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How Long Does Driveway Sealer Need To Dry Before Rain?

You just did a good job sealing your driveway. However, you can’t keep worrying that sudden rain may come. How long does driveway sealer need to dry before rain? I suggest that before applying a coating to your pavement, you make sure to know the dos and don’ts of the process.

Before doing the procedure, there are facts that you need to know.

What is the importance of sealing your driveway?


  • Sealcoating is the method of applying a protective sealant to asphalt-based driveways. Driveways are the lanes linking the road to your house or garage. It is what people first notice when in your home.
  • Whether your driveway is concrete or asphalt, sealing it regularly will maintain its brand new look. It does not only make your driveway look nice, but it also becomes more durable and lasts longer. Coating the top area protects your driveway from the natural elements and chemicals from damaging the surface. It acts like a shield covering your pavement from harm.
  • Aside from protection, it is a massive help in resisting gas and oil spots as well as discouraging water penetration. You should seal your driveway every 2-3 years for maintenance.

When is the right timing for sealing a driveway?

Although you can do the method whenever you like, summer is the best time of the year to coat your driveway. The least probability of rain is the best choice to ensure its effectivity. The temperature and humidity play a significant role in how long an asphalt coating dries and completely cures. This means the less humid and warmer the weather, the faster it will dry and cure.

Understand the different types of sealers and learn how they work. Only apply water-based asphalt coating to your pavement when the temperature is at least 40 deg F or it will freeze and will no longer be useful. However, if you intend to use solvent-based asphalt coating, this type applies to any kind of weather. Hence, the type of coating you use dictates the driveway sealing drying times.

How Long Does Driveway Sealer Need To Dry Before Rain?

street-and-driveway-after-rain

street-and-driveway-after-rain

After a good job of sealing your driveway, waiting for it to dry before the rain comes is worrisome. You should be anxious when you coated your pavement during the rainy season. However, the drying times of asphalt sealers vary from one brand to another. One thing for sure is to never step on a sealed surface unless you are sure it’s already dry.

Hence, if you need a faster drying time, choose the coating that fits for it. Don’t forget to read the instructions and look for the general drying times when choosing the right kind of sealer. Usually, sealers take at least 30 minutes to dry or 24 hours the most.

The usual drying times are about 4-8 hours. In average, a driveway sealer needs 6 hours to dry before the rain comes. But, if you really need to let it dry fast, I suggest using a fast dry sealer that curates in about an hour or so.

Take note that it is difficult to find a retailer for fast dry sealers. If you want it, it’s mostly sold in volume and costs far too high compared to standard coatings.

How soon can we use the driveway when it’s already dry?

You may observe that the coating is already dry, but please don’t be too excited. Generally, you need an average of 7 hours before you can step and walk on the surface. Most importantly, you need to wait 24 hours before you can drive on the pavement. 

If you can wait for a little bit more, then I would advise that you make sure it’s dry enough to resume to normal use.

How can I tell that it is already dry?

When you have waited for the appropriate time and want to ensure that it’s already dry, try to touch or rub the surface of the driveway. Press it to ensure that the coat is dry not only at the top but also all the way through. Nevertheless, don’t forget to protect your hands by using gloves or a towel.

If black still sticks, it’s not yet time to use the pathway.

What if rains 12 hours after sealing the driveway?

If the weather is over 50°F (10°C), 12 hours of drying time is enough for the driveway sealant to be impervious to rain. It might even take up to 24 hours for the sealant to fully cure, but 12 hours is usually enough.

However, if rain does come after that period of time, you might see a slight loss of gloss in some areas on your driveway. This means that the water washed away some of your sealers.

In general, If your driveway has a "patchy" appearance, this means that rain washed away some of the sealers. Therefore, you need to reseal that spot or even the whole driveway when the weather is good.

If your sealer is shiny throughout, don’t panic! Your driveway is safe!

Don’t worry about mild rain 12 hours after sealing your driveway unless there are wide patches of missing or “diluted” sealer (a sign that the product is losing its effectiveness).

How Soon Can New Asphalt Get Wet?

Generally, new asphalt can get wet after 24 hours, with two to three days being ideal.

Rain is the enemy of asphalt when paving. Rain will make asphalt dry slower, and working during rain will damage asphalt in most cases. So, when paving, try to look for a few sunny days before rain.

When it comes to seasons, the best time to pave your new driveway is spring or early summer, on a warm sunny day, with some breeze. It’s ideal when it’s not too cold, too hot, or too wet.

If your home and driveway are completely new, it’s advisable to wait for at least two years before you pave your drive or walkways. This is because 2 years is usually enough time for the grade to settle and the base for the asphalt to become established.

How long does asphalt need to dry before rain?

Asphalt needs to dry for at least 24 hours in good weather conditions before rain, better 48.

In fact, if you don’t let your asphalt driveway dry long enough before it rains, any remaining moisture can flash into steam when exposed to water or heat (such as hot exhaust pipe from a car). This is called spalling, which creates pock-mark depressions on the surface of an asphalt driveway.

Applying an Asphalt Sealer on Your Driveway

If you want to keep water out, should you seal your asphalt driveway? The short answer is yes! It will help prevent stains, make cleaning off oil spills easier, and ensure that your driveway remains shiny and good-looking for a long time.

There are several sealers you can use on your asphalt, depending on the purpose you intend them to serve. For example, if all you want is temporary protection against oil spills, discoloration, or stains from debris, then an alternative solution called “quick-clean” is just the thing. If, on the other hand, you’re looking for a more long-term solution that will ensure your asphalt remains shiny and protected for years to come, then an “elite” type of sealer might be in order.

The cost of asphalt sealers varies depending on what you choose to buy. Asphalt professionals typically recommend buying more expensive brands that offer long-lasting protection rather than cheaper alternatives that are not as effective over time. 


Simple tips for faster drying time

  • Use thinner coats of sealing products. Thin coats tend to dry faster.
  • Spread it manually to ensure that the coatings are not creating puddles. Puddles make the glaze thick and dry longer.
  • Use extra fans to blow-dry the wet layer. The heat of the sun can use a little help.
  • The hotter (above 50 deg. F) and humid it is, the faster the coat dries.
  • Repair any cracks and holes first for a smoother surface. Smooth surface prevents puddles.
  • If you are not sure how to do it, ask for help from a professional.
  • Pressure clean the driveway before application of sealer.
  • Use high-quality products.
  • Follow the label instructions properly.

CONCLUSION

How long does driveway sealer need to dry before rain? Well, to wrap it up, different factors dictate the drying time of the sealant. Factors to consider are:

  • The weather or temperature (ideally 80 deg. F)
  • The type of sealant that you use (fast dry or standard)
  • The accuracy/mastery of the application (done the right way)

It will take an average of 6 hours of waiting time before a driveway sealer to dry. However, make sure that it’s really dry before walking or driving on it.

Are you ready to seal your driveway? Don’t forget to get the vehicles out of the garage first!

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