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Driveway Sealing in cooler weather.

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Ideally, you should be working in the warmer months. However, if you find yourself in a position where you need to work in cooler temperatures, here are some tricks you can try

Things don’t always go according to plan. I found myself in a position where I had two buckets of sealer. I had sealed the driveway. However, the part closest to the street was in pretty bad shape so a second coat wouldn’t hurt. 

I could also have returned the unused sealer but an hour round trip for two pails didn’t seem worthwhile. Most sealers don’t react well to freezing. If I didn’t use them, I would have to carry them to the basement. That isn’t a big deal but I decided to avoid that. 

The temperatures were dropping to the 30’s overnight. The data sheet for the Latexite Airport Grade Sealer said to apply it when the temperature is 55 and rising. The part of the driveway that I wanted to seal gets some sun in the afternoon. 

I decided to give it a try. This would be well outside any terms of the warranty. If it didn’t work, I would lose about an hour’s time and the cost of the sealer. 

If you are in a position where you have to try sealing the driveway in less than optimal temperatures, here are some things to try. 

If you are cold, your sealer is cold – Bring it in.

If the overnight temps are dropping to the 30’s, consider bringing the sealer inside. Sitting overnight in 60 degrees will be better than sitting out in the 30’s.

Check the forecast

Most weather sites now provide hourly forecasts. That is handy for determining when it will be warm enough to apply the sealer.

Infrared heating.

The warmer the sealer, the better. Well, up to a point. You can warm it up a bit more with an infrared heater. DO THIS OUTDOORS. I put the sealer on a dolly in front of an infrared heater on medium. The dolly let me easily rotate the pail. IF the heater caused a leak I would have just spread it on that part of the driveway. 

 

I loosened the lit prior to heating the pail. I had it heating for about an hour. 

Measure the temperature, don’t guess

A laser thermometer is handy. I have one that reads the surface temperature of whatever you scan with it. In this case, most of the area I wanted to seal was in the 60’s . I checked my indoor outdoor thermometer to make sure that the air temperature was at least 55 degrees.

Bring out the flamethrower

I have a large torch that connects to a 20 pound propane tank. I hit the section with that to warm it up a little more.

When it got close to 4 pm, much of the sealed area was still wet. I warmed a section at a time with the torch. Again, that is way out of spec as far as the warranty is concerned. However, it did speed up the drying/curing process.

What happens when you fail.

My last bucket of sealer didn’t go so well. I tried to apply it after work instead of earlier in the day. It looked like it would be getting enough sun but some clouds set in. We had some unexpected early rain the next day.

The result was that most of the emulsion washed away leaving sand. This was not a major disaster as it was only one pail. I can just blow it off the driveway the next time I use the leaf blower.

The fault was all my own. I attempted to use the product in an environment that it wasn’t designed for. I’m not upset about this at all as I was able to get over 20 pails worth of sealer on the driveway this summer.

Driveway Sealer Failure
Driveway Sealer Failure

Summary

This is definitely not an optimal way to apply sealer. Working in warm weather will result in a much better job. However, if you do find yourself in a situation where you need to work a little outside the normal temperature ranges, you can tweak the process a bit. 

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