before sealing it?
The Importance of Sealing New Asphalt Driveways
Sealing new asphalt helps protect it from the elements and extends its lifespan.
Asphalt is made up of tiny rocks, and gravel held together with a binding agent. Over time, sun and rain can break down that binding agent, causing the asphalt to become cracked and crumbled. By sealing your new asphalt, you’re essentially creating a barrier against water, oil, and other materials that can damage it.
-Sealing your new asphalt is important because it protects the pavement from weather damage and makes it last longer.
-Water can seep into cracks in the pavement and cause freeze-thaw damage, which leads to potholes.
-UV rays from the sun can also degrade the asphalt binder, making it more brittle and prone to cracking.
Asphalt sealing the pavement helps prevent all of this damage.
How Soon After Paving Can You Seal New Asphalt Surface
Asphalt pavement typically consists of 95% aggregate (stone, sand, or gravel) and 5% asphalt binder. During the paving process, a thin layer of heated asphalt liquid is sprayed over the aggregate to bind the materials together. The pavement then cools and hardens to form a strong, durable surface.
During the curing process, the asphalt binder hardens and becomes more resistant to the elements. This process can take 3 to 6 months but typically only a few weeks, depending on weather conditions.
Once the curing process is complete, you can seal the asphalt to further protect it from weather damage and extend its lifespan.
It’s best to wait at least 90 days after your new asphalt is laid before sealing it. It gives the asphalt time to cure and harden. If you seal it too soon, the sealer can do more harm than good. It can prevent the asphalt from curing properly, which leads to premature deterioration.
It can take up to 6 months for asphalt curing time. During this time, the asphalt will harden and become less flexible, so it’s important to wait at least 90 days before sealing it.
The Risks of Leaving Your New Asphalt Driveway Unsealed
If you wait too long to seal your new asphalt, it can become damaged and cracked.
-Water seeps in and causes freeze-thaw damage
-UV rays from the sun can degrade the asphalt binder
-Oil and gas can cause stains and premature deterioration
-Pavement is more susceptible to premature cracking leading potholes, and other forms of damage
How Often Should You Seal Asphalt
In general, you should seal your asphalt every two to three years. However, the specific timeframe will depend on a number of factors, such as the climate in your area and the amount of traffic on the pavement. If you live in an area with harsh winters or heavy rain, you may need to seal your asphalt more often.
Get in touch with a professional asphalt contractor to discuss how often you should seal your specific pavement. They can help you create a maintenance plan to keep your asphalt in good condition for years.
Ask For Professional Help at Hickory Asphalt Paving
Hickory Asphalt Paving is a local, family-owned business that has been serving the Hickory, NC, area for over 50 years. We are dedicated to providing quality asphalt paving services to our customers, and we only use the best materials to ensure a long-lasting finish.
We understand the importance of sealing new asphalt, and we recommend that our customers wait at least 90 days after their new pavement is laid before sealing it, giving the asphalt time to cure and harden. Sealing your new pavement helps protect it from the elements and extends its lifespan.
If you’re unsure how often to seal your asphalt or have other questions about asphalt sealing and maintenance, get in touch with Hickory Asphalt Paving. We’re experts in all things asphalt and are happy to help you keep your Hickory, NC pavement in great condition. Contact us today to learn more!