There are so many benefits of tar and chip! It’s a great favourite of ours at SGR Surfacing.
But what exactly is tar and chip?
What is Tar & Chip?
The tar portion of tar and chip is bitumen. Bitumen (also known as asphalt) is a black, sticky, highly viscous form of petroleum. The chip is aggregate, a quantity of stone particles, fairly regular in size, shape, and colour.
We build the tar-and-chip driveway in three steps:
- First step is to ensure stable foundations. If the driveway surface is to be laid over an existing surface, we’ll clear away debris and fill any holes. If we’re building the driveway from scratch, we’ll prepare a sound sub-base from mixed aggregate.
- Hot bitumen is spread over the sub-base, creating a seal.
- While the bitumen is still molten, stone aggregate is spread over it and pressed into place by a heavy roller.
… Et voilà!
So, what are the benefits of tar and chip?
Tar and Chip is Aesthetically Pleasing
First of all, it looks amazing. And there are so many ways that it can look amazing.
Pea shingle is a smooth, rounded aggregate, shaped through attrition. Centuries of natural abrasion have created beautiful, ready-to-use pebbles. We’ve seen country cottages, smart town houses, and modern commercial properties enlivened by the warm tones of our light-brown pea shingle.
Grey granite aggregate is produced by crushing mined granite. The pieces of stone are angular, with flat surfaces that reflect the light. Grey granite is popular for oriental-style gardens, and it’s a perfect complement to contemporary architecture. In fact – it’s well classy!
Tar and Chip is Inexpensive to Install
Price is always an important factor in any project. Tar-and-chip surfacing is an extremely cost-effective finish for your driveway, especially when you have a large area to cover, like a long driveway or an extensive parking area.
A tar-and-chip surface is impermeable, so it doesn’t fall into the category of permitted development. However, drainage doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. We’ll ensure that your driveway has effective, legally compliant drainage, and we’ll keep costs to a minimum.
Quality installation always plays a part in the lifespan of a driveway surface. Attention to robust foundations is of paramount importance – but something that might be overlooked by an unskilled contractor.
(Remember that cost-effective is not necessarily the same as cheap.)
Tar and Chip is Low Maintenance
The cost of maintaining a tar-and-chip surface is practically nil. There’s no patching up, filling in cracks, or sealing to be done. The price you pay for installation is most likely all you’ll pay.
Even when you take into consideration the fact that tar and chip won’t win any prizes for longevity – we’re talking ten years – it still works out as a cost-effective option.
Tar and Chip is a good All-Rounder
This style of surfacing has been around for many centuries. The materials have changed over the years, but the basic concept of laying loose stones on a sticky base is tried and tested – and approved!
A tar-and-chip driveway evokes a sense of heritage and tradition. Its unassuming simplicity and attractive appearance seem at home in front of any type of property.
One of the really good things about tar and chip is the traction. The textured surface provides a better grip than concrete, asphalt, or block paving, which are smoother and can become slippery in wet or icy conditions.
Loose gravel is anything but smooth, but its hypermobility allows little purchase, and skidding can be a problem.
At SGR Surfacing, we’re tar and chip specialists, and we take pride in doing every job to perfection. If you’d like to talk to us about your driveway project, please don’t hesitate to give us a call on 01707 818946, or email email@example.com. We look forward to talking to you.