ron rothman.ron rothman
selectively conformist

I Heart My Tar & Chip Driveway

Back in September 2004, I had a tar and chip (bituminous surface treatment) driveway installed in place of the existing gravel drive that came with our old house. Because there wasn’t (and still isn’t) much web information on tar and chip driveways, I thought I’d briefly summarize my experience.

UPDATE: With last week’s very heavy rains, our tar & chip driveway has developed a large hole.
I Heart My Tar & Chip Driveway

We called the original contractor (Craig Hup) in, to take a look and let us know our options. Unfortunately, he said that it’s not really possible to patch the driveway; he would have to redo the entire job [but see readers’ comments below for discussion on whether this is actually true]. And, at current oil prices, the cost of the job would be something like $2/square foot–about double what we paid three years ago.

Some context:

The washout was caused by a flash rainstorm.

The lawn next to the driveway (in the spot near the washout) slopes back towards the driveway–which means that water may not have enough room to run off the driveway, especially during an unusually heavy rain.

After talking with some neighbors (and a couple of other local contractors), it’s apparent that we’re not alone. The recent rainstorm caused damage (potholes or washouts) to several local driveways: gravel, tar & chip, and asphalt alike.

We’re still deciding how to handle it.

What Does Tar & Chip Look Like?

(Photos: tar and chip driveway, completed; installation. More photos coming soon.)

I Heart My Tar & Chip DrivewayIf you’re a city boy, like me, you probably have no clue what a tar and chip road looks like. Well, our driveway looks more or less like a normal gravel drive, except that, in most spots, if you tried to sweep away the gravel, you’d reach a grey, pseudo-solid, conglomerated rock base. (If it were true gravel, you’d hit earth.)

We put slightly too much stone on the drive after it was tarred, so there’s more gravel than we’d ideally like (making look very much like a regular gravel drive). Some people might prefer the way that looks, though.

We also chose to go with grey stone, for a few reasons. For one, it fit better with our house (even though, in a vacuum, I might prefer red stone). More importantly, it was easier (cheaper) to get, and will make future maintenance much less of a headache. Grey is easy to match; I know I’ll be able to re-chip the driveway easily later on. Also, it’s not easy to find a contractor who does tar and chip (see below), so the fewer exceptions to their normal practices (e.g., grey stone), the better.

Why Is It Better?

Advantages of tar and chip over blacktop (asphalt):

  • Maintenance. Asphalt requires periodic sealing and repairs; tar and chip is relatively maintenance free–no sealing, and fewer repairs. We have no visible cracks (perhaps the gravel layer hides them?), save for one spot where the substrate wasn’t laid correctly.
  • Traction. In wet or snowy weather, the rough surface provides extra grip to foot or tire.
  • Cost. Tar and chip costs less to install than asphalt. (In my case, it was half the cost.) I think it cost us just under $1 per square foot.
  • Durability. My driveway will last longer than an “equivalent” blacktop drive.


  • Finding a contractor. The number one problem with tar and chip driveways is: hardly any paving contractors still install them. (See below for reasons.) You may (you will!) have trouble finding someone who even knows what tar & chip is, let alone can install it. I got lucky–and I’ve included my contractor’s contact information below, in case you’re local (NJ).
  • Winter shoveling. As with a gravel drive, you’ll find winter snow plowing and shoveling to be harder than with blacktop. But, we have had our driveway plowed several times, and also have shoveled several feet of snow over the past two years, and have had no issues with our tar & chip drive. The worst consequence has been stray gravel getting on the lawn. (But certainly no worse than with the old, pure gravel drive.)
  • Weeds. A handful of weeds do manage to come up through our tar and chip driveway, here and there. I’m not sure if it’s because the tar didn’t fully coat some areas during our installation, or whether it’s an inherent property of tar and chip roads… but in any case, it’s not too bad.
  • Installation time frame. Installation of a tar & chip driveway requires warmer temperatures than does blacktop, so the “season” of favorable weather is shorter. Where I live, blacktop can be installed through October, but tar and chip can’t be done that late.

Why Doesn’t Everyone…?

So, if tar and chip is so much better than common asphalt, then why doesn’t everyone use it?

Well, you might also ask why we plant non-native grass species in lawns, when they require an unnatural regimen of extreme watering, fertilizing and weed killing.

Or why you can’t get a decent tomato in a supermarket.

Or why coca-cola is a corn product.

The short answer is: corporate profits have driven these trends. (The details on lawns, tomatoes and Coke are not really on-topic here, so I’ll leave it at that.)

I Heart My Tar & Chip DrivewayUsing tar as a binder requires warm-ish temperatures (for the tar to remain tacky). This limits the paving season during which (tar and chip) roads can be laid. Concrete/asphalt manufacturers realized, several decades ago, that by mixing road materials in their plants–rather than on-site–they could extend the paving season, since they could control the temperature within the plant. Today, that’s what they do–mix asphalt in a plant and transport it to the road site.

Which is all fine and dandy–except if you want a product that’s better for you (tar & chip, native grasses, sugar…), instead of better for them (asphalt, Kentucky Bluegrass, corn syrup…).

Contact Information for our Contractor

Our paving contractor was Craig Hup, of Hup & Sons. We’re very satisfied with the job he did on our driveway, so we recommend considering him if you’re planning a tar and chip project. Note that they did not offer an official warranty on the work–which I found odd, since tar and chip should outlast a blacktop drive–but I chalk that up to their perception that it was risky, due to lack of data (i.e., too few installations to know how it would hold up).

You can reach Craig at (908) 832-7878. (And please mention to him that you read my article. :) )

For More Information

368 Responses to “I Heart My Tar & Chip Driveway” [Leave yours »]

  1. Ron, just a note to say thanks for the driveway info. We also have a tar and chip drieway and now we are fixing some of the bad places. The info really helped answer some questions we had. Wish us luck in trying to find a contractor in Winston-Salem,NC.

