How long does asphalt take to dry after road repaving?

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I've taken cross country trips where I've come home to find the bottom of my doors and bumper covers slathered in asphalt goo after driving through road construction/repaving, presumably from asphalt that wasn't fully dried. Anybody that has had to rid a car of asphalt spray knows how incredibly frustrating that is.

I come home today to find them repaving the road in front of my house (a moderately busy state highway). They're closing down about 1/8 of a mile at a time down to one lane where the paving equipment is, but then it opens right back to two lanes, so the traffic going south is driving on asphalt that they literally just put down with zero cure/dry time. I drove through about 1/4 mile of it before I got to my driveway. My tires are now coated in asphalt goo (the tread), of which the goo is now covered in about 1/2" layer of gravel on each tire that it picked up from my driveway. I feel bad for the guy that gets behind me next time I have to take the car out.

Is this common practice? Is there any recourse for someone whose car gets damaged by wet asphalt? I'm not incredibly concerned for myself (and luckily I had my black car), but for the people who have to travel 10+ miles down this road on wet asphalt.
 
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Asphalt is laid down hot then the gooey tar component solidifies as it cools. The time before it can be driven on is an uncertain process.

There is some recourse for car damage from faulty roads. You'd have to show that what happened is 100% the state or contractor's fault.
 
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Asphalt doesn't dry, it cools. Sometimes they spray water on it to make it cool faster so they can open the lane up to traffic sooner.

However, a few years after the asphalt is laid, they often apply a chip seal or a slurry seal to seal it and prevent deterioration, which extends it's life.

This is usually a water-based emulsion. How long it takes to dry depends on the humidity and outside temperature.

EDIT: If they are opening the lanes up to traffic and the pavement is sticking to the tires, someone's screwing up.
 
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I have never driven on a freshly paved asphalt road and experienced what you did. I have seen roads where they put down a oily / tar like substance and then immediately put gravel over it. Those are just as bad IMHO.
 
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The asphalt can be driven on when it has been rolled and it has cooled down. I think what you are seeing is the result of running on the tack coat. The tack is a material to bond the new asphalt to the old asphalt underneath. It is a liquid sprayed ahead of the paving machine and it will be picked up on your tires. You can remove it with diesel.
 

92saturnsl2

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The asphalt can be driven on when it has been rolled and it has cooled down. I think what you are seeing is the result of running on the tack coat. The tack is a material to bond the new asphalt to the old asphalt underneath. It is a liquid sprayed ahead of the paving machine and it will be picked up on your tires. You can remove it with diesel.
Nope-- this is not the tack coat, but I did see what you were talking about in front of the paving operation. They had a flagger a few hundred feet before the big paving machine which either held cars going south stopped, or directed them into the left-hand lane ("wrong" lane). A couple cars in front of me were confused and went back to the right-hand lane (no cones to prevent this) and drove right over the tack stuff. Once they went around the corner the paving machine was there which forced them back into the left lane. A few hundred feet after you got past the big paving machine (which was laying down asphalt, which I estimate to be about 3-4" thick), they had another flagger which was holding opposite direction traffic, and he directed you back onto the normal lane which was JUST laid down. This is a two lane rural highway. I couldn't believe what I was seeing, which is why I posted this to see whether this was normal.

We just had a nice heavy downpour for about 45 minutes, I wonder how that affects things... I think we'll be driving our black car for a few days, lucky I only have to go a quarter mile to get off this road, but I don't know if they intend to pave the cross streets further up that I have to drive on.
 

92saturnsl2

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So I was way off on my from-the-driver's seat thickness measurement. I walked out just now, and the asphalt they laid down is only about 1 to 1-1/2 inches.

It's been about 2 hours since they laid it, and surprisingly it seems pretty solid. Kicking it just knocks some aggregate loose from the edges, but no softness or oiliness to it from what I can tell. Granted this is after a heavy downpour which probably cooled it very quickly, but looks good to my untrained eye.

That said, it most definitely coated my tires in a layer of asphalt muck after driving on the stuff that was just poured. I still have the 1/2" layer of gravel stuck to to the goo, which is in turn stuck to my tires.

I'm also curious what they marked in orange, that is part of the easement on my property. I know of no utilities or anything in that area.

Some pictures:

IMG_3695.jpg


IMG_3696.jpg


IMG_3697.jpg


IMG_3698.jpg
 
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I could never understand how blacktop works. When they pave a street in my town, a few hours later the roads open and everyone can drive or park on it. When people have their driveways paved, they'rd not supposed to drive or part on it for 2 weeks. Whats the difference ?.,,,
 

92saturnsl2

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I could never understand how blacktop works. When they pave a street in my town, a few hours later the roads open and everyone can drive or park on it. When people have their driveways paved, they'rd not supposed to drive or part on it for 2 weeks. Whats the difference ?.,,,

That's essentially what caused me to post this... Major interstates are usually closed down for a week or more to let the asphalt dry or cure. Then the driveways, like you mentioned, have caution tape blocking them off for a week or more.

Here, my street gets repaved (finally!) and I can get right back on it immediately after the paving truck goes through? Mind warp for sure.
 
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Growing up off a dirt road the township would come through about once a year, usually in the summer to 'tar and chip' the road sections where people lived to keep down the dust. Talk about getting stuff on your car. You had to wait days for that stuff to harden to the point it wouldn't get all over everything.
 
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So asphalt just "erodes" away and never dries up? Look at a 15 year old asphalt highway.

...and the pictures above, are they not supposed to grind down the old asphalt before topping?
 
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Asphalt is laid down hot then the gooey tar component solidifies as it cools. The time before it can be driven on is an uncertain process.

There is some recourse for car damage from faulty roads. You'd have to show that what happened is 100% the state or contractor's fault.
My HOA told us to wait till the end of day, so probably about 12 hrs. I got yelled at when someone in my family ran out right after they paved it. I had to went to the next HOA meeting to apologize to everyone personally.
 
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So asphalt just "erodes" away and never dries up? Look at a 15 year old asphalt highway.

...and the pictures above, are they not supposed to grind down the old asphalt before topping?
In my neck of the woods they grind off the existing couple of layers when the existing road surface is really beat up and uneven.
 
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In my neck of the woods they grind off the existing couple of layers when the existing road surface is really beat up and uneven.
Exactly. If the old layer(s) are in poor shape or (especially) if there are serious cracks they will need to grind them off before placing new asphalt. Sometimes they will place a "levelling binder" that is only 3/4" to an inch or so thick to account for various low areas, prior to placing the wearing surface course.
 
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The mix is different for streets vs residential. The size of the rock is one difference.
And also, the residential driveway is usually compacted using only very small rollers, either due to space constraints, tight clearances, possible soft soils underneath, etc, etc while highways are compacted by giant vibratory rollers. Even if you used the same mix, you could take cores from the driveway and cores from the highway and the difference in density (pounds per cubic foot) and voids would be noticeable.
 
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The road before the paving in your pics doesn't look that bad to begin with, unless of course there are much worse areas that will benefit. I try to avoid roads if possible after being freshly done, but find by far the worst is when parking lots are touched up as in some type of tar coating being smacked down into cracks and just left a sticky mess for weeks to even a few months. That stuff sticks to shoes, tires, etc. and annoying to remove.
 
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