Tips: What is the purpose of Chip Seal?


What is the purpose of Chip Seal?

Have you ever heard of a pavement process called chip sealing and wondered what its purpose is? Chip seal, also known as tar-and-chip, is a pavement surface treatment that is one or more layers of asphalt and aggregate. It was created in New Zealand back in 1935 as the original paving method and has been used ever since then on roads.

Chip seal is a low-cost alternative to traditional paving with asphalt. It uses the same materials like asphalt, but it differs in its construction. While asphalt is premixed then laid down in a roadbed, chip seal is not premixed. Instead, it is created in layers by first spraying a thin film of hot liquid asphalt followed by a dump truck laying down aggregate.

Aggregate is finely crushed stone and it is used in traditional asphalt as well. But since it is applied via layers in chip sealing, customers have the option to choose what color of stone will be applied. Color options are limited to where the stone is crushed but it can be customized to the environment of your driveway. For example, here at Prime Paving & Seal Coating we offer a variety of colored stone options such as white and pink rock and slate and brown river rock. Because the stone is not premixed it retains its natural color and stays cooler than traditional black asphalt.

After the initial layer is laid down the stone is then compressed using a roller to ensure the stones get seated deep within the liquid asphalt. Curing times of chip seal vary with the weather and temperatures outside but the warmer the weather the quicker it sets up. After the curing the layer is thoroughly swept via machine to rid the topmost layer of loose stones.

We recommend paving with chip seal to residential customers and business owners alike who do not have a high flow of traffic. Chip seal is perfect for rural roads such as farm and ranch roads or driveways.

As a matter of fact, it is perfect for those types of roads due to its texture. Tar-and-chip provides great traction and skid resistance. Thus, making it perfect for steep inclines as well as bad weather such as snow and ice.

We do suggest caution if you have your road or drive paved with chip seal in that it can be damaged if something is dragged across the top layer. It can loosen the stones so be sure you speak to whoever maintains your drives before they begin work. Most plow services understand how to scrape this type of paving properly without damaging it.

As you can see chip seal is a great alternative to traditional asphalt. Yet, there are more perks to using this method other than it being cheaper, only a fraction of the cost of asphalt, and providing great traction. Perhaps the best advantage is that it has no maintenance! Asphalt projects require seal coating every 3-5 years to prolong its lifespan but not chip seal. You can expect your chip seal project to last you anywhere from 7-10 years depending on how many layers you have installed and the type of traffic flow.

If you are tired of the inevitable dust of your road or driveway, or perhaps you are looking for a more polished look, Prime Paving & Sealcoat are here to help. We offer a variety of services such as asphalt repair and maintenance, chip seal, parking lot repair, concrete repair and more! Contact us today for a free estimate and let us bring our expertise to you.