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How Long for Paver Sealant to Dry [Sealer Drying Times Explained]

There’s a lot of advice out there about how to seal pavers, but how long for paver sealant to dry?

How long before it’s safe to drive on? And is there anything you can do to speed up the drying process?

In this blog post, we’ll answer all your questions about sealing pavers drying times.

Keep reading for more information!

How Long Does It Take Paving Sealer to Dry?

Coal Tar Sealer

Coal tar is a popular blacktop sealer for asphalt paving and driveways. Apply at least two coats and wait 2-4 hours for the first coat to dry before applying the second to finish the job. Wait 24 hours to ensure the parking lot is completely dry before parking your car or walking on the surface.

Asphalt Sealer

As with coal tar sealer, we recommend allowing for a few hours of drying time between coats. Apply two coats minimum to ensure a good job and wait 24 hours after applying asphalt sealer before driving or allowing heavy foot traffic on the surface.

Acrylic Sealer

Acrylic sealer can take 4-12 hours to dry before it’s able to be walked on. However, this type of sealer will continue to harden for up to 48 hours after application, so we advise that you wait at least this long before using your driveway after sealing, especially if you’ve applied this paver sealer to concrete or new asphalt.

Water-based Sealer

Water-based paver sealers can be dry to the touch in as little as 3-6 hours, but as with the other paving sealers covered in this guide, we recommend you allow for a more extended period of drying time to let the sealer fully harden. Wait at least 12 hours before walking on the surface and 24 before driving.

Oil-based Sealer

Oil-based sealers for asphalt driveways tend to take longer to cure fully. Unlike their water-based or acrylic counterparts, these asphalt sealers penetrate the driveway surface and create a flexible bond that helps prevent any contraction and expansion during colder weather. Although the sealer may be dry to the touch in a few hours if applied in strong sun, it’s best to wait 24-48 hours before allowing vehicles or heavy foot traffic onto the surface.

Crack Filler Sealer

Crack filler sealer can be functionally dry in about an hour if set in optimum conditions. The sealer should be okay to walk on after this time, but we advise that you wait an additional day for the paving sealer to dry fully before allowing any vehicles onto the driveway.

Epoxy Sealers

The usual drying times of most epoxy sealers tend to be around 10-12 hours to allow the asphalt coating to harden and bond properly. As with the other asphalt sealers covered in this guide, epoxy will continue to set for a further 24-48 hours but provided this sealer isn’t used on commercial paving (or under heavy traffic), it should be fine to use after 12 hours.

Polyurethane Sealer

If you’re using polyurethane as a paving sealer, we recommend waiting at least 10-12 hours before allowing any walking or driving on the paving. The curing process can take a further day to completely dry, but the paving sealer should be adequately set after 12 hours.

How To Make the Drying Process Faster

We’re often asked, “how long does driveway sealer need to dry?” and the truth is that it depends on the sealer you’ve chosen to apply. There are, however, a few tips and tricks that you can make use of to speed up the process.

Applying driveway sealer in strong sun and low humidity will result in a much faster drying time than in low temperatures, so it’s worth your while to wait for the right weather conditions.

Air movement will also speed up the drying process, so a warm wind or fans placed around your driveway can be helpful to reduce drying times.

The Weather and Temperature You Should Aim For?

When applying, the first and most important job is to check your weather forecast. The weather conditions play a major role in how long it takes your sealer to dry and how effective the resulting seal will be.

Ideally, you should look for a temperature of at least 10 degrees Celsius (and rising) with no rain forecast for 24 hours.

This is why the summer months are an ideal time for paving sealing, as the natural warmth and lower chance of rain make for optimal drying times and a better seal.

Will Rain Ruin a Newly Sealed Pavers?

Rain is the enemy of a freshly sealed driveway. No type of asphalt sealer that you may have used to seal your driveway can adequately withstand rain during the application process.

Even mild rain can result in an uneven finish, or worse, your entire driveway sealant being washed away, so avoid applying sealer in wet conditions.

FAQ’s

When should asphalt seal coating be applied?

Suppose you’re sealing an asphalt parking lot, commercial paving or an asphalt driveway. In that case, chances are that the grade of the asphalt used is of lower quality and susceptible to cracking and potholes. In this case, the seal is likely to last between 2-5 years on average.

If you can see the colour of the stones that make up the asphalt, it’s time to apply a new coat of driveway sealant.

As mentioned previously, the best conditions for applying asphalt sealer are sunny days, with no expected rain and temperatures of at least 10 degrees Celsius and rising. The summer months are ideal for applying seal coating, but be cautious of sealing your concrete or asphalt in extreme temperatures of 30 degrees Celsius and higher.

This amount of heat can result in poor sealing of your driveway, though we’d be lucky to hit 30 degrees even at the peak of a British summer!

How long does sealant take to dry before it can be walked on?

At the bare minimum, we recommend that you wait 4 hours before you walk on freshly sealed concrete or asphalt. Be aware that the conditions in which you applied your sealant can extend drying times by several hours, so if the sealant was applied in low temperatures or shady areas, we recommend waiting at least 8 hours before allowing people to walk on the asphalt.

We do recommend that, as a general rule, most types of sealant will be entirely safe to walk on after 12 hours, so if you can allow for a longer paver sealing time, it’s advised that you do.

How long does sealer need to dry before driving on it?

For freshly sealed asphalt, we strongly advise that you wait 24 hours before accepting any vehicles onto the driveway. The added weight of cars and foot traffic can affect the paver sealing ability of sealant that otherwise feels dry to the touch.

To avoid having to re-seal your parking lot or damaging the structure itself, you must allow for the sealant to fully harden beneath the surface before accepting the weight of vehicles.

Last Word

The length of time it takes for paving sealer to dry depends on the type you choose. We recommend using a high-quality sealer that will last up to three years and not cause any staining or discolouration.

If you’re still unsure which sealant best suits your needs, search out a local contractor for professional advice.

Most will offer a free quote and, now you know about all the different patio sealers and drive sealers available, you can be equipped to discuss your particular needs thoroughly.