Everyone knows the phrase, “like watching paint dry”, but what about “like watching asphalt cure?” Depending on the paving material you’re using, asphalt curing times can be equally as boring, and twice as frustrating.
When you need your repair done fast, the curing time for your asphalt probably plays a big factor in your choice of material. So what is a good asphalt curing time for the job you’re facing? Is it imperative that the repair is permanent, or that the repair is made ASAP?
Your material’s asphalt curing time will dictate the speed and the performance of the repair itself. To truly make proactive road repairs, you’ll first want to understand asphalt curing times of different materials and what that means for your repair.
Lastly, if the speed of your repair is important, you’ll want to learn the best method for how to repair potholes in asphalt roads fast.
How Long Does it Take Asphalt to Cure?
The answer to this question relies solely on what type of asphalt you’re using. Different materials use different forms of adhesion, all with varying curing times ranging from a few seconds to a few weeks.
One of the most permanent forms of asphalt, hot mix, must cool and set for around 48-72 hours to fully harden. If the weather is especially cold or humid, the asphalt curing time for hot mix can extend as far as a week before becoming traffic-ready.
While repairs made with hot mix are more permanent, the material is unworkable outside of a range of warmer temperatures. If you are making repairs in colder temperatures or when the repair must be made fast, hot mix asphalt may not be the ideal paving material.
When hot mix is unavailable, organizations often make the switch to cold patch asphalt which is able to withstand colder temperatures. Cold patch asphalt’s curing times are a little less straightforward. With a wide range of different products and brands falling underneath the category of cold patch asphalt, there’s an equally long set of asphalt curing times.
The asphalt curing times of cold patch range anywhere from “immediate” to a few weeks to fully harden. However, even a fast acting cold patch must cure to some degree before becoming traffic ready. That’s because most manufactured cold patch asphalts rely on chemicals to form a bond.
During these curing periods while the material is still hardening, cold patch asphalt is usually quite malleable, unable to take the pressure of traffic. These chemicals are often weather-sensitive as well, making any change in moisture or temperature greatly alter the performance of the patch and the asphalt’s curing time.
Normally with manufactured cold patch asphalt, the faster the patch cures, the more VOCs are involved in the chemical bonding agents. Although these patches cure immediately, strict environmental laws make these fast acting patches less and less of an option for many organizations.
Natural asphalt, like RockAsphalt© has the unique property of having zero curing time. Pressure causes our limestone rocks to secrete a naturally-infused bitumen binder. Potholes and damaged pavement repaired with RockAsphalt© forms a permanent bond immediately.
What Asphalt Curing Times Mean for Your Repairs
Regardless of the material you use, manufactured asphalts come with a curing time. For larger road maintenance projects scheduled during warmer temperatures, hot mix is a viable repair option. However, the curing time of hot mix asphalt means your repairs won’t be traffic-ready for at least a few days.
Cold patch sacrifices permanence for speed, but even fast acting patches are prone to longer asphalt curing times because of changes in the weather. These patches also run the risk of failing from the weight of heavy traffic while they are still curing.
RockAsphalt© Zero Curing Time, Traffic-Ready Immediately
Road maintenance projects are always timed, but some emergencies require the fastest, most reliable repair possible. RockAsphalt© enables organizations to make repairs with the permanence of hot mix and the speed of fast acting cold patches with none of the downfalls. While manufactured mixes rely on temperature and chemical reactions to form a bond, RockAsphalt© is traffic-ready immediately on compaction.
Whether you need an entire road paved or one pothole patched, asphalt curing times can dictate what material is best for your project. So if you need your repair done ASAP or you just find it boring to watch asphalt cure, RockAsphalt© has the rare characteristics of making permanent pavement repairs with zero curing time!