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The Disadvantages of a Tar-and-Chip Driveway

If your driveway is showing signs of wear and tear, you may be considering replacing it. Many homeowners choose between tar and asphalt, but some are interested in tar-and-chip driveways. These driveways can be cheap to install, making them an attractive option for budget-conscious homeowners.

However, while tar-and-chip paving works great in some contexts, it doesn’t usually make sense for home driveways. Tar-and-chip driveways have several disadvantages that you should be aware of, so you may be better off with a different material. Keep reading to learn why.

Tar-and-Chip Paving Isn’t So Cheap to Install

Perhaps the biggest benefit of a tar-and-chip driveway is the low cost. The material costs less than asphalt, so you could save big if you choose to install it — but only in some cases.

Though the material costs less than asphalt, you’ll have to pay more in overhead costs. To install this kind of driveway, your pavers will need to bring more equipment, including another truck, to your home. The extra equipment and labor will cost you more.

If you have a very large driveway, you might still come out ahead by choosing this affordable material, but if you have a small driveway, the costs will work out the same whether you choose a tar-and-chip driveway or an asphalt driveway. Don’t automatically choose tar-and-chip paving for your driveway for the savings, because you may or may not get any.

Tar-and-Chip Paving Can Make a Mess

Tar-and-chip paving can work great for roads that see a lot of use. The weight of the vehicles on the pavement pushes the stones in the material down, forming a smoother surface. However, since your driveway probably doesn’t see heavy use, the stones in the tar can become loose and even pop free.

Many homeowners especially have problems with tar-and-chip driveways if they have to plow or shovel snow over the pavement. The plow or snow shovel can break the seal on the pavement, allowing the chips to break off, and the chips then get tracked other places like in the house. If you live in a place with snowy winters, consider getting a material that will last longer and cause fewer messes.

Tar-and-Chip Paving Doesn’t Last a Long Time

The biggest drawback to tar-and-chip driveways is their limited lifespan. With asphalt driveways, you may have to pay for regular sealcoating, but this task keeps the driveway protected from sun, wind, snow, and chemicals. This maintenance allows asphalt driveways to last about many years; concrete may last even longer. This durability means that you get a great return on your investment in your driveway in the long run.

Because tar-and-chip driveways don’t require sealcoats, they can experience corrosion, decay, cracks, or chips from exposure to the elements or hazardous chemicals, like oil or fertilizer in standing water. With a tar-and-chip driveway, you’ll need to have the driveway resurfaced about once every few years, or you’ll watch it deteriorate quickly. This will cost you more money in maintenance or replacement over the years.

A new driveway can drastically change the look and style of your home. If you think you might be interested in a tar-and-chip driveway, think about the disadvantages as well as the advantages. While tar-and-chip driveways can work well for some, most homeowners are better off in the long run with asphalt.

If you need help deciding what paving material is right for your driveway, contact the experts. Paving & Construction Co., Inc., offers expert advice affordable solutions. Contact us today to learn more or to get started on installing your new driveway. We’re ready to assist you.