can you apply tar and chip over asphalt

Can You Apply Tar and Chip Over Asphalt? Expert Insights and Tips

When it comes to maintaining and rejuvenating driveways, many homeowners and business owners consider various paving solutions. One common question is whether a tar and chip driveway can be applied over an existing asphalt driveway. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the feasibility, benefits, and considerations of applying tar and chip over asphalt, offering expert insights and practical tips.

Understanding Tar and Chip

A tar and chip driveway, also known as chip seal, is a paving method that involves applying a layer of hot liquid asphalt (tar) followed by a layer of aggregate chips. This process creates a textured, durable surface that is cost-effective and visually appealing. Tar and chip surfaces are known for their excellent traction and ability to withstand harsh weather conditions.

Can You Apply Tar and Chip Over Asphalt?

The short answer is yes, you can apply tar and chip over an asphalt driveway. However, several factors must be considered to ensure the success and longevity of the tar and chip application. Here’s a detailed look at the process and important considerations:

The Process of Applying Tar and Chip Over Asphalt

  1. Surface Preparation: The existing asphalt surface must be in good condition. This means it should be free of extensive cracks, potholes, or major structural issues. Any minor repairs should be addressed before the tar and chip application.
  2. Cleaning: The asphalt surface needs to be thoroughly cleaned to remove dirt, debris, and loose materials. This ensures proper adhesion of the tar and chips.
  3. Application of Tar: A layer of hot liquid asphalt is evenly applied over the prepared surface. This layer acts as a binder for the aggregate chips.
  4. Spreading Aggregate Chips: Immediately after the tar is applied, a layer of aggregate chips, often consisting of crushed stone, is spread over the hot asphalt. The chips are then rolled into the tar to ensure they adhere properly.
  5. Compaction: The surface is rolled and compacted to embed the chips firmly into the tar. This creates a durable, textured surface.
  6. Curing: The new tar and chip surface needs time to cure. During this period, loose chips may need to be swept away, and the surface should be avoided to allow proper setting.

Benefits of Applying Tar and Chip Over Asphalt

  • Cost-Effective: A tar and chip driveway is a more affordable option compared to repaving with new asphalt. It provides a refreshed look and improved functionality at a lower cost.
  • Enhanced Traction: The textured surface of tar and chip improves traction, making it safer for both vehicles and pedestrians.
  • Weather Resistance: Tar and chip surfaces are known for their durability and ability to withstand various weather conditions, including extreme heat and cold.
  • Aesthetic Appeal: With a variety of aggregate chip colors available, tar and chip can be customized to enhance the visual appeal of driveways and parking lots.

Considerations and Expert Tips

  • Condition of Existing Asphalt: Ensure the underlying asphalt is in relatively good condition. Severely damaged asphalt may not provide a suitable base for tar and chip and might require more extensive repairs or replacement.
  • Professional Assessment: Consulting with a professional paving contractor, such as JR Paving & Construction Co. Inc., can help determine the suitability of tar and chip for your specific project. They can provide expert advice and ensure the job is done correctly.
  • Maintenance: While tar and chip surfaces require less maintenance than traditional asphalt, periodic maintenance, such as sweeping loose chips and addressing any minor issues, will extend the lifespan of the surface.

Pros and Cons of Tar and Chip Driveway


  • Cost-Effective: Tar and chip driveway cost is generally less expensive than traditional asphalt paving, making it a budget-friendly option for many homeowners.
  • Low Maintenance: Once installed, tar and chip driveways require minimal maintenance. There is no need for regular sealcoating, unlike asphalt driveways.
  • Durability: The tar and chip method creates a durable surface that can handle heavy traffic and adverse weather conditions.
  • Customization: The top layer of aggregate chips can be chosen to match the aesthetic of your property, offering a personalized look.


  • Rough Texture: The surface of a tar and chip driveway can be rougher than an asphalt driveway, which might not be suitable for all applications.
  • Limited Lifespan: Tar and chip driveways typically have a shorter lifespan compared to asphalt, often lasting around 7-10 years.
  • Potential Loose Chips: During the initial curing period, some loose chips might come loose, requiring additional sweeping.

Why Choose JR Paving & Construction Co. Inc.

JR Paving & Construction Co. Inc. is a premier paving contractor, known for delivering high-quality services and exceptional customer satisfaction. Here’s why you should choose us for your tar-and-chip paving needs:

  • Expertise: With years of experience in the industry, our team of skilled professionals ensures precise and durable tar and chip paving applications.
  • Quality Materials: We use top-grade driveway materials to provide long-lasting results that meet your specific needs.
  • Customer Focused: Our commitment to customer satisfaction means we work closely with you to understand your requirements and deliver solutions that exceed expectations.
  • Comprehensive Services: From initial assessment to final inspection, we offer end-to-end services to ensure your project is completed seamlessly.

Ready to enhance your driveway pavement with tar-and-chip driveway over asphalt? Contact JR Paving & Construction Co. Inc. today at (888) 497-3391 to schedule a consultation. Visit our office to learn more about our services, read customer reviews, and see examples of our work. Trust us to deliver top-notch driveway paving solutions that improve the security, functionality, and aesthetic appeal of your property.

By following the expert insights and tips provided in this article, you can make an informed decision about applying tar and chip over asphalt, ensuring a successful and long-lasting result for your driveway or parking lot.