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Question DetailsAsked on 7/19/2017

how can you tell when to seal asphalt?

just had driveway asphalted. We live in Northern NM and the summer is short. which is worse, sealing it too soon or waiting over the winter for next summer?

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Generally, you do not want to seal for at least 2-6 months (more rain/washing and hot weather the better, as that removes the surficial oil which will cause the sealer to not stick properly and peel.


Generally, for a properly rolled hot mix (which would have been applied at about 250-350 degrees and have a quite smooth, void-free surface), 6-12 months would be the normal sealing period anyway - hot rolled should not need sealer the first year. If they used cold mix (commonly 150 or so delivery temp) it has a lot more voids in the finish surface after rolling, so it is better to try to get sealant on it before the first winter if possible.


Far worse to seal too early than late - not that it will hurt the drive, but you would be wating money and maybe have peeling or wash-off of the sealer. Ditto to sealing when rain is possible or when it may be below about 45 degrees because it may not cure right or may wash off.


For normal emulsion/slurry sealer, commonly applied by squeegee/brush but sometimes sprayed (not the best choice, though) if oil sheen shows up when you put water on the drive, it is not ready to be sealed.


Other alternative - which can commonly safely be done about 3-6 weeks or sometimes even less after paving, is true molten tar/asphalt (sprayed on at about 300+ degrees) and would be expected to last typically 3-4 times as long as oil emulsion ones.

Answered 1 year ago by LCD




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