How Long Before I Can Drive Over a New Concrete Driveway?

Repaving a driveway can be nerve-racking for homeowners. The coordinating of masons with concrete workers and the rest of the household can be problematic, especially when multiple cars are usually parked in the driveway. How long it takes the concrete to dry and be drivable plays a key role in how well the concrete sits, and how nice the new driveway looks when the project is finished.

Mini-van with groceries and flowers
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Car in driveway

Proper Drying Time for Concrete

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Driveway of house

Remove all vehicles and foot traffic from the driveway. In order to achieve an evenly planed driveway the workers pouring and leveling the concrete must be allowed to work unfettered and without an ill-timed vehicle or foot in the pour. After it's poured, concrete will dry to the the touch after six hours. As long as the concrete has been allowed to dry on an even plane and there's no grade or slope to the driveway, this time will hold true. If the size or slant of the terrain is irregular, allow more time just to be safe.

Allow eight hours to two days before walking on the newly poured concrete. Keep animals off the driveway for at least another two days after people have started walking on it. This will keep untrimmed nails from digging any holes in the freshly dried surface; recommend waiting to drive a vehicle on new concrete for a minimum of three days after the concrete is poured.

Remember that concrete takes a full month (28 days) to completely dry and hold its strength. During that time it is still possible to pierce, chip or otherwise harm the newly paved driveway. Tread lightly and avoid any aggressive driving behavior during the first month of the driveway's life and the concrete will hold its shape for years to come.

Exterior of house in suburbs
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Home with new driveway
Exterior of house in suburbs
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Driveway of home
Mother helping son and daughter (6-8) get into mini van
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Mini van in driveway