Chip Seal

Asphalt, gravel, recycled asphalt (millings), and concrete are the most common driveway material options, but we also provide another alternative that may be the best choice for you. To help in making the most informed decision for your road surface, let’s take a look at chip sealing.

What is chip seal?

Chip seal can be a good option if you are looking for a cost-effective way to provide a new driving surface that will perform for years with minimum maintenance costs. It can extend pavement life and provide a good driving surface when complete replacement is not an option. The final product is an all-weather, skid-resistance surface.

A chip seal (also known as tar and chip) drive is constructed by using a distributer truck to spray a thin base of CRS2 (cationic water-based emulsified asphalt), spreading clean chipped-stone (usually limestone) on top, and compacting with a pneumatic (rubber tire) roller. This creates a paved surface. While we usually recommend installing 2 layers of chip seal, some surfaces can still benefit from a single layer.

Chip seal can be completed over existing gravel surfaces, unsealed asphalt, concrete, or previously chip sealed surfaces. The condition of the surface must be in relatively good shape before chip sealing can be performed effectively.

Why is chip seal good option?

  • Chip seal can be installed much more cost effectively than new asphalt, and is more durable than gravel.
  • Chip seal can be installed much quicker, often in as little as one day, without the need to close down an entire road.
  • Chip seal can provide a cost-effective surface for a neighborhood walking trail.
  • By placing a chip seal sooner than an asphalt overlay is possible, the traveling public benefits from the roads being maintained and in better condition for a longer period of time.
  • Chip seal also eliminates the need to crack seal.
  • Safety is enhanced in some cases by chip seal because it provides skid resistance.
  • Chip seals can provide a moisture barrier for underlying pavement by sealing cracks in the pavement. It also can protect a pavement surface from oxidation and weathering.
  • In hot weather, cracks in chip seal are re-sealed by the base layer flowing back together when heated by the sun.

How is chip seal different than asphalt?

The main difference is the construction method of the two. Hot Mix Asphalt is produced by heating liquid asphalt, and mixing with sand and aggregate. This mix is then laid and compacted on a sturdy base to form a durable road. Chip sealing uses the same ingredients as asphalt but the liquid asphalt is sprayed on the road, followed by the aggregate placement, and then compaction. Asphalt provides a smoother driving surface, and can last much longer than chip seal without maintenance, but is also more costly.

Why is Armor Asphalt the company for the job?

The chip seal process is not one that just anyone can perform. To construct a chip sealed road correctly, specific equipment is required. Our fleet includes a computerized chip spreader that applies the aggregate at a uniform rate over the prepared surface. We also have a distributor that will allow the spray to be applied evenly to ensure the entire surface is covered.

If you would like more information on chip sealing surface treatments, we would love to talk to you about your specific needs.

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