If you want to lay new asphalt or repair to your business parking lot or driveway, you might be wondering about how long you have to wait before letting traffic back onto the asphalt. Though you can technically drive on asphalt right after it is laid, it’s not recommended. As an asphalt contractor in St. Petersburg FL, we recommend that you wait 12-24 hours after new asphalt is laid before you let traffic on it for the best results.
Driving on new asphalt
When asphalt is laid, it is not wet. Therefore, waiting to let traffic on new asphalt is not recommended because it needs to dry, but because it needs to cool and harden. New asphalt used to pave and repave parking lots is very hot when it is laid. If you were to drive on a parking lot immediately after it is paved and not fully cooled, there will most likely be tire marks and indentations in the new asphalt. This is why we recommend waiting 12-24 hours after the asphalt is laid to drive on it.
If you are paving an entire parking lot, you should not drive on it right away. However, if you are just repairing a small spot, such as a pothole or a crack, the asphalt can be driven on a lot sooner. Because the spot is smaller, the asphalt cools and hardens much faster.
Driving on newly sealed asphalt
Sealcoating is a protective measure that is used to extend the lifespan of asphalt. The sealcoat is a tar substance that is laid on top of asphalt to protect against weather, water, oils and damage caused by traffic. It can also make old, faded asphalt look black again.
Unlike new asphalt, sealcoating is wet when it is put down and does need time to dry. We recommend waiting 24 hours before letting traffic onto newly sealed asphalt to insure that it has dried entirely. Most asphalt contractors in St. Petersburg FL provide seal coat services as well.
Driving on asphalt after striping
Parking lot striping is the process of painting markers, such as parking space indicators and cross walks, on asphalt. Unlike sealcoating and asphalt, parking lots can be driven on after about 5 minutes from when the parking lot was painted.
Parking lot striping in St. Petersburg FL
At Bay Area Asphalt, we provide asphalt repair services, sealcoating and parking lot striping in St. Petersburg FL. We have been serving the bay area since 2003 and would be happy to help you with your businesses parking lot maintenance needs.