Disclaimer: Always check with your Asphalt contractor and adhere to their required wait times before driving or walking on your freshly paved surfaces.
Asphalt (only) wait times:
For Asphalt, assuming your not sealcoating it (which we advise against by the way):
If you’ve recently had fresh asphalt laid on your parking lot, driveway or road-way, or you plan to have a professional asphalt company lay some asphalt and need to plan accordingly, you may be wondering how long you have to wait to drive on it. The simple answer for most is 48 hours HOWEVER, this does not always hold true.
Asphalt Dry/Cure time can be weather dependent
Warmer climates, and especially climates where heat and humidity often go hand in hand, we see some of the worst possible conditions for asphalt cure time. In very hot climates the cure time can take up to two days for foot traffic and four days before it can be driven on. If you’re in hurry there are a few tests you can perform on the asphalt surface to test if it’s ready for vehicle travel. The simplest test being the pour test. Simply pour a bit of water on the surface and if it penetrates, the surface is not yet cured.
If you are planning to get fresh asphalt on a busy parking lot within a hot climate, you may want to have your asphalt project done in the winter, spring or fall seasons. Conversely, if you are on a budget, you are more likely to find a better deal in the summer when asphalt companies tend to be less in demand than the cooler seasons. Not all professional asphalt companies offer seasonal discounts so be sure to shop around but always do your research to hire only a reputable company.
Asphalt is more often then not accompanied by sealcoating
*Especially in warm climates & high traffic areas
Sealcoating helps protect the asphalt and lengthen the life of the pavement. Sealcoating both helps to protect the asphalt surface from stains and such as well as from the harsh weather and sun, especially in warmer climates. The asphalt needs to be cured before sealcoating is laid however it does not need to cure as much as it would for drivability. Testing to see if the asphalt is ready for sealcoating is quite easy. Simply pour water over it. If it penetrates the surface, it’s not ready yet. Asphalt is created with special oils that help make it non-porous but this only works once it has cured enough.
In cooler climates sealcoating can be laid in as little as 12 hours after the asphalt is laid. In warmer climates it may take up to 72 hours to put the sealcoating down.
How long before you can drive on fresh sealcoating
Much like asphalt, sealcoating needs time to cure. Again, the climate is the main factor in dry times. In extremely hot climates it may take upwards of 72 hours to allow the sealcoat to fully dry enough to park on.
Methods of staying in business during your asphalt/sealcoating project.
One of the most comment methods to keep the customers coming while getting your parking lot paved is doing the project in sections. Sometimes this may be done in two phases but occasionally it may take much more for larger lots. Be sure to accommodate your handy capped patrons by having your asphalt company place temporary handicap line-stripping and signage in areas that may otherwise not have any such options.
Satellite lots also offer customers alternate parking options however if the distance is far from your business you will of course likely see a loss in business during the asphalt project.