Tar and Chip is the simplest and most cost efficient permanent driveway surface available.
It handles the weather better than many other surfaces and is durable for driveway traffic.
The look of a tar and chip driveway are one of the strong points of this surface. It can be mistaken for a loose gravel drive, but it is a bonded into the underlying tar layer. It goes well with either flower beds or grass lawn borders, especially as there are many colour options to choose from.
When considering a new tar and chip driveway there are bound to be a huge list of questions you ask yourself before deciding to go forward with your plans; how much will it cost? how long will it take? can a tar and chip driveway be laid over my grass? how long will my new tar and chip driveway last?
Well here we have put a series of answers to the most popular questions we get about tar and chip driveways – if there is anything missing, please do not hesitate to get in touch and ask!
Tar and chip surfacing is very similar to tarmac surfacing. It is a combination of hot liquid tar as a binder and gravel as the main structural component. Unlike tarmac, which is premixed at a tarmac plant, the components of tar and chip are delivered separately and mixed on site.
Tar and chip been used for many years all over the world, to surface and resurface roads, parking areas, residential driveways and more with great success.
Tar and chip is used by contractors on road surfacing projects all around the UK due to its long lasting, hardy nature as a surfacing material.
The preparation work for tar and chip is nearly identical to tarmac surfacing.
After the main preparation is complete a coat of liquid tar is applied to the existing surface; this is done by using a computer-controlled distribution truck equipped with spray bars. The spray bars apply an exact and consistent amount of liquid tar, heated to the correct temperature.
The next stage is when a clean crushed chip stone is spread using a spreader box attached to the dump truck transporting the gravel. The gravel adheres to the hot liquid tar.
In the final stage a roller is used to embed the stone into the tar.
If multiple courses are required the process is is repeated.
There are two factors that determine the answer to this question, these being perspective and usage.
Perspective: To some people a tar and chip surface would need to be re-done as soon as it gets a worn area or a broken edge, while some people on the other hand will not be fazed by these areas and are happy to use the tar and chipped surface area for many years to come for vehicle traffic.
Usage: The tar and chip surface durability can vary based on several factors such as: climate, traffic conditions, base/foundations and the number of courses of chip used. If you have a low amount of traffic the tar and chip surface will inevitably last longer than if the traffic volume was high.
Taking these considerations in to account, the general answer to this question would be that a tar and chip driveway would have a life expectancy of approximately 8 years. During this time based on subjective perspective you may wish to carry out patch repair work and/or isolated re-tar and chipping.
There isn’t really any regular maintenance required for a tar and chip surface as it does not need to be sealed regularly.
Natural: Tar and chip provides a natural rustic alternative to to tarmac, adding the look and feel of a gravel road.
Cost Effective: The initial cost of installing tar and chip can be up to 40% less than a comparable tarmac surface installation.
Improved Traction: A tar and chip surface provides a rough, gritty surface giving great traction, even in wet weather, it is an excellent choice if you have an incline.
More Convenient: Tar and chip is laid faster than tarmac and there is hardly any down time because it can be driven on immediately. You do not need to wait 24 to 48 hours for it to harden.
Tar and chip surfacing is a cost effective method of surfacing or resurfacing any existing land. With surface-dependent preparation (adding base layers where necessary), tar and chip can be installed in place of gravel, concrete, earth or tarmac.
Given its relatively fast application it is roughly 40% cheaper than a similarly sized tarmac area.