Tar and Chip vs. Asphalt Paving: Which is Better?

Tar and Chip vs. Asphalt Paving: Which is Better?

If you’ve ever seen driveways or roads built with a surface that consists of crushed stone or liquid asphalt and stone, you may not have realized it was called tar and chip paving. This method is also known by other names such as chip-and-seal, sealing-chip, or crushed stone. While it may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of “driveways,” which are often associated with concrete, gravel, cobblestone, and tarmac, tar and chip paving have been used successfully for a long time, especially in rural areas. It can also be cost-effective for those looking to keep their expenses down.

Tar and Chip vs. Asphalt Paving: Which is Better?

Asphalt Driveways:

Asphalt is the most commonly used material for driveway paving and parking lots. It not only has an attractive appearance but is also highly durable. The installation process involves excavating and grading the area before paving. The base is then allowed to settle before applying the hot mix asphalt to the surface using a heavy-duty roller. Once the mix is laid completely, the driveway is ready to use.

Advantages of Asphalt Driveways:

Asphalt offers several benefits for homeowners:

  1. Longevity: A professionally installed and well-maintained asphalt driveway can last up to 30 years.
  2. Durability: Asphalt is known for its ability to support heavy vehicles.
  3. Flexibility: Unlike other paving methods, asphalt is less likely to crack over time.
  4. Cost: Asphalt is an affordable option compared to many other paving materials.

Considerations for Asphalt Driveways:

While asphalt driveways have numerous advantages, there are a few things to consider:

  1. Temperature: In hot weather, asphalt surfaces can become very hot, potentially increasing the temperature inside vehicles.
  2. Maintenance: Although durable, asphalt driveways still require regular maintenance.

Tar and Chip Driveways:

Tar and chip driveways offer homeowners a unique design option that has been gaining popularity over the years. Before selecting a contractor for this project, consider the following factors:

Advantages of Tar and Chip Driveways:

Tar and chip driveways come with several advantages:

  1. Price: This method is known to be one of the most affordable options while still delivering beautiful results.
  2. Simple Process: Tar and chip paving is relatively straightforward compared to other methods. It involves laying a gravel base and then applying layers of liquid asphalt and stone.

Considerations for Tar and Chip Driveways:

Here are a few things to consider when choosing tar and chip driveways:

  1. Snow Removal: Clearing snow from a tar and chip driveway requires proper techniques, such as using a shovel or snowblower.
  2. Contractors: Finding experienced tar and chip contractors can be challenging. 

A tar and chip driveway typically lasts between 7 to 10 years. After this period, adding another layer is recommended.

Which Option Should You Choose?

Both asphalt and tar and chip paving have their own advantages and considerations. The choice ultimately depends on your specific needs and preferences. To determine the best option for your property, reach out to Michael Olinger Paving and Sealcoatig for a free quote. Their professionals will assess your property and provide you with an accurate estimate for the project.

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