    Thanks again,
    A P

  2. greg tracked back:

    I live in Houston and it is in the middle 90’s 6 / 8 months a year. Would tar and chip work in our area. Also our driveways crack (a lot) because we sit on a lot of clay and it tends to expand and contract with the weather. Thanks Greg

  3. Ron [author of post] tracked back:

    sorry greg, i have no idea. our driveway does great all summer long (80’s, 90’s, july and august)–we never even have to think about it.

    our driveway has none of the typical expansion cracks that you see in blacktop. in fact, i remember reading that tar and chip resists cracking much better than ashpalt, because it’s more flexible (which makes sense to me), and can even “repair itself” to some degree (which i remain somewhat skeptical of).

    you may want to try the links in my post for more information.

  4. I really appreciate the info on the tar and chip driveway. You are right about the lack of info! I hate to use your blog as a contact but I am in NC and was wondering if there is anyway to find out if AP (previous comment) ever found a contractor? We are getting ready to build our house and wouldn’t need our driveway paved until June/July 2007. Prime time for tar and chip but I may need some help finding a contractor. Thanks again for the info!

  5. Welela tracked back:

    I live in North Carolina (Raleigh/Henderson area) and am also looking for someone who does tar & chip driveways. We have a 900 foot driveway that needs to be done. The costs for asphalt are well beyound our means. Tar & Chip seems to be the best for us. Has anyone found any contractors in this area?

  6. rick tompkins tracked back:

    i am a paving contractor…main office in west virginia…we also have a branch in the greensboro, n.c. area…i have been in this line of work for 15 years…i learned my trade from men who had been paving for 30-40 years…and i would like to offer my opinion and observations on tar and chip vs. paving…first of all i highly disagree with the assertion that tar and chip will last longer than paving…the number one reason the men i worked with quit offering tar and chip was because it was not a value to the homeowners anylonger…the price difference between tar and chip (which by the way is often referred to as penetration by some) and paving became so close that tar and chip was really almost a rip off…i fully expect driveways i pave to last at least 20-30 years with no major repair needed…i’ve never seen a tar and chip job that can come close to that…i’m not saying it’s not possible….i just personally have never seen it…i have seen tar and chip last approx. 7-10 years before it really starts to tear up….our prices are around $2.50-$3.00 per sq. ft…..tar and chip would be close to $1.75 per sq. ft… me it’s just not worth it…just wanted to put my 2 cents in…if you would like to contact me i’m at [email-address-hidden] …have a great day everyone!

  7. PETE SKIPPER tracked back:


  8. Ron [author of post] tracked back:

    rick & pete, thanks for your informative comments.

    (pete, i think you were responding to rick, so i added a few words to your comment which i hope help clarify. if i missed the point, please let me know.)

    thanks again!

  9. rick tompkins tracked back:

    i would just like to say everything i have learned is due to my own experience and mostly the experience of men like pete, so if he says it i would believe it. experience is everything in asphalt. thanks for putting in all those years so the rest of us can have it a little easier pete.

  10. gifford tracked back:

    Is chip seal the same thing or product as tar & chip?

  11. Ron [author of post] tracked back:

    yes, there are many names for tar and chip. among them: “seal chip,” “oil and chip” and “shoot and chip.”

  12. dave jorge tracked back:

    Have an existing asphalt driveway and would love to tar and chip…can this process be done over existing…and being that I’m all for working on projects myself….is there a product that can be purchased for the base (trowelled on) the compacted…. hope to be able to do it on my own …
    thanks for any advise or name of any companies in massachusetts

  13. Ron [author of post] tracked back:

    hi dave,

    i’m no expert, but i think i remember reading that it’s possible to tar and chip on top of existing asphalt–if the existing surface is in good structural condition.

    as for doing it yourself, based on what i’ve seen/read, this is definitely a job for a professional. laying tar and chip essentially requires the same set of skills and equipment as laying blacktop. (for example, from where would you get the hot oil that you’ll need?)

    hope this helps! (and maybe someone from massachusetts who reads this can recommend a contractor to you.)
    — ron

  14. Linda simpson tracked back:

    We have a very long existing gravel drive that needs to be redone. We very much like the look of our driveway, and my husband has just discovered this tar and chip method. I live in Westchester County, NY. Does anyone know of contractors who do that in our area? Also, are there any other home owners or contractors who have more opinions on tar and chip v. gravel? Is a gravel drive cheaper?

  15. Richard tracked back:

    This site is very helpful, ! have a driveway about 600ft long along in NH with a good grade, My driveway now has about 8 inches of crushed gravel , but it got muddy at times so me and my builder put down 4 to 5 inches of recycled asphalt ,which works great on a level driveway and you can buy for $6.00 a ton real cheap . but the problem i have is on the steep 2 bends on my driveway i have the recycled asphalt is breaking up will chip seal work good on a steep graded drivewy and stay intact ? or do i have to go with asphalt ? Thanks for any help Richie

    PS, Anyone have a number of any chip seal contractors in NH?

  16. Tina tracked back:

    We need to redo our asphalt driveway. We are deciding if we should do asphalt again or go with tar and chip (like the look). My husband is concerned about some things. If anyone who has a tar and chip could comment – thank you !
    1. More weeds in tar and chip than asphalt ?
    2. Leaves not blowing off the gravel top as easy as asphalt ?
    3. The snow blowing issue being harder on gravel top.

    We live in Long Island New York and have a large circular driveway.
    Thank you !

  17. Ron [author of post] tracked back:

    tina, i’ll take a stab at answering your questions:

    1. well, asphalt doesn’t have any weeds (unless i’m missing something?), and yes, our tar & chip driveway does get some. (i’ll see if i can upload some recent photos of our tar and chip driveway.) so far, it’s been very easy to manage the weeds, by pulling or very light spraying. hasn’t really been a problem for us.

