Chip Seal

A chip seal is an excellent option for resurfacing asphalt, extending the life of that pavement and creating a safe driving surface. Chip sealing is typically much less expensive than other repaving or pavement repair options, and creates a fresh surface that is ready for new parking lines and other markings.

A chip seal often lasts and average of seven years although this will vary according to everyday traffic, weather conditions, and how well you keep it maintained. Hiring a reputable asphalt paving company also ensures a chip seal lasts as long as possible.

Chip sealing offers many benefits for repairing and resurfacing public roadways, asphalt parking lots, and other such surfaces, but its overall longevity will depend on how well you maintain the chip sealant after installation. Knowing how a chip seal is applied and the materials used for this sealing can help ensure  you’re doing every possible to protect your new pavement over the years. You might also benefit from some tips and hints for keeping asphalt, concrete, and all paving materials in good condition no matter their location or use.

What Does Chip Sealing a Road Mean?

Chip sealing uses the same materials as fresh asphalt paving but the installation of a chip seal and new blacktop are a bit different. Understanding these differences can help you determine if a chip sealant is right for your roadway or parking lot, and better understand its benefits versus tearing out your current pavement and installing new asphalt.

  • Fresh asphalt starts with a mixture of hot, liquid asphalt and aggregates. This mixture is spread onto an aggregate base and compacted or pressed into place.

  • Chip sealing uses these same “ingredients” but is not mixed and then spread over an aggregate. Instead, a chip seal begins with a thin layer of liquid asphalt sprayed onto existing pavement.

  • Aggregates or “chips,” made up of gravel, polished stone, polished glass, and other such materials are then spread over the liquid asphalt and pressed into place.

  • Once the chip sealant has dried, excess or loose chips are swept away.

While a chip sealant is not the same as asphalt installation, this mixture offers a tough, durable surface that withstands most vehicle traffic as easily as fresh asphalt.

Does Chip Sealing Work?

There are many advantages to chip sealing a road, parking lot, or asphalt driveway, versus tearing out that pavement and installing fresh asphalt. Chip sealant is also a good alternative to repairing a large number of chips, cracks, spalling, potholes, and other damage.

  • Chip sealing is typically a fourth or even a fifth the cost of fresh asphalt or an asphalt overlay. 

  • A chip sealant doesn’t add the same weight to your pavement as does a thick asphalt overlay.

  • Chip sealants seep into cracks, pits, pores, small potholes, and other surface damage of asphalt, filling in those gaps and creating a safe surface for driving.

  • Filling in potholes and other gaps with a chip sealant protects the asphalt from absorbing water and then softening or cracking over time.

  • A fresh layer of chip sealant protects asphalt form harsh sunlight and extreme weather conditions, reducing surface spalling, peeling, and other damage. 

  • Fresh chips or aggregate adds traction to your property’s asphalt, creating a safer surface for driving and reducing the risk of traffic accidents.

  • Fresh aggregate prevents water from pooling on the surface of asphalt, also creating a safer driving surface and virtually eliminating black ice.

  • A new layer of chip sealant provides a clean, vibrant surface for fresh parking lines and other markings.

  • Fresh aggregate allows you to change the look of your pavement! Colored aggregate, polished glass, and other options add style to a parking lot or driveway.                                                                                                                          

  • How Long Does a Tar and Chip Driveway Last?

  • A tar and chip driveway is similar to a cheap sealant; a layer of hot, liquid asphalt is sprayed over a layer of aggregate and then fresh aggregate or chips are added. A tar and chip driveway is more stable than gravel as its chips are not loose and won’t get caught under tires or wash away during rainstorms. Many homeowners also find tar and chip driveways a bit more attractive than plain gravel while the material is much cheaper than asphalt or concrete.

  • However, as with a chip sealant, a tar and chip driveway won’t last as long as asphalt installation or concrete. Depending on vehicle traffic, you might expect a tar and chip driveway to last a maximum of 7 to 10 years before it’s time for a fresh layer of sealant and new stones or aggregate. You can make your request by filling out our online form, or you can call our office at (336) 317-3218 to speak with one of our highly trained representatives.