Tarmac Surfacing Contractors | Manchester, Leeds, York
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Tarmac

What is Tarmac?

Tarmac® [*] is a multilayer surface composed of Tarmacadam and Stone Aggregates.

It is a popular choice due to its low cost, durability and all weather flexibility.

Tarmac surfacing can be used on, but not limited to:

  • Driveways
  • Car Parks
  • Forecourts
  • Playgrounds
  • Footpaths / Pathways

The Benefits of Tarmac Surfacing

  • Tarmac driveways offer great durability, load bearing and weather resistance if laid and sealed properly.
  • Tarmac surfacing is more expensive than a tar and chip surface but still much less than concrete or paving stones.
  • The surface looks professional for business property and is ideal for car parking areas.

*Tarmac® is a registered trademark and is the property of Tarmac Ltd.
We reference here because of common usage and because in this case the recycled product may have originally been produced by Tarmac Ltd.

Tarmac Driveways: Your Questions, Answered

When considering a beautiful new tarmac 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 it be laid over my existing driveway? how long will my new driveway last?
Well here we have put a series of answers to the most popular questions we get about tarmac driveways – if there is anything missing, please do not hesitate to get in touch and ask!

What Is A Tarmac Surface?

Tarmac is an abbreviation of tarmacadam; it is a type of road surfacing material that is very dark in colour, it needs to be laid as a hot liquid, leveled out and compacted to form the correct shape and gradient for your driveway. This is then left to cool, during this time the particles bind and bond to form a solid, hard-wearing surface.

What is a Tarmac Overlay?

A tarmac overlay is a layer applied over a pre-existing driveway. This will generally be a worn out tarmac driveway that is already structurally solid bu is in need of new top.

You could consider a tarmac overlay if the following apply:

  • The new covering won’t impact the damp course or houses wall vents.
  • The foundation under the old driveway hasn’t sunk.
  • There are not cracks in the base as these will increase in size and transfer to the new tarmac overlay.
  • All potholes are to a minimum depth of 300mm before the new tarmac overlay is put down.

Laying an overlay is a fast installation and is considerably cheaper than a full new tarmac driveway. This is due to there being no extra base, sub-base or binding course required.

Please keep in mind that an overlay isn’t always suitable for pre-existing driveways, please contact us to discuss which would be your best course of action to resolve any issues you might currently be experiencing with your driveway or surface.

What Is Entailed In Laying A Tarmac Driveway?

There are many steps involved in laying a completely new tarmac driveway with many things needing to be taken into account:

Step 1 : Excavation – This is carried out before any laying of tarmac can be done, the ground is excavated to the level required to accommodate a strong base layer beneath the surface. This level is known as the ‘formation level’ which is typically the level for driveways with very little to no bad ground, typically this is 175mm below the pre-surface level.

Step 2 : Edging – This is used to keep the tarmac in place. If edging is not used then the edges of the driveway will crack and crumble after vehicles travel over them.

Step 3 : Membrane – Once the surface has been excavated and edged, a woven membrane is laid. The purpose of this membrane is to slow down weed growth and to minimise sinking. An additional advantage of this membrane being laid is that it adds to the strengthening of the base of the driveway.

Step 4 : Layers – On top of the membrane, crushed concrete is put down, this is then compacted and rolled until it has reached the desired depth to accommodate the intended use of the driveway or finished surface.

Step 5 : Drainage – This is vital to the installation of any hard surface. Drainage must be installed at this stage of laying for it to be effective and be able to remove excess water from the surface.

Step 6 : Concrete Edgings – The concrete edging stone is installed at this stage.

Step 7 : Edging – The block paving or sandstone setts (dependent on choice) are installed at this stage, this serves as a frame for the driveway and/or adds color to the area.

Step 8 : Application of Tarmac – Once the previous steps have been completed it is now time to apply the tarmac. A base coat is laid at approx 500mm thick, after this the top coat is applied and compacted down using a roller. Once the top coat is down this is the driveway complete.

Step 9 : Hardening – Newly laid tarmac surface must be allowed to stand unladen for 24-48 hours before any pedestrian or vehicles use it, failure to follow these guidelines will more than likely result in a poor finish and potentially leave the top coat needing to be re-laid/re-applied to achieve a smooth finish.

How Much Does A Tarmac Driveway Cost?

The price of a tarmac driveway depends on how many layers are going to be put down. Whether you are going have an overlay or a full driveway laid. Other factors to consider for costing is the total area of the surface, the type of finish you require, types of curbing and edging stones to be used. With this in mind a new driveway can cost from £40 per square metre.

How Soon Can You Drive On A New Tarmac Driveway?

It is recommended that you wait at least 24-48 hours before driving on a freshly laid driveway. This allows for all layers to harden and bond to create the tough durable surface that has just been laid.

How Long Does It Last?

The life span of a tarmac driveway can be more than 15 years due to the fact that it is a durable and weather resistant material that is more than suitable for pedestrian and vehicle use.
Without much care or attention, your new driveway will last a long time and need little to no maintenance.