    2. haven’t had any problems with leaves.

    3. we don’t use a snowblower, but when it comes to tar and chip, my best guess would be that you should treat it like gravel. (in fact, you’ll probably have a thin layer of gravel over the seal chip. for what it’s worth, if we ever re-chip our driveway, we’ll put much less gravel down on top.)

    we’ve had our driveway plowed once or twice, and the snowplow scooped up gravel along with the snow. wasn’t a big problem; when the snow pile melted, we just loosely redistributed the gravel.

    tina, if you do decide to chip your driveway, please let us know how it goes!

  18. As far as tar and chip lasting, I think the jobs that have been around for 40 years that PETE SKIPPER —GEORGE SKIPPER&SON INC MASSACHUSETTS mentioned above, have had multiple layers at the time of construction and possibly a “sprucing up” with single layers installed every so often. If this is the case, the cost for multiple layers of tar and chip will be more than asphalt paving. I am a asphalt paving contractor in CT and have done a small handfull of tar and chip driveways. They are very nice looking but I know if the cost for either asphalt or tar and chip are the same, asphalt will out perform in the long run. Best way for long lasting decroative driveways is to pave them with asphalt first then chip seal. Maintenance is about every 7 to 10 years by adding another layer of chip seal. It’s more money up front but save in the long run and the benifits are priceless. Gabe from Daly Paving

  19. Troy tracked back:

    I have a large concrete aggregate circular driveway in front of my 19th century old home on Long Island.. Can I put tar & chip over concrete, or do i have to dig out concrete first? Also, if I want to widen driveway beyond current borders ( UPS druck is always driving over my flowers), can I do that next to existing driveway? Thanks.

  20. I really like the chip seal type of asphalt driveways but I am finding it difficult to find any contractors in Connecticut who have a proven track record with this process… Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  21. Troy wrote,

    I have a large concrete aggregate circular driveway in front of my 19th century old home on Long Island.. Can I put tar & chip over concrete, or do i have to dig out concrete first? Also, if I want to widen driveway beyond current borders ( UPS druck is always driving over my flowers), can I do that next to existing driveway? Thanks.

    You can put tar & chip over concrete as well as existing asphalt and stone. But it will only hold up as good as the base is applied on. If the existing is heaving it will still be there after the tar & chip install. As far as widening your driveway, first the area needs to be excavated of all organic material. then a layer of stone should be added and compacted to grade with existing concrete or asphalt, etc. then chip seal over entire area.

  22. Etta tracked back:

    My experience with tar and chip: I grew up in a house that had a tar and chip driveway put down in the 40’s. Obviously an excellent quality job, it even had iron edging to contain the chips and give it a sharp edge. It did not need repairing until a few years ago, and then just some of the sides needed to be re-done, mainly where water would run during storms.
    More recently, I have had my driveway done (Three shots of tar and chip) and here are my pros: I like the ‘old fashioned’ look- it suits my house and it adds more character than asphalt, which reminds me of parking lots. I have never seen a crack in it (18 years). There are cons, too: it is hard to get as tidy an edge as asphalt. Weeds do come up, particularly on the edges. Bits like oak tree pollen get ‘caught’ on it, so it does not stay as ‘clean’ looking. Children can not roller skate or skate board on it as well. Snow plows are a no-no on mine- the one time we used one it scraped it too much. Also, there is a place on my drive where water runs in a storm and that does tear it up badly over a couple of bad winters. I have pot holes there now that need repairing.
    Also, if you have it done in the summer months, you have to let it “cure”, because the tar remains tacky underneath the chips for several days, and a fast moving UPS truck can really leave a track. Bottom line: I love the country look of it, so put up with the cons for that reason.
    Hope this helps someone.

  23. charles dougherty tracked back:

    my name is charles dougherty and i am a tar & chip coating contractor from fort worth tx i work in all of texas, colorado, and new mexico and yes i am a licence contractor in new company name is CD PAVING & SEAL COATING i am a black top paving contractor as well. but i do a lot of tar & chip seal work. if anay one would like a great job done please call 817-690-6071

  24. Corey Howlett tracked back:

    I am looking at laying down a chip seal driveway here in Alaska… I currently have 3 inches of recycled asphalt which works great but doesn’t hold together… It has been suggested if I use a chip seal process with my recycled asphalt rather than “chip” that it will look great and last a long time…

  25. CHRISTOPHER MCDONOUGH tracked back:


  26. Nancy tracked back:

    We have a short but steep driveway. Does anyone have any experience w/tar & chip on a grade and if so, how has it held up?

    Responding to Ken’s question of April 13: I don’t know where in CT you live but I am in Fairfield County (Danbury area). I received a flyer in the mail from East Coast Paving, LLC-203.577.3338. They do Bituminous Concrete Driveways. I am under the impression they are the same as T & C (but I may be wrong)! Hope this helps.

  27. True “Tar and Chip” is hard to find these days, When most people refer to tar and chip today I believe they are refering to an asphalt emulsion type liquid that coats the existing pavement, aggregates are spread through a chip spreader and rolled in place. Asphalt emulsion based liquid is a byproduct of oil refining. True TAR is a byproduct of Coal refining. Tar is resistant to oil, chemical solvents, salt and water. Emulsion being oil based is not resistant to above. Givin a well prepared base nothing beats the cost effectiveness of tar and chip. I believe everyone is talking in general terms when it comes to calling Chip seal “Tar and Chip.” It is true Chip seal is skid resistant, self healing, and less expensive than paving. Can be installed on a primed (oiled) stone base or asphalt base.

  28. Ron [author of post] tracked back:
    UPDATE: With last week’s very heavy rains, our tar & chip driveway has developed a large hole.

