Sealcoating is an exceptionally effective way to prolong the life and appearance of an asphalt pavement at a surprisingly economical price. Periodic applications of sealcoating can prevent damage by blocking the harmful ultraviolet radiation emitted by the sun, enhancing the pavement’s resistance to water infiltration, and slowing the rate at which leaked automotive fluids can penetrate and deteriorate the asphalt binder. Furthermore, sealcoating prevents color loss, enhances traction, and restores the color to faded pavements. However, asphalt sealcoating must be sufficiently dry before traffic can resume using the pavement. The actual drying time will depend primarily on the weather.
What Are the Weather Conditions That Affect the Drying Time of Asphalt Sealcoating?
Contractors apply asphalt sealcoating as a liquid that is usually around 70% water. Thus, sealcoating mixes need to evaporate a great deal of water in order to dry, bond with the pavement, and cure. The weather conditions affecting the drying time of Austin asphalt sealcoating are those that impact the rate of evaporation. However, these factors are codependent, so an asphalt sealcoating contractor must consider the combined effects of all weather conditions.
1. Temperature: The best temperature for completing asphalt sealcoating services is between 70 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit. As you probably know, a pot of water boiling on your stove will evaporate faster than a glass of ice water sitting on your counter. When the temperature falls below 70 degrees, the rate of evaporation decreases, so the asphalt sealcoating will take longer to dry. However, when the temperature exceeds 90 degrees, your asphalt sealcoating contractor will need to guard against excessively rapid evaporation, also known as flash drying.
2. Humidity: As a rule, Austin sealcoating asphalt services can be successfully completed when the relative humidity is extremely low. However, the humidity levels are rarely low in the area, so contractors must consider them when performing asphalt sealcoating in Austin. The relative humidity tells an asphalt sealcoating contractor how much water vapor is already in the air. The more saturated the air is, the longer it will take your asphalt sealcoating to dry.
3. Wind: As water molecules evaporate from the asphalt sealer, they will remain over the pavement until they are moved away. On a day with no wind, it can take a very long time for these molecules to disperse so that evaporation can continue. Professionals who provide Austin sealcoating asphalt services prefer a steady breeze with wind speeds between 3 mph and 10 mph.
4. Sunlight: Asphalt seal coating needs to be exposed to sunlight for a minimum of three to four hours if it is to dry properly. The sun generates heat initially, then it continues to renew it throughout the day.
How Do the Combined Weather Conditions Affect the Drying Time of Asphalt Sealcoating?
There are numerous combinations that can accelerate or slow the rate of evaporation. Here are some examples.
1. Suppose an asphalt sealcoating contractor applies asphalt sealer when the temperature is 70 degrees, the sun is shining, the humidity is less than 50%, and the wind speed is 5 mph. The sealcoating will dry at or near its optimal rate. However, drop the temperature to 60 degrees, make it a heavily overcast day, and increase the humidity to 70%, and the drying time will be longer.
2. Suppose a contractor provides asphalt sealcoating services on a day that is bright and sunny, the temperature is 90 degrees, the wind speed is 10 mph, and the relative humidity is 20%. These conditions might sound ideal, but they are far from perfect. This combination of weather conditions can have a negative impact on the quality of the work. Asphalt seal coating needs to dry at a steady, predictable rate so that it can form a strong bond and create a tough shell. The conditions described can prevent the sealcoating from drying correctly, potentially leading to an unsightly or short-lived job.
What Is the Drying Time of Sealcoating in Austin TX?
As noted, there are many possible combinations of factors that can affect the drying time of Austin asphalt sealcoating. Your best source of information will be your asphalt sealcoating contractor at the time of your application. However, it is possible to provide the following rough estimates.
1. The pavement will usually be dry enough for pedestrians within three or four hours if the combined weather conditions are at or near ideal. However, depending on how much the conditions deviate from ideal, you may need to extend this time to between six and eight hours.
2. In most cases, vehicle traffic can resume within 24 hours. However, if your asphalt sealcoating company performed your work on a cool day, you will probably need to ban vehicles for 48 hours. If your Austin asphalt sealcoating was applied on a humid, heavily overcast day, it could be as long as 72 hours before you can safely allow vehicles to use your pavement.
At RDC Paving, we assist customers throughout the greater Austin area with all their pavement-related needs. Our services include asphalt sealcoating, asphalt resurfacing, crack repairs, and asphalt paving. We also offer asphalt milling, parking lot striping, asphalt driveway construction, asphalt and concrete repairs, and parking lot maintenance plans. In addition, we construct concrete driveways, curbs, parking lots, ramps, sidewalks, and ADA features. We are trained, experienced professionals with impeccable references and an exemplary reputation for exceptional service and extraordinary craftsmanship. You can request a free quote by filling out our online form, emailing Ryan@RDCPaving.com, or calling 512-920-9155.