If you have an old asphalt driveway that's in poor condition, you may be able to revitalize it by paving over it with a tar-and-chip driveway. Asphalt driveways and tar-and-chip driveways are extremely similar since they both consist of a blend of asphalt and small stones. However, tar-and-chip driveways are installed by casting the stones on top of the asphalt after it has been poured on the driveway. The layer of stones on top makes tar-and-chip driveways like gravel driveways.
Tar-and-chip driveways aren't as durable as asphalt driveways, but they're significantly less expensive — this makes them a good option for revitalizing an older asphalt driveway. To learn more about tar-and-chip driveways and if you'll be able to put one on top of your existing asphalt driveway, read on.
What Is a Tar-and-Chip Driveway?
A tar-and-chip driveway consists of gravel that's embedded in asphalt. When they're installed, a residential paving contractor will spread liquid asphalt over the surface. After that, they'll cover the liquid asphalt with gravel and tamp it down before the asphalt has a chance to dry. Once the asphalt dries, all of the gravel will be bound together into a smooth surface.
Can You Put a Tar-and-Chip Driveway Over an Asphalt Driveway?
If your asphalt driveway's base is in good condition, then you'll be able to easily put a tar-and-chip driveway over it. However, if your existing driveway has numerous potholes and alligator cracks, then it may not be a good candidate. Potholes and alligator cracks are often caused by the gravel base underneath the asphalt driveway starting to shift, creating gaps between the gravel that cause the asphalt above it to start sinking.
When the asphalt sinks and starts to bend, it will cause alligator cracks and potholes to form. You can have your driveway inspected by a residential paving contractor if you want to know if the driveway's gravel base is still in good condition.
If your driveway's base is still stable, then a contractor can fill all of the cracks in the asphalt surface, apply liquid asphalt to it and then add gravel to the asphalt. You'll be able to choose the type of gravel that's used for your tar-and-chip driveway, allowing you to customize its color. Once the liquid asphalt has fully cured and the gravel is firm, you'll be able to use your new tar-and-chip driveway.
Paving over an aging asphalt driveway in order to turn it into a tar-and-chip driveway is an inexpensive way to improve its appearance. While your new driveway won't be another asphalt driveway, it's still a substantial upgrade to an old asphalt driveway that has numerous cracks and worn areas. If you'd like to know if installing a tar-and-chip driveway will be an option for you, call a residential paving service in your area and have them inspect your existing driveway to see if the gravel base is still stable and strong.
For more information on residential paving, contact a professional near you.