When Can I Drive On New Concrete?

When can I drive on new concrete? How long should I wait before I put my car on a new concrete driveway? How long does concrete take to cure? Let’s find out the answers to all these questions in the article below.


Most construction materials take time to set. You can get an idea of ​​this by looking at the new constructions around you without asking anyone. In fact, cement, sand, gravel, and water take about four days to solidify. 

However, concrete becomes solid very quickly. But if you do not give the right amount of water to the concrete, it can start to crack. 

Therefore, according to experts, water should be applied to the concrete for about 20 days after it becomes hard. Until then, it is better not to use the driveway.


When Can I Drive On New Concrete

How Long Should You Wait Before Parking on Your New Concrete Driveway?

Properly installing a concrete driveway depends on two factors: the thickness of the concrete and the weight of the vehicle driven on it. After seven days of pouring, the Cement reaches 50% of the minimum strength. 

As long as the Cement can be kept, the Cement will become stronger. It is better to keep the cement surface smooth to strengthen the concrete.

Do not apply to any heavy machinery or equipment during the waiting period of 7 days after pouring concrete. Larger vehicles such as RVs or buses should also wait at least 28 days to park on the new concrete driveway.


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What Happens if You Drive or Park on the Newly Installed Driveway Before Recommended Time?

If you drive, walk or park on the new driveway earlier than the recommended time, many things can happen:

  • The crack may occur on the driveway
  • Walking or driving on new concrete can leave tire tracks or footprints or damage your shoes
  • It might weaken the strength of the concrete


When Can I Drive On New Concrete

Five Effective Ways To Make the Newly Installed Concrete Drive Stronger and Long Lasting

#1. Control the moisture and temperature of new concrete

Controlling the moisture and temperature of new concrete maximizes the strength of concrete. You should be extra careful as you pour the concrete mixture. It can enhance the structural integrity of concrete and make it more resistant to future cracks. 

Controlling the moisture and temperature of new concrete maximizes the strength of concrete. You should be extra careful as you pour the concrete mixture. It can enhance the structural integrity of concrete and make it more resistant to future cracks. 

To get the best results, you should follow the list of best and driest concrete-healing practices. Here are some factors that can give concrete the best strength.

# 2. Spray water on newly installed concrete driveway.

Frequent watering of concrete, minimum of five to 10 times a day, is one of the most common and effective methods for curing concrete. You must do this for the first seven days or more.

This method, known as “moisture curing,” allows the concrete to evaporate moisture slowly. Moisture-cured concrete can be up to 50 percent stronger than standard concrete. 

However, experts recommend not spraying too often if the weather is cold. It is advisable not to over-cool the concrete.


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#3. Cover new concrete.

You can use hoses to check if the moisture-curing process is going well. Another process is to cover the new concrete installed area well with a polythene sheet. A cover can trap and slow down the evaporation of moisture from the concrete mixture. 

The polythene sheet should be 4 mm thick. Or you can use a concrete curing insulating blanket – all of these items you can find at affordable prices in DIY stores. After soaking the concrete, you have to cover it with a cover of your choice and use the bricks or stones to keep it in place.


When Can I Drive On New Concrete

#4. Pond cure concrete slabs

Pond curing is another effective way of concrete curing. In this process, temporary berms are created around the new concrete slabs. The temporary berms are then filled with one foot of water. 

It will reduce your concrete work to 6 days, three days. All you have to do is make sure the water level is above the concrete slab. If the water level drops, it needs to be refilled. 

However, it is not perfect for small slabs. Big manufacturers use it for foundation slabs, thus speeding up the construction process. 

#5. Make the process easier by applying a curing compound.

If other methods do not work correctly, there is another way to cure concrete. That is the curing compound. An effective soluble emulsion makes a unique protective coating by spraying film on newly poured concrete or the surface of walls. 

Preventing evaporating water from the concrete, the film creates a special film that allows the concrete to cure at a consistent rate. As a result, the concrete becomes stronger and lasts longer.


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Frequently Asked Questions

#1. How long do 4 inches of concrete take to cure? 

Concrete solidifies very quickly. It becomes semi-liquid within about an hour after pouring, and within 24 hours, it is about 50% dry. 

At this point, you can walk on it. Get ready for small vehicle traffic within 48 hours to 7 days. Within 14 to 30 days, it becomes completely hardened, so it is prepared for any heavy vehicle to go and park on it.

#2 How long before you can use a new concrete driveway? 

Concrete hardens soon after pouring, and bricks take less than 24 hours. Yet the newly installed concrete driveway is susceptible to excess weight within the first four weeks. 

You need to wait at least 24 hours to 48 hours before a new driveway can allow people, pets, or anything else to pass. And do not drive any vehicle on the new driveway for 20 to 28 days.


When Can I Drive On New Concrete

#3. When can you put weight on new concrete?

After seven days of pouring, the concrete generally acquires about three-fourths of the compressive strength. This process takes about 28 days to complete. 

According to experts, you cannot drive any vehicle or heavy machinery on the newly installed drive through the surface of this driveway till 28 days of pouring the concrete.


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A Few Final Words

Concrete takes almost no time to set, which is why it is so widely used in construction. However, for best results and the slab to harden completely, it is important to cure the concrete with moisture for atleast 20 days.

You can drive your car or almost any vehicle after letting your concrete set for 20 days. We have shared some tips on how you can cure your concrete driveway. Thank you for reading the article.

If you have further doubts or questions about concrete, how long it takes to set or how long you should wait, do drop us a word in the comments and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

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Sean Mendez

Hi, I am Sean, a self-confessed petrolhead. I live in Boise, Idaho with a busy family of four and our energetic Labrador retriever. Thank you for visiting my website. You can find my email on the contact page.

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