    We called the original contractor (Craig Hup) in, to take a look and let us know our options. Unfortunately, he said that it’s not really possible to patch the driveway; he would have to redo the entire job. And, at current oil prices, the cost of the job would be something like $2/square foot–about double what we paid three years ago.

    Some context:

    The washout was caused by a flash rainstorm.

    Our driveway is properly sloped, width-wise, but the lawn next to it (in the area near the washout) slopes back towards the driveway; which means that water may not have enough room to run off the driveway–especially during an unusually heavy rain.

    After talking with some neighbors (and a couple of other local contractors), it’s apparent that we’re not alone. The recent rainstorm caused damage (potholes or washouts) to several local driveways: some gravel, some tar & chip, and some asphalt.

    We’re still deciding how to handle it.

  29. Bob Lackey tracked back:

    Can I assume from John Alberty’s comments that “tar and chip” is not the same as “oil and chip”? I thought these terms meant the same thing. I too have a long country drive and would like something that does not look like a parking lot and is cost effective.

  30. Bobbie Cohen tracked back:

    Hi – I have a long (300 ft.), steep driveway, gravel over a good hard packed base coarse, with excellent run off. Does anyone have experience with contractors here in New Mexico? Sounds as though tar and chip would be a good way to reduce rutting – hate the look of regular asphalt.
    Bobbie C.

  31. Ron [author of post] tracked back:

    UPDATE: We had another contractor (Hicks Paving, of Hampton NJ; apparently the same family as C.H. Paving) come in and look at the hole in our driveway, but they were pretty unhelpful. (The guy spoke with my wife, and wouldn’t give her any straight answers about our repair options; he just seemed kind of ticked off that his company didn’t get the original driveway job, three years ago.)

    So we’re still looking. In the mean time, I’m going to try to get a half-yard of coarse 1″ stone, and see if I can temporarily patch the hole with that.

  32. Rene'e tracked back:

    I have a country driveway that was initially covered by “cow base”. It was a very poor application, leaving a bumpy drive and eventually holes. We had road base applied, which helped, but with the amount of rain we get in Louisiana, we have soft spots and holes caused by runoff. How would tar and chip last under these conditions? What must be done to prepare the driveway for the application of tar and chip?

  33. shirley mcdurmet tracked back:

    I had chip sealed my drive way 3 years ago on friday harber washington by a company who has offices threw out the united states .They used 2 layers of gravel and a polymer oil I beleave was called crs1


  35. Maria Haas tracked back:

    We are building a house in georgia that sits back in the woods with a long winding drive. I like the idea of tar and chip and have some questions. Is it possible to line the driveway with bricks to give it a straighter edge? If so, would you put the bricks down before the tar or after? Also, several people mentioned recycled asphalt. Is the asphalt broken in peices and layed like gravel? Is that a good, inexpensive alternative to laying gravel before the tar? thanks..

  36. Linda Simpson tracked back:

    We finallly did the tar and chip driveway in June. It has been down for a month now and looks lovely. We treid to save a little money (very long drive) and did an unnoticeable section of the parking area with only gravel. I wish now we had spent the extra, the tar and chip is far superior. The real test will be winter, and how it will hold up to ploughing. Numerous people have commented on it’s looks, and have siad why doesn’t everyone do the same, which made me laugh in light of what was written above. We used Nika and Sons contractors here in Westchester County, New York. He has been specializing in this for years, and his advice was spot on when we were looking for quotes. If anyone tells you that they can simply pour gravel and roll it in to hot asphalt, stay away. My only quibble so far is that I am surprised that the weeds are able to force their way through, especially at the edges, so I am just going to have to get a weed sprayer.

  37. Linda Simpson tracked back:

    In response to Maria Haas above, I would think you have to place the brick after the job is done. They will be grading, etc,,, and the process of spraying would make your bricks look terrible. It would be impossible for the spray not to get on the bricks. I think they can lay over asphalt, other comments above indicate that that is so. Also, in regards to ploughing, I have already determined that I will have to get someone in who is good and reputable at it, which probably will mean spending more money this winter, but it will be worth it.

  38. Maria Haas tracked back:

    Do you mind me asking what you paid for your driveway? We have 250 feet of driveway to pave and need to cut corners where we can. Also, why can’t they pour tar and put gravel over it and roll? what other work is involved?

  39. Linda Simpson tracked back:

    To Maria again, I suggest you call a contractor who can tell you what is involved. I can tell you that our drive was basically double the cost of doing solely gravel, including grading, etc…but obviously you will get a lot more in the long run for your dollar.

  40. Maria Haas tracked back:

    To Linda, thanks for the info..

    Also, I have noticed that some driveways on the edge are straight and some are not…do some people doing the driveways use forms to keep the edges crisp and straight?

  41. I live just west of Boston and am in need of a tar and chip contractor to do my 3800 square foot drive.
    The drive is now tar and chip but in need of a new coat.
    Does anyone have any recomendations?


  42. Maria Haas tracked back:

    Does anyone know of a contractor in Georgia that does tar and chip? I have been asking around here and no luck so far

  43. Jessica tracked back:

    My husband and I are fixing up a very modest, older home. We have been talking about what to do with the driveway—we have a circle driveway in front of the house and we want whatever we do to compliment our antique house/barn. Our neighbors are thinking about putting in a tar and chip driveway and it sounds interesting to us—but here is my question: Is this type of driveway tricycle friendly? (Our daughter is just learning to ride her first bike.)
    Thank you,

  44. Hi there
    We are the best asphalt and bitumen chip seal firm in the world but unfortunately we only cover Scotland. Seems there is a lot of work needin done in the US, maybe we will sail over.
    In my opinion chip seal is an economic solution to a large scale resurfacing need and is only of value if it is not more than 20% of the cost of an asphalt overlay. Tar chip driveways require periodic maintanance and again only give value at 20% of asphalt cost. At today’s costs (UK) 500sqy of 2.5 ” asphalt overlay should be £12-£15/sq.y Chipseal shoulb be £3 ish /sq.y


  45. Jessica,
    I wouldn’t recommend tar and chip with your daughter in mind. If she falls there is a good chance she will get a few good scratches unless you use a rounded stone. Your driveway may need maintenance a bit sooner than it would if you were to go with a fractured stone since rounded stone tend to come loose from the oil a bit sooner than fractured stone, but rounded stones may be more forgiving on a person. Plus with asphalt you can draw on your driveway with chalk. I’m sure your daughter and you would enjoy that time also. Just my 2c.

