House Grail is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

How Long to Stay off a New Asphalt Driveway? Facts & FAQs

red brick house with asphalt driveway

Are you having a new asphalt driveway installed at your home? If so, there are several things you need to know to ensure your new driveway lasts for years and retains its integrity without deteriorating. One critical question is how long to stay off a new asphalt driveway, especially for automobiles and heavy vehicles.

On average, it is suggested to stay off your new asphalt driveway for 24 to 72 hours. Read on to learn more and ensure your new asphalt driveway doesn’t get damaged accidentally.

car and road divider

How Long Should You Wait To Use a New Asphalt Driveway?

The answer to this first question comes in two parts. The first part deals with walking on a new asphalt driveway. The weight of people (and pets) is much less than vehicles. For that reason, resist the urge to walk on your new asphalt driveway for 24 to 72 hours. However, if necessary, a minimum of 24 hours will still work (Don’t walk on the driveway with high heels, though).

Cars and small trucks are a different story since they’re heavy. It’s recommended you don’t drive either one on a new asphalt driveway for 72 hours minimum. Waiting for at least a week for heavier vehicles like RVs, large trucks, and campers might be necessary.

Don’t park a car or small truck on a new asphalt driveway for at least 2 weeks. For heavier vehicles, a month might be necessary. If you have your new asphalt driveway installed in summer, it might be best to wait an extra one or two weeks. The reason is that it takes longer for the asphalt to harden during the heat of summer.

house with paver driveway
Image Credit: romakoma, Shutterstock

How Soon Can New Asphalt Get Wet?

Asphalt companies do their best to install asphalt driveways when it’s dry because the asphalt will dry slower when it’s raining. Also, there’s a chance it will get damaged if it rains heavily. However, once your new asphalt driveway has been completely installed, it can get wet after 24 hours. Waiting 72 hours would be better, but Mother Nature has other plans sometimes.

How Long To Stay off a Resurfaced Asphalt Driveway

The same rules apply for a resurfaced asphalt driveway as they do a 100% new driveway. Don’t walk on it for at least 24 hours, and don’t drive on it for at least 72 hours. Don’t park regular vehicles for two weeks and heavy vehicles like RVs and large trucks for a month. As with a new asphalt driveway, the more time you give a resurfaced asphalt driveway to cure, the better.

What Happens if You Drive a Vehicle on New Asphalt?

Several things can happen if you drive on new asphalt too early; all of which are negative. For example, driving on asphalt before it’s cured could cause ruts and dips, which are small indentations in the asphalt. These indentations can hold water that can freeze and damage the asphalt during the winter. Driving on new asphalt with a very heavy vehicle can cause large depressions, and they’re similar to ruts but worse.

Making a sharp turn on a new asphalt driveway can cause tire tracking in the asphalt. Cars with power steering can also cause divots in the asphalt (similar to what you see on a golf course after a swing). Lastly, driving over the edges of a newly installed asphalt driveway can cause them to crumble and destroy its nice, clean edges.

asphalt driveway

How Long Should You Stay Off Fresh Asphalt Sealcoating?

Asphalt driveways need to be sealed every three to five years. Like the asphalt itself, it’s best to stay off of a newly sealed asphalt driveway for 24 to 48 hours. If the weather when you apply the asphalt sealant is cool and humid, waiting an extra 24 to 48 hours is recommended.

Sealant typically needs about a month to dry completely. For that reason, avoid spilling any harsh chemicals or making sharp turns with your vehicles during this time. Both could damage the sealer and reduce its protective properties.

Tips for Protecting Your New Asphalt Driveway

As with any material used in home construction, asphalt will last longer and serve your family better if you protect it well.  Below are several excellent tips to ensure your asphalt driveway lasts as long as possible.

  • Put a coat of sealant on your asphalt driveway 6 to 12 months after it is installed. (Beware of putting it on too soon as this can damage the asphalt.)
  • On extremely hot days, spray water on your asphalt driveway to cool it and harden the asphalt.
  • For the first 6-12 months, don’t park any vehicles in the same spot every day.
  • If you drive a motorcycle, place a small piece of plywood under the kickstand when it’s parked. The wood will prevent any indentations from being created in the asphalt.
  • Never allow large, heavy trucks like moving trucks, garbage trucks, construction trucks, etc., to park on your asphalt driveway. This rule is especially pertinent in summer when your asphalt driveway can become softer and more pliable, and the excess weight can easily destroy the edges.
  • If you spill any vehicle fluid on your asphalt driveway, remove it immediately. This includes gasoline, antifreeze, motor oil, etc.
  • If holes or large ruts form in your asphalt driveway, patch them immediately.
  • Remove snow and ice from your asphalt driveway as soon as possible in winter to prevent damage.

car and road divider Final Thoughts

Asphalt driveways are safe, cost-effective, quiet, and surprisingly friendly to the environment. That’s because asphalt is 100% recyclable and it’s one of the most recycled products in the United States. If you’ve just had a new asphalt driveway installed in front of your home, the tips and advice we’ve provided today will keep it looking good for many years.

Featured Image Credit: charmphoto, Shutterstock


Related posts

OUR categories

Project ideas

Hand & power tools