When Tar and Chip Really Shines

December 21, 2019

You might not be familiar with the term “tar and chip,” referring to the type of paving, but you’ve probably seen it before. While concrete, gravel, asphalt and pavers are all more common paving choices than tar and chip, there are some circumstances in which it can really add a luxurious touch to a property.

Tar and chip paving is historically common in rural areas, and makes an ideal option for people who want to limit costs when installing a new driveway. The process of creating it is simple—there’s a gravel base, then a layer of hot liquid asphalt on top, followed by a coating of loose stones rolled into the asphalt, forming the finished surface. That combination of liquid asphalt and loose stones is where the “tar and chip” name comes from.

You have a variety of options with regard to the stones you use to help you create a unique appearance in your driveway. You can select from a wide variety of colors, for example, which will help you create a paved surface that is eye-appealing and is consistent with your personality, or with the rest of the landscaping, décor and architectural features on your property.

This process differs from asphalt paving in that the petroleum-based liquid part and the aggregate portion are applied separately, whereas asphalt is a blend of the two, meaning they’re applied at the same time.

What exactly are the benefits of doing a paved surface in tar and chip style instead of asphalt, given the similarities? Here are just a few examples of the benefits of tar and chip paving in Nashville, TN:

  • Cost: Tar and chip driveways will almost always cost significantly less than most of the other common forms of paving, except for plain gravel. You will not find asphalt paving services for a lower price than tar and chip paving services.
  • Solid and durable: Despite the lower price, tar and chip paving still offers plenty of durability, especially when compared to a straight gravel surface. Gravel does not last as long, and needs to regularly be refreshed or tamped to ensure the integrity of the paved area gets maintained. Tar and chip paving will last up to a decade. So, while tar and chip doesn’t have the lifespan of other types of paving, particularly concrete, it still lasts plenty long given the price tag you’re looking at.
  • Low maintenance: There is not much upkeep you need to perform on tar and chip driveways. This is especially true when compared to asphalt, which needs to be sealed every several years, and which has much more serious issues with cracking.
  • Rough surface: If you live in an area where you’re worried about snow or ice, tar and chip paving gives you a rough, textured surface to provide better traction, which can be highly beneficial. Asphalt and concrete are more prone to slippage in certain conditions.

For more information about tar and chip paving in Nashville, TN, contact the experts at RoadBuilders today.

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