    20%? Wow! In Connecticut, tar and chip driveways are very comprable in price compared to an asphalt overlay. Don’t know if your asphalt price is really high and the oil is low but boy do I wish it cost only 20% of the cost of an asphalt overlay. Asphalt driveway paving sells for $2-5 and oil and stone goes for $1.50-3.50. Lets take your example, 500sqy (4500 sq ft) thats about 500 gallons of oil needed to install 1 layer chipseal. If it were asphalt the job would call for about 70 tons. Not sure what you pay for materials but my cost for oil itself is well over 50% the actual cost for asphalt. In my experiences the two diffrent choices really last about the same amount of time also. So in Connecticut the money value is alot higher than 20%.


  46. Ron [author of post] tracked back:

    just a quick note, to say that i agree with the second point that gabe makes (above), but disagree with the first.

    jessica: i don’t think tar & chip is much of a hazard. true, it’s a little rougher than blacktop, but i wouldn’t exactly call it sharp. more importantly, your daughter should be able to ride her bike/tricycle just fine on it–especially if you don’t put too much loose stone on top of the tar & chip surface. (we made the mistake of putting too much–looks nice, but all that gravel can get annoying sometimes–like when we have to shovel snow.)

    as for cost: i recently spoke with a reputable contractor here in NJ, and the cost of oil has driven up the cost of both asphalt and tar & chip. we paid about $1/sqft. to install our tar & chip driveway 3 years ago; it now costs $2/sqft (and rising).

    hope that helps. if anyone else who reads this has recently installed a tar & chip driveway at their home, would you mind leaving a comment and letting us know the approximate cost per sqft in your region? much appreciated!

  47. Rick Warford tracked back:

    I live in Gainesville, GA and am looking at a Tar and Chip driveway. I like the look and think it will fit in very well with the environment that my house is in (500 foot driveway through woods, on lake lot – chalet style house).

    I have only been able to identify ONE contractor in the Atlanta area (Asphalt Management) that will do or has done Tar and Chip in the past. I contacted them and the person on the phone tried desperately to convince me that it was not a good idea! He said it would be CHEAPER to blacktop (2/3rds the price) than to Tar and Chip – even tough the rough estimate was for around $1.50 per square foot for Tar and Chip. I asked on Monday for them to come out and do a formal estimate for Tar and Chip – but haven’t heard back on when they would be up my way to do so yet.

    Does anyone know of another company that will do Tar and Chip in the north Atlanta area?

    Rick Warford

  48. My wife called three paving contractors in our area to get estimates on paving [blacktop] our 2000
    foot long driveway. Two of them priced it at $20,000 (81/2′ Wide X 3″ thick). The third guy
    wanted $15,000 to go 2” thick and $24,000 to go 3” thick. To be honest with you, I thought
    that these prices seemed extremely economical. We do have a good gravel base down, so
    I thought that might have made a little difference. I guess that if I had a question, then
    it would be…..what is the advantage of going 3” instead of 2”. We live in western Kentucky,
    and our winters don’t get extremely cold like up north, so do I really need to go 3″? By the
    way, I’m not totally opposed to chip and seal, especially since we live in the boonies. I, like
    everyone else on here, am not sure if I could find anyone to do it.

  49. Ric Lambert tracked back:

    Tar and Chip info, VDOT (VA Dept of Transportation) uses tar and chip method on nearly all of its highways, they also use it on it as a resurface method on its interstate systems, like I-81, I-95, I-77 and so on, a company called Slurry Pave contracts this to them ( I dont think that company does driveways though, to small of jobs for them). But naturaly a asphalt paving contractor will play tar and chip down because there is way less profit in there for them( because there sitting there with a million dollar asphalt plant to pay for) . Its much cheaper to tar and chip, its around a $1.00 to $1.50 a sq ft to tar and chip, you can double that price to asphalt pave. And guess what, they both have in them materials in the, ( liquid asphalt and stone ), no rocket science here. A good driveway is all about the base, if it has a good base under it, crusher run stone or old asphalt driveway or old concrete drives, then it is a good base for tar and chip and leave the other half of you driveway money in your pocket.

  50. Ric.
    This outpouring of drivel would get you tarred and feathered in Scotland. You are either a “tar chip cowboy who cant lay asphalt or you have been brain washed by same.
    Wise up sir

  51. Ric Lambert tracked back:

    Well Gavin, We have been in the family Rock Quarry buisness for over 50 years and Im just stating the facts there scotty. There all on the VA Highway Dept web sites under highway specs. Im not trying to sell either method because Im not in the buisness of selling either one, we just sell the stone for both types of mix and tar and chip is a lot cheaper method than the asphalt pavement that you must be trying to push, to pay for your equipment. You dont have one of those big old fossel fuel oil burning , smoke spuing, million dollar, hot mix asphalt plants do you. And a couple of other points while on the subject. Beware of asphalt pavers selling you 2″ of asphalt and only giving you an 1 1/4″ thick job. A 2″ paving job means after compaction. You can have a testing lab pull some core samples if in dought of a finished job to make shure you get your moneys worth. Another common tactic by paving companys is to just pave your driveway with a topping mix, its pretty but dont let a truck drive onto it. If hot mix paving then use a good 4-6″ of base stone such as crusher run or 21-B,compacted, 2″ of binder or course mix and 1 1/2″ of topping mix. You can check your states highway specs on there web sites for subdivision street specs for a good idea of what you should do on your own driveway or roads. And they will have info on tar and chip methods as well. I myself always watch who is giving me there 2 cents worth of information because as always, what ever there selling is always the best, and thats why you should get you trusted information from someone thats not trying to sell just there product or pay there big payments. And again as stated, or rock products are in both mix designs so it does’nt matter to the quarry people which method you choose, let your bank account decide the one thats right for your own use. And as the scotty said, WISE UP

