How to Cure Asphalt

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The best conditions for curing asphalt include high daytime temperatures and nighttime temperatures that are temperate; however, even if these conditions are present, asphalt needs to cure, which means it needs time to dry out completely, cool and harden. According to Petrapaving.com, it can take an entire year for asphalt to completely cure/harden.

Things You'll Need

  • Asphalt sealer
  • Resist sealing your new asphalt surface. The asphalt needs at least a full three months to cure. Sealing your asphalt driveway prematurely locks in oils, which makes it eternally vulnerable to tire tracks and other marks.

  • Stick a toothpick into the crack of the asphalt. If it comes out wet and black, the asphalt is not fully cured.

  • Look for stone aggregate pieces. This is the best time to seal the asphalt.

  • Apply a high-quality, coal-tar sealer to the asphalt.

  • Let the sealer cure for four to 12 hours. Touch the sealer with a gloved hand. If there is black on the glove, check again later. When the sealer is dry, apply a second coat of sealer. Repeat every three to five years.

Tips & Warnings

  • A good gravel base is the secret to creating a driveway that is long-lasting. When there is a good base, the driveway can tolerate heavy traffic. The gravel is the foundation for the pavement, and it should include 8 to 10 inches of well-compacted, crushed gravel, which is laid on soil that is solid. The base should be 12 inches wider than the finished black top surface. If you blacktop all the way to the edge of the gravel, when vehicles drive over the edge, an inch or 2 of the blacktop cracks off because the blacktop doesn't have support under it at the edge.
  • Additionally, make sure that the sealer is fully cured, not just on the surface but all the way through. If you drive or walk on sealant that is not cured, you are going to ruin the look of the surface.
  • Following these steps should result in a good-looking driveway that can resist years of wear and tear.

References

  • Photo Credit Photos.com/AbleStock.com/Getty Images
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