Whether you are buying a new home or building a new home, deciding to install an asphalt driveway can be an aesthetically pleasing idea. Most homeowners can determine if an asphalt driveway fits their home needs fairly quickly. The biggest issue depends on how long it will take to dry. How long does asphalt take to dry? Asphalt can dry within 2 to 3 days depending on external environmental factors.
Let’s take a look below at some more details regarding asphalt.
What Does It Mean To Cure The Asphalt?
Believe it or not, curing time and asphalt drying time are two different things. The asphalt curing process can take up to 30 days, while the drying process is typically between 2 and 3 days. Let’s review what curing means.
- Curing – This means that the asphalt has completely hardened.
- Color – As asphalt cures, it will turn from a black color to a gray color. As the sun cooks the asphalt, the oils are released from the asphalt. As the oils are released the asphalt color changes. This is called oxidation.
- Oxidation – Without the loss of excess oils in the oxidation process, you risk damaging the new asphalt surface. As your “power steering” is utilized, it could scrape up sections of your new asphalt due to the rotation of your tires. Oxidation is pertinent to the curing and drying process.
- Seal Coat – After 30 days you can apply a seal coat to your fresh asphalt.
How Long Does It Take To Dry?
As was mentioned above, the curing process takes longer than the drying process. Let’s take a look below at what the drying process entails.
- Drying – This process typically takes 48-72 hours to occur.
- What Does This Mean? – This means that after 2 to 3 days you can safely walk or drive on your new asphalt driveway without causing damage.
- Caution – Although you can safely walk and drive on your new asphalt surface, be sure not to spill anything hazardous or create a heavy traffic load. The asphalt has not been cured yet and therefore could still become damaged.
What Factors Change The Drying Time?
When it comes to any project that is outside of your home, there will always be varying factors that can either slow down or speed up the installation and completion process. Let’s take a look at what factors can cause the asphalt to take longer to dry.
- High Humidity – If you have a lot of moisture in the air, your asphalt will take longer to dry. It is never a good idea to apply a sealer to your asphalt if the humidity levels are at 90% or above.
- High Temps – When the air temperature and the surface temperature are very high you risk the potential of hyper evaporation. The faster the evaporation the faster you have to work to apply the asphalt. This could completely ruin your application process.
- Sunlight – Pouring and installing asphalt on days when the sunlight is not out as much will take longer for the asphalt to dry. The more sunlight the quicker the evaporation of excess oils. This means the asphalt will dry faster.
- Wind – When the wind is blowing the moisture in the air is moved more quickly. This allows the surface of the asphalt to dry faster. The less saturation above the surface the more quickly the evaporation process occurs.
Other Recommended Maintenance
Now that you have an idea of how long it takes for asphalt to dry, you can look into how to build up the soil around your home. You wouldn’t want to install a new asphalt driveway and create a drainage issue. Increasing the soil around the home so that you have proper grading is key.
Next, keep in mind that building up the soil around the home isn’t the final piece to the puzzle. Also, you will want to ensure that any negative grading has been fixed. Consequently, this is important for keeping water runoff from seeping back into your home.
Lastly, now that your asphalt driveway has been installed, it is likely that you had to relocate your sprinkler system. Be sure to check up on how to maintain your sprinkler system so that it is working properly after your asphalt installation.
When Do I Call A Professional?
Using asphalt to pave your driveway is not something that most homeowners are prepared to do. In this case, it is a great idea to hire your local asphalt contractor. They have the experience and equipment necessary to ensure that your paved driveway is a complete success. Reach out to your local home inspection team to get an idea as to if asphalt driveways work in your area. Also, they can ensure that your landscaping is graded properly after installation. This ensures that water doesn’t back up into your home.
Conducting a project like an asphalt driveway installation can be rather challenging. You will want to ensure that whatever contractor you hire, takes into account the necessary grading of your landscaping and the pitch of the driveway. Having water runoff toward the street and not your home is key. Call on Waypoint Inspections, we will take a look at your landscaping needs while conducting home inspections in Tampa and Central Florida.