  52. rick tracked back:

    As an asphalt paver with quite a bit of experience i would like to say again…i do not believe in tar and chipping residential driveways. As evidenced by Ron’s washout it just does not hold up like a full depth paving job. The expense may seem so much higher but…if i put your driveway in i expect it to last 20 years or so. And i’m gonna do everything possible to help you make it last. Can you imagine tar and chip after 20 years? I’m almost convinced guys are going into tar and chip like they do spraying driveway sealer on your driveway. It looks good long enough for your money to get taken. Just my personal opinion on it.

  53. Ron [author of post] tracked back:


    Thanks for your comment–your paving experience and insights are very much appreciated.

    I wanted to point out that, after investigating the cause of our driveway washout, I’ve concluded that the driveway failed because of poor drainage, not because of a deficiency in the job (or in tar & chip in general). I’ve heard of similar failures in my neighbors’ blacktop installations, when the grading around the driveway was faulty and too much water destabilized the base coat, causing failure (cracks and fissures).

    Despite the washout, we have to say that we’re quite happy with our driveway, and if we could go back in time, knowing what we know now, we’d still go with tar & chip. (The only change might be that we’d leave less loose gravel on top afterwards. Oh–and we’d try to fix the lawn grading around the driveway, too. :) )

    That said, I absolutely agree with you: because tar & chip is becoming more popular, there are probably a lot of contractors who now claim to know how to do it, but are pretty clueless. Then again, I’ve met a few clueless asphalt contractors too, so I guess homeowners have to do their homework (get references!) either way.

    Thanks again,
    – ron

  54. Bob Malouf tracked back:

    I am currently looking for contractors who do tar & chip driveways in Eastern CT. Iwould be very grateful for any help at all!


  55. Rick. At last a man who knows the score. After enduring the babaling outpourings of Ric Lambert, the tar/chip gypsie it was most refreshing to hear your valid opinion

    well done and good luck

  56. Rick Head tracked back:

    Ron or anyone else who wants to chime in,
    I live in a rural pacific northwest area (100 miles west of Seattle, WA) with a 400′ driveway that ends in a 100′ x 75′ parking area. We live in a floodplain, next to a river (yes, we built there on purpose..our house is on 15′ pilings). A couple of weeks ago we had an epic flood (parking area was under about 5′ of water). When the river subsided, it took about 6″ off the top of our gravel leaving us with the base rock. Do you think tar and chip would stand up any better under flood conditions than just using untreated gravel lay down? My wife is dead set against using asphalt as she wants to maintain a rustic look.

    Any opinions or information would be most appreciated.


  57. Ric Lambert tracked back:

    Hey Rick, Yes to your question as to the tar and chip driveway as the liquid asphalt ( the tar ) acts as a bonding agent to glue the gravel together and help hold them in place and still give you that stone suface that you desire. Although neither method will withstand any rushing flood waters as they will wash out state highways as well that have several inches of asphalt surface. But it should hold up just fine in waters that dont have much current. Ric Lambert

  58. Michael tracked back:

    This is very interesting, thanks for everyone’s post. I’m in East Tennessee and have a parking lot approximately 1,800 sq ft that has been graveled for nearly 80 years. There have been many, many layers of gravel spread over those years and the surface is very hard packed. Is this method [tar & chip] something I could consider rather than traditional asphalt? There is not a great deal of traffic that uses the lot but it does get some. Thanks.

  59. It would probably work, as long as the gravel base is compacted enough. Normally the first layer of gravel that is applied is done so over ground that is virgin soil or has been compacted in lifts. The reason for this is so that the base is firm and there will be no settling.
    I would have a qualified contractor check this out. Assuming it is ok, the asphalt cement would then be applied. Loose stone would be the next layer, adhering to the asphalt.

    I know there is a lot written here, but if you would like some more information, you can visit tar and chip driveways.

  60. Michael tracked back:

    Thanks for your response Susan. The base is extremely compacted but there is about a one inch layer of loose gravel still remaining on top. A local paving company wanted $8,000 to asphalt the lot which I really can’t justify at this point. I also just don’t like the look of the same ole plain black asphalt. Come spring I will be looking into the tar and chip method with enthusiasm. Again thanks to all. Michael

  61. Jerry Philpott tracked back:

    Just wante to thank Ron for writting the article about Tar and Chip. Regarding the weeds that come up try using Premitol Weed Killer and mix it with Kerosene and spray that on your driveway were needed and it will kill them for about four months before they back. Good Luck

  62. Cathy Court tracked back:

    Has anyone ever tried laying a base of reclaimed asphalt and then compacting in a layer of peastone on top? I live in Maine, and like others, have been unable to find anyone who will do a traditional ‘tar and chip’ driveway. I’ve been trying to think of possible alternatives and was wondering if the reclaim would provide a stiff enough base for durability but be flexible (sticky) enough to take an imbedded coat of stone on top, thus a similar look to the tar and chip. I know it would not be as durable but perhaps others have used this material and know if this would work. Thanks for all the information. It has really been helpful. Someone could really do well by specializing in this process. Thanks, Cathy

  63. Cathy
    Pea gravel onto road planings would not work, however if the planings were placed and compacted to falls and load bearing, then a double dressing of bitumen/gravel would provide a reasonable surface (but not for life)

  64. Hi, I am the president of my home owners association and our developer has jumped ship (so to speak) leaving us with approx. 1.5 miles of dirt and gravel roads. Would tar and chip work for this type of application and do you know of any contractor in the DFW area of Texas that does this kind of work?

