How long should you stay off of fresh asphalt used to patch a driveway?

Updated February 21, 2017

Asphalt is a mixture of stone, sand and liquid cement that spreads like concrete but is black in appearance. Asphalt is used on drives, roads, car parks, runways and other surfaces that have pedestrian and vehicle traffic. It is also used as a patching material. Like concrete and other cement, asphalt must cool and harden before you can walk or drive on it.

Drying time

Do not drive or walk on fresh asphalt for two to three days after you've patched your drive so the material can cool and dry properly. Park your car and other vehicles on the street or in a neighbour's drive. For added protection of the surface, rope off the section of fresh asphalt or place cones around your drive so visitors know to stay off its surface.

Tire marks and footprints

If you don't stay off the fresh asphalt for at least two to three days, tyre marks and footprints will make an impression in the surface even if it appears dry. Also, scarring will occur if you move heavy objects over fresh asphalt.

Temperature variations

If the outside air temperature is over 32.2 degrees Celsius (90 degrees Fahrenheit), do not drive or walk on the area for at least five days. Extreme heat slows down the cooling and drying process. Rain and humidity do not have a direct effect on the fresh asphalt's drying time. Moisture and rain run off of asphalt and do not leave indentations in the material once it is spread.


Apply a seal coating one year after your asphalt drive has been patched. This coating protects the asphalt from oil and chemical spills as well as maintains the asphalt's elasticity. Follow the directions and recommendations on the sealer's container. Re-apply a seal coating every two to four years.

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About the Author

Nick Davis is a freelance writer specializing in technical, travel and entertainment articles. He holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Memphis and an associate degree in computer information systems from the State Technical Institute at Memphis. His work has appeared in "Elite Memphis" and "The Daily Helmsman" in Memphis, Tenn. He is currently living in Albuquerque, N.M.