Tips: Differences Between Chip Seal Driveways & Asphalt


Differences Between Chip Seal Driveways & Asphalt

If you are considering paving a driveway or parking lot on your property you will quickly realize that there are a few options to choose from. Two of those options are asphalt and chip seal. Paving is an investment that will be a part of your property for a long time. Prime Paving & Sealcoating offer prime paving solutions and we want to help you with your projects. So, today let’s explore the differences between a chip seal driveway and applying asphalt.

Materials Used in Paving

Both chip seal and asphalt use the same kind of materials to pave with, but where they differ is in how they are mixed and applied. Asphalt is what most of us are most familiar with because we travel on it daily on major highways and roads. It is also known as blacktop due to it being a rich black when initially poured. This is because asphalt is premixed. The aggregate and liquid binder are premixed inside of a machine before they are poured and pressed into a roadbed. In the process of chip sealing a film of the binder is sprayed, the aggregate is laid down, then binder poured over it and compressed via a drum roller, repeating until the final layer of stone is applied. Chip sealing is not pre-mixed.

Advantages of Paving with Asphalt

If you are looking for a clean and classic look for your driveway then asphalt is a great choice for you.
There are reasons why asphalt is used on major roads and interstates as opposed to chip sealing. Asphalt creates a strong smooth surface for vehicles to travel on. It can accommodate very heavy loads without cracking and last for a long time. In fact, if properly maintained asphalt paved areas can last upwards of 20 years. Although the initial investment of asphalt is more than other forms of paving it will outlast any other form of paving.

Asphalt does require maintenance every 3-5 years via sealcoating. Sealcoating replenishes the upper layers and restores the black beauty of your asphalt. Over time the binders within asphalt dry out which is why you have to sealcoat every few years. Replenishing these binders will not only give your asphalt a facelift it will also prolong its lifespan.
Besides being long-lasting and durable asphalt has the great advantage of being easily repaired. Whereas other forms of paving such as concrete or chip sealing will show repairs, asphalt repairs can be hidden. If concrete cracks and needs to be repaired the entire section needs to be removed and re-poured. However, with asphalt, an area can be patched and sealed and continue to be used for years to come.

Advantages of Paving via Chip Sealing

Because chip sealing a drive or area is not pre-mixed it allows for the consumer to have choices in color. Asphalt will always be black because it is pre-mixed. Since chip sealing is laid down in a roadbed via layers the binder can be hidden beneath. Consumers can choose what color stones they would like to match either the buildings on their property or even the environment around them.

With the top layer being stoned chip seal provides superior traction and skid resistance. The texture of the stone allows car’s and truck’s tires to grip even in rough weather conditions. If you own a ranch or farm this traction is a life-saver for farm equipment carrying heavy loads.

Chip seal is also more cost-effective than asphalt. In general, it runs about 15-20% less than investing in asphalt. You can expect your chip sealed drive to last up to 7-10 years.
However, the best advantage is that it is virtually maintenance free! But please use caution with vehicle-powered snow scrapers though. Because the pressure from heavy scraping can loosen the top layer of stones resulting in damage.

Regardless of which form of paving you choose either chip sealing or asphalt they are both good choices. Each one has their own advantages and that is why Prime Paving & Sealcoating offers these services to our clients. We can assist you in choosing which paving solution is best for you. If you are ready to begin your paving project, contact us here today!