Yes, you can.
A tar and chip driveway is also called a chip-and-seal driveway, a macadam driveway, a seal chip driveway, or a liquid-asphalt-and-stone driveway. It is an affordable alternative for those who want asphalt but cannot afford it.
This driveway is made of hot asphalt and tiny rock chips. It is tougher and firmer than gravel. It is built by the creation of an asphalt foundation (a thin layer) and then tiny rock chips are poured over it and then compacted. The process of building a tar and chip driveway yields a stunning but rough driveway.
Many professional driveway installers can use rocks that match the surrounding environment. For example, if you live somewhere like Albuquerque, installers can use brown or tan rocks to better match the surrounding desert environment.
In this post, you will learn all about chip sealing a tar and chip driveway.
How to seal a tar and chip driveway
As mentioned in the introductory part of this post, you can seal a tar and chip driveway. The act of sealing a tar and chip driveway is known as chip sealing.
Chip sealing utilizes the same materials used in asphalt paving. However, there is a slight difference in how the two things are done. Chip sealing begins with pouring a liquid asphalt layer onto an existing driveway. This is then followed by spreading a layer of chips or tiny rocks on the liquid asphalt and then pressing them into place.
When the chip sealant is dry, the loose rock chips are removed by sweeping them away.
The advantages of chip sealing
You do not need to tear out your old or worn-out asphalt driveway or parking lot because you can virtually chip seal any asphalt driveway, parking lot, or road. Chip sealing has many advantages.
- Chip sealing is cheap
The cost of chip sealing a driveway is frequently less than 25 percent of the cost of doing an asphalt overlay or installing a new asphalt driveway.
- Chip sealing does not add a lot of weight or height
If you do not want to add a lot of weight or height to your driveway, you simply need to chip seal because it involves laying just a thin layer of asphalt.
- Chip sealing can help repair asphalt surface damage easily
Because a layer of asphalt must be applied for chip sealing, it can easily repair asphalt surface damage e.g. small potholes, pores, pits, cracks, and so on. By repairing such areas, you can make your driveway safer and easier on the eyes.
- Chip sealing prevents further damage
By chip sealing your driveway, you will seal cracks and potholes and prevent your driveway from absorbing water – something that can worsen cracks and potholes over time.
- Chip sealing offers protection against the sun
Chip sealing your asphalt driveway offers improved protection against the sun, peeling, and spalling.
- Chip sealing makes driveways more attractive
The color of the rock chips used in chip sealing can make a driveway much more attractive than a simply asphalt driveway ever can. There
- Chip sealing increases traction
Because chips are pressed into asphalt, chip sealing often has the effect of significantly improving the traction of the driveway, lane, road, or parking lot where it is done.
How long can you expect a tar and chip driveway to last?
The driveway is made by spraying a layer of liquid asphalt on a driveway or road surface and then pressing small rock chips into it while it is still hot.
Such a driveway will last longer than a typical gravel driveway because its chips will be held together and they won’t get washed away by rain or caught under tires.
Tar and chip driveways are also more attractive than regular asphalt driveways. They are also cheaper to install.
While tar and chip driveways typically last long, they do not last as long as concrete and asphalt driveways. Well installed tar and chip driveways last for about eight years before another round of chip sealing is needed.
Tar and chip driveway tips
It is important to make sure that you install your tar and chip driveway properly so that it not only looks good but also lasts long. In case you do not think you can make a good tar and chip driveway, you should contact a professional driveway installer. If you trust your skills, you should have the following tips in mind when installing a tar and chip driveway:
- The weather ought to be warm
The best time to install the driveway will be in summer when the weather is dry and warm. Cold weather will not allow hot molten asphalt to spray thinly and properly. It will also not allow proper setting and curing of asphalt.
- The existing surface needs to be prepared
Chip sealing is only done on an existing asphalt surface. Before it is done, there is a need to prepare the surface to make it more conducive for chip sealing. Surface preparation entails clearing any vegetation growing in cracks, sweeping the surface clean, and then using a pressure washer.
- Repairs are necessary
Repairing big cracks, deep potholes, and large ruts is necessary before chip sealing. This will help to make the new surface more stable and longer-lasting.
- Avoid dirty and dusty chips
While hot liquid asphalt will bind well to just about anything, it does not bind well to rock chips that are dirty or dusty. Therefore, you should only use chips that are clean to make your chip sealing more convenient.
- Chips must be spread and pressed quickly
After pouring a layer of hot asphalt on your driveway, you must then spread the chips quickly while the asphalt is still hot. If you do not act quickly, you will end up with a set asphalt that won’t take in any chips.