What's A Tar And Chip Driveway?

What’s A Tar And Chip Driveway?

September 25, 2023

Bitumen-covered,Temporary,Raised,Pavement,Markers,On,A,Road,After,ResealedIf you’ve been researching different types of driveways, you may have come across the term “tar and chip driveway.” While it may not be as well-known as concrete or asphalt driveways, it is a cost-effective and durable option for homeowners. In this blog post, we’ll explore what exactly a tar and chip driveway is and why it might be a great choice for your home.

What Is It?

A tar and chip driveway, also known as chip sealing, is a pavement surface treatment that combines hot liquid asphalt cement with small chips or gravel. The process involves applying a layer of liquid asphalt to the existing surface, followed by a layer of small stones or gravel. The chip sealing process is most commonly used on rural roads, but it has gained popularity in residential driveways as well.

Benefits of Tar and Chip Driveways

1. Cost-effective: One of the main advantages of a tar and chip driveway is its affordability. Compared to other types of driveways, such as concrete or asphalt, chip sealing typically costs less. This makes it an attractive option for homeowners on a budget.

2. Durability: Tar and chip driveways are highly durable and can withstand heavy traffic and harsh weather conditions. The combination of hot liquid asphalt cement and small stones or gravel creates a strong and stable surface that can last for years with proper maintenance.

3. Low maintenance: Unlike some other types of driveways, tar and chip driveways require minimal maintenance. Regular sweeping and occasional reapplication of a sealant can keep the surface looking fresh and functional for a long time. This low maintenance requirement can save homeowners both time and money in the long run.

4. Enhanced traction: The rough texture of a tar and chip driveway provides excellent traction, making it safer for vehicles, especially during wet or icy conditions. This can be particularly beneficial for homeowners who live in areas prone to heavy rainfall or snowy winters.

5. Aesthetically pleasing: Tar and chip driveways offer a unique and rustic look that can add charm to your property. The combination of the dark asphalt and the small stones or gravel creates an attractive and natural appearance that blends well with surrounding landscapes.

Installation Process

Installing a tar and chip driveway typically involves the following steps:

1. Surface preparation: The existing driveway surface is cleaned and any cracks or potholes are repaired.

2. Liquid asphalt application: Hot liquid asphalt cement is poured and spread evenly over the prepared surface.

3. Chip application: Small stones or gravel are spread over the liquid asphalt while it is still hot. The stones are then rolled and firmly pressed into the asphalt to ensure a strong bond.

4. Sealant application: A sealant is applied over the newly installed surface to protect it from moisture and further enhance its durability.

Is It Right for You?

While tar and chip driveways offer a range of benefits, they may not be suitable for every homeowner. Factors such as climate, budget, and personal preferences should be taken into consideration before making a decision. Consulting with a reputable paving contractor can help you determine if a tar and chip driveway is the best option for your specific needs.


A tar and chip driveway is a cost-effective, durable, and low-maintenance alternative to traditional concrete or asphalt driveways. Its unique rustic appearance, enhanced traction, and long-lasting nature make it an attractive choice for homeowners looking to improve their property’s curb appeal. If you’re considering a new driveway or looking to upgrade your existing one, a tar and chip driveway may be worth exploring.

Got Questions? Let Us Help!

D. Lee’s Paving is an asphalt paving company in the Spring Hill, TN area. At D. Lee’s Paving, our extremely skilled crew draws their know-how and skill from years of family work in the paving industry, using the absolute best techniques to provide you with the perfect finish for your site. Whether you’re doing a residential driveway or a commercial parking lot, we can get it done professionally and at a convenient cost. We offer comprehensive asphalt paving, maintenance, and repair services, as well as tar and chip fixes and road striping. For more details, please visit our site, or call us today!

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