A Tar and Chip driveway can be a beautiful alternative to asphalt or gravel. Tar and Chip driveways consist of a bed of gravel that has been sprayed with tar and overlaid with natural stone chips. The chips are set into the tar layer using a roller. The best driveways will be applied in multiple layers, and the resulting surface has the look of a stone driveway with a durability greater than asphalt. The stone chips can be purchased in a variety of colors and provide a textured look.
There are many benefits of a Tar and Chip driveway, not the least of which is low maintenance. Unlike loose stone, the chips are adhered to the surface and do not shift. Tar and Chip driveways are unlikely to crack, and unlike asphalt, there is no need to apply a sealant year after year. There will always be a loose layer of stones on the surface which will fill any small cracks that develop in the tar layer. Some added benefits of the loose top layer are the ability to remove oil stains with the pass of a garden rake and better traction in inclement weather.
Tar and Chip driveways should not be considered a cheaper alternative to asphalt driveways. The tar and chip process is very labor intensive when done properly. The result is a driveway that will provide many years of service while maintaining its original beauty. Tar and Chip driveways have the natural charm and beauty of stone or gravel driveways without the issues of mud and erosion inherent to stone driveways.
One of the biggest challenges facing proponents of Tar and Chip driveways is finding qualified contractors who will install one. Tar and Chip driveways may be good for consumers, but they are not good for the contractors because of the limited time frame in which they can be installed. The weather must be warm enough to allow the tar to flow properly on the stone substrate. Don’t be discouraged because excellent contractors are out there if you want a driveway that will enhance your property while saving you from maintenance troubles.
Alternate names for Tar and Chip driveways include Oil and Chip, Tar Spray and Chip, and Macadam driveways.