Tar-and-chip, also known as chip sealing, is a low-cost alternative to asphalt, offering a more solid surface than plain gravel. It also has a rough texture, which makes for much better footing when wet or snow-covered, compared to poured concrete or even asphalt, which can be slippery.
The expression "tar-and-chip" is a term that refers to a paving surface made from liquid asphalt and stone.
How to Maintain a Tar-and-Chip Driveway
There really is no regular maintenance required of a tar-and-chip driveway. Unlike asphalt, it doesn't have to be sealed regularly. That's the good news. On the other hand, snow removal can create problems. If you use a snowplow to clear the driveway, it can damage the surface.
For best results, make sure that the plow rides just above the driveway surface, then remove this leftover snow with a shovel or just wait for it to melt away. You'll not be faced with this problem if you clear snow with a shovel or snowblower.
How Long Will a Tar-and-Chip Driveway Last?
Tar and chip driveways do not last as long as asphalt, of course.
Expect the surface to remain sound from 7 to 10 years. At that point, you may want to add another layer of tar and stones.
How Is a Tar-and-Chip Driveway Built?
Building a tar-and-chip driveway is a fairly simple process. First, as with most driveway materials, a gravel base is installed. Then, hot liquid asphalt is sprayed over the gravel. This is followed by a coating of loose stone chips, which are rolled into the asphalt to form the finish surface. Tar-and-chip can be installed over existing driveway materials, provided they are in reasonably good shape.
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