In this article, we will discuss if rain helps asphalt cure. Asphalt provides great performance as a driveway material. On the other hand, newly installed asphalt takes some time to cure before it is ready to be used. Weather conditions should also be considered as they affect how long it takes for the asphalt to cure. How does rain affect asphalt curing? Read the rest of the article below to find out the answer.
Does rain help asphalt cure? The rain does not help cure asphalt. Asphalt cannot be installed during the rainy season. This is because asphalt mixtures contain oil and as it gets wet, the oil reacts with the rain which affects not only the curing time but also the durability and quality of the asphalt. When newly installed asphalt gets wet, the oil will rise to the surface and can reduce the structural integrity of the asphalt driveway.
Newly installed asphalt should not be exposed to water as it weakens its foundation and quality. What does rain do to asphalt? What can’t you install asphalt when it is raining? How do you prevent asphalt damage from rain? How long does fresh asphalt take to dry? These are some of the questions that we will discuss. Check out the rest of the article below to learn more about how rain can affect asphalt.
Why Can’t Asphalt Be Installed When It Is Raining?
Asphalt cannot be installed when it is raining because it endangers the stability of the asphalt and the subsoil. A wet soil is soft and is not an ideal surface to install asphalt or any other material. When it comes to installing asphalt, a stable and strong surface is required. Make sure that the subsoil is completely dry before you install your driveway.
What Does Rain Do to Asphalt?
Rain can cause water logging and can reduce the quality and durability of the asphalt. Light rain will not affect the asphalt. Damage can occur when water is logged on the surface of the asphalt. Bear in mind that asphalt can withstand different weather conditions. On the other hand, newly installed asphalt is vulnerable to damage. Rain can affect the curing time, durability, quality, and integrity of fresh asphalt.
Fresh asphalt consists of oil and aggregate. It is vulnerable to damage as it cures. Rain can cause the oil inside the asphalt to rise to the surface. As a result, this prevents the asphalt from properly curing which can lead to different problems like potholes and cracks.
Is it Okay for the Fresh Asphalt to be Rained On?
It is not okay for the fresh asphalt to be rained on as it is volatile and reacts to the water as compared to old asphalt. On the other hand, old asphalt can still get damaged because of rain, but it is not that vulnerable. How the asphalt is installed also affects how it can be able to withstand rain. Fresh asphalt can get worse without the right surface sloping. Driveways that are sloped incorrectly allow water to run off to the sides and go through the material compromising its quality and durability. You can also check out this article that discusses what the cheapest material for a driveway is. We have shared helpful tips and information that you can refer to.
How to Prevent Asphalt Damage from Rain
Drainage system installation and asphalt crack sealing are two ways that you can do to prevent asphalt damage from rain. Make sure that the surface is free from water logging. This can be done by covering the surface of the asphalt when it is raining. On the other hand, this method is not applicable for large driveways. Your best option is to install a proper drainage system. Let us learn more about this below.
Drainage System Installation
One way to prevent asphalt damage from rain is to have a proper drainage installation. This will make sure that your driveway does not have stagnant water on it. The water should be directed off the surface and into a properly working drainage structure. This can be done by creating slopes.
Asphalt Crack Sealing
Another method is asphalt crack sealing. This makes use of a hot rubberized asphalt sealer to effectively prevent water from penetrating the subgrade layer. Moreover, asphalt crack sealing properly seals the surface of the asphalt to prevent rain from going through it. Make sure that you regularly check your driveway from any crack that needs to be sealed. This will prevent expensive repairs.
✅ Video – How to Do Asphalt Crack Sealing
Vance Brothers shared the video below on YouTube. In the video, the correct way to seal asphalt crack is shown. Using hot asphalt will help blend both old and new pavements perfectly. Check out the video for more information.
Does Heavy Rainfall Damage Fresh Asphalt?
Heavy rainfall can damage fresh asphalt. Bear in mind that newly installed asphalt is more vulnerable to damage as compared to the old ones. It takes about three to six months for the asphalt to properly cure after it is installed. If it is exposed to rain during those months, it can damage the surface. Damage is usually caused by the water that has pooled on the surface of the asphalt. Proper drainage should be installed. Moreover, avoid using vehicles on newly installed asphalt for at least seven days depending on the hot weather. This can prevent dips and ruts that can cause puddles when it rains.
Does Water Help Old Asphalt?
As temperature changes, asphalt can harden or soften. You can water it down, but this is not mandatory. Watering asphalt driveways can cause soapsuds to appear. This is natural because of the reaction between the diesel fuel in the asphalt and the high chlorine content of water. Make sure that there is proper drainage in your driveway so that water will easily flow and does not get stagnant.
How Long Does Wet Asphalt Take to Dry?
Wet asphalt takes 48 to 72 hours to dry. On the other hand, it takes about six to twelve months to fully cure. During these times, asphalt is vulnerable to damage. For resurfaced asphalt, it can dry in just a few hours. You can also check out this article that we have shared titled, what is the most durable material for a driveway? We have shared an in-depth discussion about the topic.
Can Weather Affect Asphalt Drying Time?
Changes in the weather can affect the drying time of asphalt. Make sure that you install the asphalt during the dry season where there are low humidity levels and it is windy. Bear in mind that high humidity levels can make the asphalt dry longer. Moreover, extreme heat is not ideal as well because it can soften the asphalt and make it harder to dry and cure. To speed up the drying process, you can spray it with water. On the other hand, avoid doing this method in extreme weather conditions. It is advised that you should not do any repairs on your asphalt driveway if the temperature is above 100°F.
How Soon Can New Asphalt Get Wet?
Newly installed asphalt can get wet after 24 hours. However, it is best to wait at least three days before it is exposed to water. It should not be rained on as it makes the asphalt dry slower and can also damage it by penetrating the surface of the asphalt. If you are installing asphalt driveway, make sure to check the weather in your area making sure that it is sunny and will not rain for a couple of days. The best time to install asphalt driveway is during spring or early summer. The weather should not be too cold or too hot.
Should You Seal a Brand New Asphalt Driveway?
It is recommended that you do not seal a new asphalt driveway. You first need to make sure that the oils in the asphalt have evaporated before sealing it which can take about six months or more. Take note that applying sealer before the asphalt has completely cured will not provide the proper sealing benefits for the surface of the driveway. You can also check out this article that we have shared that discusses what the best material for a driveway is. We have shared tips and ideas that you can refer to.
How to Prevent Water Damage in Your Driveway
To prevent water damage in your driveway, you need to have proper drainage that will avoid moisture and water to pool and become stagnant. Furthermore, the surface of the asphalt requires sealing after 30 days and should be resealed every 3 to 4 years. Resealing will have to depend on the level of wear and tear on the asphalt. If you notice any cracks or dents in the asphalt, make sure that you repair it immediately to avoid bigger damages from occurring.
You have reached the end of this article that discusses if rain helps asphalt cure. We have found out that rain does not help to cure asphalt, but can have negative effects on the structural integrity, curing time, and quality of the asphalt. Make sure that you install asphalt driveways during the dry season. Moreover, it is important to have proper drainage in your driveway to avoid water from pooling and becoming stagnant. Thank you for reading!