Chip seal is a type of paving that’s an alternative to traditional asphalt, made up of oil and pea gravel. It has many names including tar and chip, oil and chip, chipseal, tarseal, and surface dressing. Oil and chip has been used for over 100 years to resurface driveways and parking lots. The chip seal is a natural gray color and can be personalized with colored stone.
Chip seal is a process applied to your driveway or parking lot in which oil and pea gravel are placed separately and then compacted together to form a strong foundation. First, oil is applied to the base and heated by the distributor truck. Then, using a spreader box, the gravel is applied on top of this first layer of oil. Once the oil is completely covered with gravel, a roller is used to compact the pea gravel into the hot oil, combining the two materials into a single layer.
Once the aggregate has been applied and rolled it is fine to drive on, but you should avoid any quick starts and stops, sharp turning, or parking for at least 24 hours. After 24 hours the chip seal should be completely set.
Chip seal uses an asphalt emulsion or oil as a binding agent and gravel crushed to a uniform size, sometimes called pea gravel.
Chip seal is a great option if you need to cover a large dirt area, or if you need to repair or resurface an asphalt surface that has small cracks or damage. It might not be the smoothest or quietest (the rough surface of chip seal creates more noise) but it gets the job done and at a great cost.
Chip seal will last five to seven years depending. While it might not last as long as asphalt or concrete, it’s easy to replace and repair when needed making it a cost-effective option if you don’t need the strength asphalt offers.
There really isn’t any consistent maintenance that needs to be done on chip seal driveways. However, it can be damaged if anything heavy is dragged over it.
Sunrise Asphalt works with our clients so every job is satisfactory and we follow up to ensure it. Call it a guarantee if you like, we call it good business.
As mentioned chip seal is a cheaper alternative to asphalt but exactly how much? Typically, you’re looking at about $5-7 per square foot. Of course, this varies on conditions and surfaces. To get a better idea of the cost for your chip seal needs, call or submit a form for your free estimate.