The Basics of Tar and Chip Driveways

There are several types of materials that may be used in the construction of a residential or commercial driveway. One common option is asphalt, while another that is more attractive and a bit more expensive is concrete. Another material that offers homeowners a cost-effective, durable alternative is the tar-and-chop driveway.

The Basics of Tar and Chip Driveways Photo Gallery

A tar-and-chip driveway is also known as a macadam surface, named for its creator. The material used for this type of path is self-explanatory: hot tar, or liquid asphalt, and stone chips, which are placed on top of the tar. The tar is applied to a gravel base, and the stones are placed on top and adhere to the tar. Unlike an asphalt driveway, a tar-and-chip driveway does not have to be sealed.

There are several pros for installing a tar-and-chip driveway. It is often seen as an attractive option that is less expensive than asphalt considering its durability. A tar-and-chip driveway is low-maintenance, although any displaced stones should be replaced as you notice them come undone. The surface of a tar-and-chip driveway is also rough enough to provide excellent traction for your vehicles. It is made from individual stones, and the surface is atypical of a driveway.

It is difficult to find contractors for installation, so your search will take a bit longer if you are looking for driveway paving in this material. However, spending more time and money does not always mean that material is worth it. There are several available for homeowners to choose which is best. As well, it can be difficult to remove snow from a tar-and-chip driveway, and such water buildup can damage the surface if it is not removed correctly.

It is essential to be cautious with the installation of a tar-and-chip driveway, as stones can become loose with time and use. When you speak to a contractor during installation, make sure that they plow the blade up slightly off the surface – as long as they are doing their job correctly, they should already know this. How far the blade comes up from the surface depends on where you live and how much snow you’ll receive every winter.

Tar-and-chip driveways are not as popular as concrete or asphalt driveways, but there are several types because each homeowner has different needs. Speak to a paving contractor in your area and decide which kind of driveway is best for your budget, home, and intended level of maintenance.

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