  65. charlie dougherty tracked back:

    charlie dougherty is my name and i am a tar & chip contractor from fort worth please call me 817 690 6071 or email at my co. name is CD PAVING & SEAL COATING

  66. (technical error - name lost) tracked back:

    First and foremost the driveway in the picture above could have been easily reparied please dont be fooled. All the contractor had to do was patch the “washout” with hotmix or “blacktop asphalt” as some refer to it as, wait about 3 weeks and come back and shoot one or two layers of chipseal overtop of it, preferably two shots. The reason for waiting three weeks is because anytime you have down fresh hotmix it has a tendency to absorb and suck emulsion into it unless the hotmix is given atleast a little bit of time to cure. If you just shoot back overtop of hotmix a minute after you put it down, in a few days youd have nothing but loose rock over your patch because the emulsion would literally be sucked into the hotmix. The company I work for who has been making emulsion and chipsealing for over 85 years owns and operates three asphalt emulsion plants in an undisclosed state. We make all cationic asphalts…crs2, crs2P, crs2L, crs2H, cms2 and crs1 we dont even mess with anionic asphalt because it gives contractors to much trouble. These are all different types of liquid asphalt, some for chipseal paving, some for “tack” underneath hotmix asphalt and some for slurry paving. People who own hotmix plants have NO clue what liquid asphalt is all about, or what kind of sweat and blood goes into making it. Any joe blow with capital can put up an asphalt plant with a permit set up a batch computer, press a button and produce hotmix. But emulsion has so many variables if your not paying attention for a split second you can ruin a whole batch, and risk having bad viscosity residue on your storage tank walls(big no no) which makes your liquid asphalt to thin to pave with, that is just one of 200 examples off the top of my head. The company I work exclusively chipseal paves, slurry paves and nothing else. So here are the FACTS on chipsealing:

    1. It WILL last if it is done right the FIRST time, there are no second tries in chipsealing, if its not right the 1st time it never truly will be.

    2. The contractors are scarce because alot of people attempt and fail at chipseal paving due to lack of know how and understand, so thats why they are like needles in a haystack when trying to find a good contractor that knows chipseal

    3. The old ancient rumor “poor mans asphalt” is completely not true. As a matter of fact asphalt emulsion is 100% asphalt, where as hotmix is 40% asphalt, the rest is screenings, 3/8 inch rock etc… So if you run the numbers if you have a chipseal road PROPERLY installed you are getting 100% asphalt where as with blacktop mix you are only getting 40% true asphalt.

    4. It’s all about your expereince in it and understanding of it, alot of people think its the “throw and go” paving. It is actually the complete opposite. Hotmix paving is throw and go as far as im concerned. Dump it in the paver, set your screed men and push the truck away until its empty. Unlike chipseal where you have to go back over the same road as many as 4 or 5 times to get a finished product. I worked for apac for 10 years before coming to this company which I have worked for the last 15 years so I know hotmix too. Chipseal plays out alot of variables that alot of contractors cannot understand. I couldnt understand it until I spent 5 years asking questions to the man that owns the company, and I still dont understand everything to this day. For example: its 67 degrees outside. what is the ground temperature? Is the rock wet or dry? Whats the application rate of emulsion if the temperature is 87 degrees outside? Do I need to set the rate of asphalt higher, or just kick up the rock on the chipper to make sure it is there to stay? Are there clouds in the sky that block the sun from hitting the aspahlt? Did the asphalt break from the last shot before I covered it up? If not the road may bleed and turn black 4 weeks from now. Do I need to let this last shot sit for a while and break before I get them to cover it with rock? There are literally a million variables to making a chipsealed road last.

    5. Yes a chipseal road can literally repair itself. In the cold winter months, if you have any cracking at all, the following spring, when temps. rise high enough the cracks will bond back together. Liquid asphalt is VERY flexible

    6. I’m not giving away any more trade secrets, my supervisor would kill me if he found out.

    shirley mcdurmet said:
    I had chip sealed my drive way 3 years ago on friday harber washington by a company who has offices threw out the united states .They used 2 layers of gravel and a polymer oil I beleave was called crs1

    First of all if it was from the ground up, it should have been atleast 3 layers, which is a mat and split seal. For people who dont understand that is one layer of big rock and two of pea size. Our company prefers to put down a big rock layer and then 3 layers of little rock, but there are different strokes for different folks as to what they want. Another thing for ANYONE getting chipseal done, ALWAYS ask for the asphalt emulsion load ticket. If they try to sell you polymer modified asphalt make sure on the ticket it says either crs2P or crs2L both of which are polymer modified asphalts. If it says CRS1 or CRS2 or anything without a P or L in it and they are saying it\’s polymer it IS NOT.. They are charging you for something you are not getting to make profit. And another thing is if the contractor you had used CRS1 Shirley, that asphalt is not rated AT ALL for chipseal paving. It is made ONLY for a bonding agent underneath hotmix paving. It has nothing to do with chipseal. And im actually in awe someone put that on your driveway.

    It basically comes down to about a 20 to 25% price difference between blacktoping and chipsealing. Some people prefer blacktop while other prefer chipseal. There is not as much of a market for chipseal as there is for hotmix, so thats why the contractors are scarce. However you will see alot of people attempt to do chipseal within the next 3 or 4 years because of the price of hotmix going up so much. But that will not last long as soon as the price of crude oil goes back down/or the economy adjusts to it, the chipseal contractors will be scarce again and everyone will go back to hotmix. The asphalt market always balances itself out.

