Tips: What is tar and chip paving and how does it compare to asphalt?


What is tar and chip paving and how does it compare to asphalt?

When it comes to choosing the right paving option for your driveway or road, it’s essential to consider all available choices. Tar and chip paving, also known as chip seal, is a popular alternative to traditional asphalt pavement. In this article, we will explore what tar and chip paving is and compare it to asphalt, highlighting its benefits, drawbacks, and suitability for different applications.

Understanding Tar and Chip Paving

Tar and chip paving is a surfacing method that combines layers of hot liquid asphalt (bitumen) with a layer of stone chips. The process begins with the application of a hot liquid asphalt binder, followed by the spreading of stone chips or gravel on top. The chips are then rolled into the surface, creating a textured and durable finish. Tar and chip paving offer a cost-effective and visually appealing option for driveways, parking lots, and rural roads.

Durability and Longevity

Both tar and chip paving and asphalt have their own strengths when it comes to durability and longevity. While asphalt is known for its exceptional strength and ability to withstand heavy traffic, tar and chip paving also offer durability that can meet the demands of residential and light commercial applications. When properly installed and maintained, tar and chip surfaces can last for up to 10 years or more, making them a viable option for those seeking a long-lasting pavement solution.

Cost Comparison

One of the significant advantages of tar and chip paving is its cost-effectiveness compared to traditional asphalt. Tar and chip surfaces require less asphalt material, resulting in lower material costs. Additionally, the application process is less labor-intensive, reducing the overall installation expenses. This makes tar and chip paving an attractive option for budget-conscious individuals or businesses looking for an economical yet reliable pavement solution.

Maintenance and Repair

When it comes to maintenance, both tar and chip paving and asphalt require regular care to ensure their longevity. Asphalt surfaces may develop cracks and potholes over time due to traffic and weather conditions, requiring periodic sealcoating and repairs. On the other hand, tar and chip surfaces are generally more resistant to cracking due to the textured nature of the stone chip layer. However, if cracks do occur, they can be easily repaired by applying additional layers of tar and stone chips.

Aesthetic Appeal

Asphalt surfaces are known for their smooth, sleek appearance, which is favored by many. However, tar and chip paving offer a distinct aesthetic appeal that may be desirable in certain settings. The combination of the textured stone chips with the dark asphalt binder creates a unique and rustic look that complements natural surroundings. Tar and chip surfaces can be customized by choosing different types and colors of stone chips, allowing for more design flexibility.

Climate Considerations

Climate plays a crucial role in the selection of the most suitable paving option. Asphalt tends to perform well in areas with extreme heat or freezing temperatures, as it can expand and contract without significant damage. Tar and chip paving, although resilient, may be more susceptible to damage in extremely hot climates. However, proper installation techniques and the use of high-quality materials can help mitigate potential issues and ensure the longevity of tar and chip surfaces.

North Carolina Tar and Chip Services

Tar and chip paving offer an alternative to traditional asphalt pavement, with its unique appearance, cost-effectiveness, and durability. While asphalt remains a widely used and highly reliable option, tar and chip paving can be a suitable choice for residential driveways, parking lots, and rural roads. Understanding the differences between these two paving methods and considering factors such as cost, maintenance, climate, and aesthetic preferences will help you make an informed decision when it comes to selecting the most appropriate paving solution for your specific needs. If you are in need of Tar and Chip services, contact us today for a consultation.