Can sealer be applied at night?

2012-09-16 23.22.19Most people have seen asphalt crews working in the middle of the night. Perhaps you have passed a crew rolling new asphalt pavement or seen a highway sign announcing certain lanes will be closed overnight for repairs. It is true that asphalt contractors often perform many tasks during the wee hours of the night. However, reputable asphalt contractors cringe at the mere thought of applying sealcoating at night.

Technically, it is sometimes possible to apply sealant at night, but there is a long list of conditions that would have to be met. At best, sealcoating at night involves significant risk of failure, and your sealcoating will have a shorter life.

The irony is that you have much to lose and little to gain by insisting on a nighttime application of sealcoating.

1. Sealcoat needs to cure before you can allow traffic into the area. It would be nice if all that was required was applying the sealant and letting it dry for a couple of hours. Drying time, however, is not the same as curing time. Curing can take up to 24 hours, depending on conditions, but typically, you can reopen the area the day after the sealcoating is applied.
2. Sealcoating needs the ultraviolet radiation that the sun provides if it is to cure properly. Most sealcoating manufacturers advise exposing the newly applied sealant to sunlight for at least four to six hours. This means that the best you can hope for is to reopen the area sometime during the afternoon following the nighttime application of the sealcoating. If you have the sealant applied during the day, you can often reopen the area the following morning. In other words, you are not buying yourself that much time.
3. Most sealcoating manufacturers will not guarantee their products if they are applied at night. Although product failures are rare, they can happen. If the manufacturer declares its warranty invalid, you could be paying for a second application out of your own pocket, as the contractor will likely include a clause in your contract to that effect.
4. The chances are excellent that your sealcoating will not last more than six months or so — perhaps less, if your area receives a lot of traffic. In general, sealcoating applied during the day lasts three to four times as long as sealcoating applied at night.

At Affordable Striping & Sealing, we understand your need to have your area reopened as quickly as possible. We are willing to work with you in any way that we can to reduce your downtime. However, we value your respect and satisfaction with our work too much to recommend applying sealant at night. If you are concerned about the length of time your area will need to be closed, discuss the matter with us to see what alternatives we might be able to offer to reduce your inconvenience without resorting to methods that will only make you unhappy in the long run.

In addition to sealcoating, Affordable Striping & Sealing offers parking lot painting, parking lot restriping, asphalt crack repair, bumper blocks and traffic sign installation, road markings and parking lot design. We have the expertise to offer you the best work at affordable prices. You can enter your information on our online form to request your free estimate, or you can call us at 702-222-9009.