Skip to main content
How Long Does It Take Asphalt To Cure Fort Lauderdale, Florida

How Long Does It Take Asphalt To Cure

How Long Does It Take Asphalt To Cure

a road closed sign sitting on the side of a road

Many parking lots, driveways, and roads are made of asphalt because of the material’s strength and durability. Whether your commercial property needs a new parking lot or you’re thinking about repaving an existing driveway, you should understand how long it takes asphalt to cure. Knowing the process of asphalt construction ensures you can extend the life of your asphalt and take proper care of it so it lasts for many years. Our team at U.S. Pave has created this guide to help you learn everything you need to know about asphalt curing and what affects the drying and curing process.

What Is Asphalt Curing?

The asphalt curing process relates to the time it takes for asphalt to go from its liquid state to its dry state and then to its fully hardened state. Although asphalt begins to cool immediately after it’s poured, you typically can’t drive or walk on it right away. It takes several hours for asphalt to lose its sticky feel, and it won’t be dry for at least a couple of days. Fully cured asphalt takes up to 12 months to form because of the chemical process that fuses the material together.

The water in the asphalt mixture must evaporate off the surface before the material is ready to support weight. So you and your customers, tenants, or employees will have to stay off the newly paved surface for at least 48 hours. The longer you let the asphalt cure, the stronger the material will be.

What Are the Typical Curing Times for Asphalt?

Although asphalt begins drying the moment it’s poured, this doesn’t mean you can use it right away. Most of the time, you’ll want to wait to drive on the new pavement for at least 48 hours. It can take longer if the conditions aren’t ideal. In some cases, you may have to wait 72 hours or more to use your new asphalt.

The typical asphalt curing time is 12 months because asphalt isn’t fully cured until it’s hard, all its water content evaporates, and the oil completely oxidizes. But you don’t have to wait until your asphalt cures to use it, as it can support weight sooner. Asphalt curing time for roads can be anywhere from six months up to 12 months depending on the type of asphalt mix.

What Factors Affect Asphalt Curing Time?

There are various factors affecting asphalt curing time.

Air Temperature

Air temperature is one factor that greatly affects asphalt curing time. Because the curing time is based on moisture content, cold weather will cause asphalt to cure slowly. If the air temperature is too hot, it could result in water evaporating from the asphalt too rapidly. When asphalt dries too fast, it can damage the material and cause it to crack or break. The ideal asphalt curing time temperature is warm and slightly breezy.

Humidity Level

To cure properly, asphalt needs to allow for water to evaporate. This means humidity will affect asphalt curing times. When there’s high humidity outside, water takes longer to evaporate, ultimately slowing the curing time for your asphalt construction project. Low humidity in the air can help asphalt dry faster, but you don’t want it to dry too rapidly. Asphalt that dries too quickly won’t harden right.

Asphalt Depth

Another factor affecting the asphalt curing process is the depth of the parking lot, road, or driveway. For example, a brand-new parking lot that’s very dense will take longer to cure than a relatively shallow asphalt patch for a pothole. Water takes longer to get to the surface of thick asphalt, and the oil in the asphalt will also take longer to oxidize.

Type of Asphalt

The type of asphalt mix that’s used for your construction project plays a part in its curing time. There are two main types of asphalt: hot mix and cold mix. These types of asphalt differ in the materials they contain to bind them together. Hot mix asphalt is stronger and more reliable, but it takes longer to cure. Cold mix asphalt works for quick repairs and jobs that require speed because it takes less time to cure.

What Are the Best Practices for Proper Asphalt Curing?

There are some precautions you can take when it comes to ensuring proper asphalt curing. It’s important to avoid driving extremely heavy machinery or equipment on your asphalt until it’s fully cured, as this can cause serious damage to the material. You’ll also want to avoid spills, such as oil or gas leaks from vehicles. If you notice any spills, you should rinse the asphalt immediately with water. Make sure no one drives too close to the edge of the asphalt, where it can break and fall away more easily.

If you need to accelerate asphalt curing, you’ll want to do it right to avoid damaging your new driveway, parking lot, or other project. If it’s cold or humid outside, you can use a heat lamp to help evaporate any moisture in the pavement to accelerate asphalt curing. You should also keep people and vehicles off the asphalt for as long as possible or until the asphalt is completely dry.

What Are Some Issues That Can Arise From Improper Asphalt Curing?

The following are some problems with asphalt curing you may encounter if someone doesn’t do the job properly:

  • Deterioration caused by inadequate compaction of the asphalt.
  • Reduction in strength because of improper moisture evaporation.
  • Reduction in longevity from using the asphalt too soon or too heavily after it’s put down.

Consult U.S. Pave To Learn More About Asphalt Curing

Before you move forward with your asphalt construction project, make sure you understand and follow the guidelines for asphalt curing. This ensures your asphalt will last for years to come. Consult our team at U.S. Pave to learn more about asphalt curing and how it’ll affect your project. We have years of experience working with businesses and companies across Florida and in select cities in Texas, Virginia, Ohio, and Colorado. Let us help you get your asphalt project done right.

a road closed sign sitting on the side of a road by Robert Linder is licensed with Unsplash License

Posted on behalf of US PAVE

U.S. Pave is a full-service paving maintenance and installation company serving all of Florida with Parking Lot Maintenance, New Asphalt Construction, Asphalt Patching and Repair, Parking Lot Crack Repair, Pothole Repair, Parking Lot Resurfacing (Overlay), Parking Lot Sealcoating or Resealing, Concrete Maintenance, Concrete Flatwork, Concrete Car Stops, Flow line / Curb & Gutter, Trip-hazard Removal/Grinding, Parking Lot Striping, Signage, Bollards, ADA Compliance and Upgrades, Catch Basins, Sweeping and Porter Services.

Whether you’re in need of a small repair or a new construction project, U.S. Pave's dedicated team has you covered.

For more information on our services contact us today at (954) 210-7481.

Contact us today for a Free Estimate

Our Client Reviews

US. Pave

Based on 13 reviews

5.0 / 5.0

A Great Experience, From Start To The End Of The Job. Helped Me Thru Many Violations Prior To Hiring The Company. Kept In Touch With Me Thru All The Job. I Will Highly Recommend Nick For The Professionalism , Excellent Quality Of Job And Communication.

Ben S.

Great Company! The Work Gets Done. I Really Enjoy My Work Here. We’re The Company That Never Sleeps. Always Working To Make Customers Happy And Satisfied. We’re Paving The Way.

Replications A.

I Would Like To Thank U.S. Pave For Doing Such An Amazing Job On Our Properties Parking Lots. The Staff Was Professional And Always Available To Answer Any Concerns Or Questions We Had While Completing The Work. I Would Highly Recommend Them To Anyone Looking For A Paving Company.

Heather B.

Professional Quality Work Done In All Of Our Commercial Property’s. Best Paving Company We’ve Come Across In The Last 10 Yrs Knowledgeable And Efficient.

Q Spiritz

Great Company, Do That They Say. All Work Was Done On Time. Nick Was Always Available To Answer Any Questions.
Thank You.

Mallory C.

US Pave Has Taken Care Of All Our Warehouses Parking Lots For The Last 5 Years. I Highly Recommend Them To Everybody!

Contact us