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Why Install a Tar and Chip Driveway

If your driveway doesn’t look good or is in bad condition, then you should think about your options. There are a few different ways you can make your pavement good again, ranging from repairs to reseals to a whole new replacement.

Before you make a final decision, you might look at tar and chip as an option. Read on to see how this paving solution works and the benefits of using it.

What Is Tar and Chip?

A tar and chip surface combines a flat paving material with a stone mix. Typically, you use an asphalt mix to create the base and add stones to create a surface that looks like gravel.

So, for example, you might start by spreading gravel stones over your driveway. You then pour an asphalt mix over the stones and compact it. As it cools and sets, this mix binds the stones together and creates a new surface.

Or, if you use a modified tar and chip process, you work the other way around. You put down asphalt first before adding the stones to the surface. When you compact the mix, the stones are embedded into the asphalt.

What Are the Advantages of Using Tar and Chip?

Every driveway material has its pros and cons. If you decide to use tar and chip, then you’ll get the following benefits.

The look of gravel without the hassle

A tar and chip driveway has a natural rustic look. While you use asphalt to create the surface, you don’t just get a regular blacktop effect. The stones in the mix make the driveway look like it has a gravel surface.

However, tar and chip has a big advantage over gravel. Its stones are embedded into the surface and stick to the surrounding asphalt. They won’t creep off the driveway into your plants or grass, and they won’t clump up in piles as you drive up and down your driveway.

Plus, you can create an asphalt driveway with a very different look. You can use different sizes, types, and colors of stones to get the design you want.

Faster installation

One of the downsides of a new driveway installation is the time it takes to get the surface down and ready to use. Depending on the surface you choose, installation may take some time, such as when you choose to install individual pavers. Or, if you lay concrete, you can’t use the driveway until the concrete dries and cures. The concrete needs to develop some stability before you can drive and park on it.

This is less of a problem with tar and chip. The ground doesn’t need a lot of time-consuming preparation, and installation is a quick process. Plus, the final surface is ready to use a lot more quickly.

Extra traction

A paved or plain asphalt driveway tends to be quite smooth. This can be a problem when the weather is wet or when snow or ice settles on the surface. Your car’s wheels may find it hard to get traction, especially if your driveway has an incline. You might also slip on the surface when you walk on it.

A tar and chip material isn’t as smooth as other options. The stones stick out slightly. This gives the driveway a better natural grip and a less slippery surface. 

Easy maintenance

Some driveways need regular maintenance. For example, if you lay asphalt, then you need to seal coat the surface at intervals to keep it in good condition.

A tar and chip driveway takes care of itself. You don’t need to seal or recoat it. If the surface does develop small cracks, these typically fill in naturally during warmer months. The asphalt mix moves to seal the cracks, and the stones cover any minor spots of damage.

If you’re interested in learning more about tar and chip or modified tar and chip pavement, then contact JR Paving & Construction Co., Inc. Our experts can help you find the best solution for your new driveway.