How Long Does It Take Asphalt to Set?

Doug Enright 

When it comes to laying roads, parking lots, and driveways, one material is king, asphalt. Asphalt has been used for hundreds of years and there’s no sign that this versatile and available material is going away anytime soon. Asphalt’s features and quality make it a popular choice for a wide variety of paving projects, and many homeowners utilize asphalt for their driveways and sidewalks.

While asphalt may be great, it doesn’t last forever, and eventually, you will need to get your asphalt replaced. After replacement, you will need to keep a new asphalt area clear and free from foot and vehicle traffic for a period, but how long? Let’s review some of the factors that determine how long it takes asphalt to set.

So, How Long Does It Take Asphalt to Set?

There’s no straightforward rules or guidelines when it comes to asphalt set time as that time will largely be determined by outside forces. Let’s review some of the different factors and how they affect set time, then we can find some numbers to work from.

Outside Conditions

The outside conditions play one of the largest parts in determining how long your asphalt will take to set. Heat, the amount of sunlight, wind, and even the humidity outside all play roles in your asphalt’s set time. Generally, the warmer it is, the longer it takes for your asphalt to set.


How thick the asphalt is laid down also plays its part in determining set time. The thicker the initial laying of asphalt, the longer it will take for that asphalt will set.

Working Out Set Time

Now that we know the conditions and factors for asphalt set time, let’s look at some ballpark figures. New asphalt will typically be available for light vehicle and foot traffic use after 24 to 72 hours, and full use shortly after that time frame.

Talking with Your Asphalt Contractor?

So who really knows the best timelines for your asphalt to set? Your asphalt contractor. The asphalt contractor knows the type of asphalt they’re using, how thick it will be applied, and the conditions outside. With that knowledge in hand, your asphalt contractor can give real directions on how long your asphalt will take to set. Use 1-3 days as a general guideline, but your contractor will know best.

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