For many reasons, asphalt is a preferred paving material for driveways and parking lots. It is strong, relatively affordable, and simple to install. However, one of the most common questions is how long before you can drive on new asphalt.
When you choose an asphalt surface for your driveway, you may wonder when you can start driving on it. You should generally wait 48 hours before driving on a newly installed asphalt surface. But here are a few factors to consider before you start driving on your new driveway.
Type of asphalt: Hot mix and cold mix. Hot mix asphalt is the most common type, and it is made of aggregate, sand, and bitumen (a black, sticky substance that binds the other materials together). Cold mix asphalt is made with emulsified asphalt, which is less expensive but does not last as long. Hot mix asphalt will cure faster than cold mix asphalt, so if you have a choice, go with hot mix.
The thickness of the asphalt: Generally speaking, the thicker the asphalt, the longer it will take to cure. The standard thickness of asphalt for driveways is 3 to 4 inches, depending on its intended purpose. So, if you have a very thick asphalt surface, you may need to wait up to 48 hours before driving on your driveway.
The weather: If it is hot outside, the asphalt will cure faster, and you can drive on it sooner. If it is cold outdoors, the asphalt will take longer to cure, and you should wait until it is warmer before driving on it. This waiting period allows the asphalt to cool and harden, making it strong enough to support the weight of vehicles.
The curing process: It takes about six weeks for the asphalt to cure. During this time, you should not park your car in the same spot for more than a few days. It will help the asphalt cure evenly. If you try to drive on wet asphalt, you risk damaging the surface and causing potholes or cracks.
Car tires: It is important to avoid driving on your new asphalt driveway when it is wet. If you must drive on your new driveway while it is still wet, you should drive slowly and avoid making sharp turns. Also, be cautious when parking on a wet asphalt driveway, as your tires may slip. Older tires will have more grip. If you have new tires, they may be too slippery to drive on an asphalt driveway that is still curing.
The weight of cars: Heavier cars will sink into the soft asphalt more than lighter cars. Heavier cars will sink into the asphalt more than lighter cars, so be careful not to leave tire marks or ruts in your driveway. It can be a major problem if you have a long driveway or your asphalt is new.
The length of the driveway: If the driveway is short, you may be able to drive on it sooner than if it is long.
The traffic on the driveway: If it is a parking lot and customers will be driving on it as soon as possible, you can ask your paving contractors to speed up the curing process. But if you are the only one using the driveway, you can wait a little longer before driving on it.
Consider these factors when deciding when to start driving on your new asphalt driveway.
If you have questions about how long you should wait before driving on your new asphalt driveway, you should ask the paving company that installed it. They can give you specific advice based on the weather conditions in your area.
In most cases, you won’t need to worry about waiting too long to drive on your new asphalt driveway.
At Highway Masters Paving, we always recommend waiting at least 48 hours before driving on new asphalt. However, if you have any concerns or clarifications, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We would be happy to assist if you have inquiries about your brand-new asphalt driveway.
Highway Masters Paving has been the leading paving contractor in Los Angeles, California, for over 25 years. They have specialized in asphalt paving for residential and commercial customers. They are fully licensed and insured and experts on all things asphalt!
If you need a paving contractor to work on your new driveway or parking lot repairs, we encourage you to call Highway Masters Paving at 323-915-8765 for a free estimate!