  67. My name is Pat Gorman, I own Gorman Paving. My company is based in Gainesville VA, we hold a class A state contractors, we are members of the BBB in good standing, we are second generation paving contractors with state of the art equipment and a large experienced crew. We are paving contractors, specializing in, both asphalt as well as tar and chip. We service all of Virginia and would be willing to mobilize for larger projects, such as sub divisions, parking lots etc. If anyone would like an estimate or some more information, please visit our web site or simply give us a call at (703) 257 – 3880

  68. Pete Skipper tracked back:

    Dear Missing Name . Thanks for backing me up in defense of other than plant mix. Dad started only 82 years ago so we have 3 years less than your boss but i can assure you that it has been a challenge to hold up values for a good job while competing with people who grab the money and run. We offer penetration McAdam with a chip seal rather than just a thin chip on top of dirt and have had jobs last as long as 50 years. Not as pretty as a new drive but still in service

  69. Shannon B tracked back:

    Hi, I live north of Los Angeles and also looking for a Tar and Chip Contractor??? (I don’t know where to start) Also we have strict oak tree enforcement issues here and I was wondering if anyone knew the effects of tar and chip under oak trees? (I have twelve in my front yard) THANKS!

  70. Hi Shannon,
    I am not sure where to you can find a contractor in your area. However, regarding the Oak Trees……
    Typically, you are not supposed to change the grade or disturb the roots of trees. The area this applies to is directly under the entire canopy of the tree. That extends out to the furthermost branch tips.

    By excavating for the driveway in this area beneath the tree canopies (if they do fall there), the tree roots would be disturbed. However, at times there is a looser interpretation in that one side can be disturbed out a certain distance from the tree trunk.

    In addition, sometimes the trees are not healthy. You might consider contacting Bartlett Tree Company. I have worked with them in Virginia, and I believe they have locations in California. They will give you a professional opinion, and normally city zoning commissions respect this.


  71. mark tracked back:

    Looking to have my drive tarred and Chipped. Anyone know any good contractors in Bucks County PA?

  72. Denita tracked back:

    This has all been informative. I live in Waterloo, IA, and am looking for a tar & chip contractor in northeast Iowa.

  73. Noname tracked back:

    Pete – Yeah you have been around 82 years because your heart is in it, your after quality and then the dollar, and thats the only way to be around for 82 years BOTTOM LINE! And our company, even though we are fairly sized has problems every once in a while with other contractors. Alot of times we will have jobs stolen from us by someone who has never dealt with or even used liquid asphalt for reasons other than tack. Several times we have seen people just put a mist of liquid on a road as if they were tacking it and cover it with 3/8s haha… Quick story about a job we had stolen from us about 2 years ago.. it was a 7 mile subdivison, it called for a mat and triple seal. Well we put our price in, and somehow a contractor that was local who only did hotmix saw our prices and just thought to himself “wow these guys are making a killing doing this chipseal stuff.” So anyways he contacted another liquid asphalt producer (blacklidge emulsions) and got a price on liquid asphalt, ofcourse they priced the liquid so low we couldnt even produce it for that amount… just to send us a “message” if you know what I mean… (all it told us was they were stupid for selling that much liquid for the amount they had it priced at). So to make a long story short, the guy paved alllll 12 miles of the subdivison in 45 degree weather, and you being around since the 1920s you know it takes very warm weather to make chipseal work. And about a year ago the entire subdivisons roads dissapeared, an engineer came and told them the contractor to repave them. Needless to say noone has seen the contractor since, he dissapeared just like his roads did. And guess who was in there repaving it? Us. the people whos bread and butter is chipseal, and the only ones around who have any business putting it down. So, the moral of the story is.. those guys that “take the money and run” thats EXACTLY what they do, you dont have to worry about guys like that, those problems usually take care of theirselves one way or the other. Actually Pete i’ll tell you what im noticing here lately in the past month, alootttt of hotmix contractors are struggling, our price on liquid base last month was 415$ a ton. And rumors of 475$ a ton are floating around. So what does this do? Push everybody that owns a paving machine into wondering about chipseal. We have had alot of calls lately about how busy we are staying with it, we dont lie or try to cover anything up… we say just as busy as we were 15 years ago. Regardless, you will always have competition, dont worry yourself over it to much, because half of them have no idea how to work with liquid asphalt, although they claim to they really have no clue. It takes employees who have been around it for years to know whats right and wrong when paving. Just let them have at it… if they can put it down cheaper than you can, all the tells me is they are putting down less quality and that my friend.. will catch up with them at one point or another.

  74. Is it possible to lay an apron of Belgian Block or pavers, and then apply chip and tar to the main part of the driveway?

    Basically an aesthetic thing to keep the edges nice and tight.

    Also, does anybody have a contractor in Fairfield County, CT

  75. Hi Dan,
    I don’t see why you couldn’t do that if you want to. I know asphalt driveways are used in conjunction with Belgian Block….in my experience, the Block is laid first.

    You might consider a more rustic driveway border also. Perhaps some beds used along the driveway broken up here and there with a large boulder. To simplify things, the majority of the beds could just have groundcover. I think the rustic look of the tar and chip and the looseness of the groundcover, along with larger rocks would look nice.

  76. That sounds cool.

    I’ve heard that in the East you have to lay down 6″ of asphalt to prevent cracking. Do you need to excavate that deep for chip & tar?

  77. gifford tracked back:

    You do not have to lay 6″ of asphalt,
    2″ is enough.

  78. Dan, you can put tar and chip against the blocks as long as you hire someone who is competent. As far as asphalt goes, 2 inches is enough for about 10 years with continued maintenance. I would suggest 2 layers of asphalt 4-4.5 total compacted inches. However, the base prep work is very very important. For a driveway that will last without much problems make sure there is an 8-10 inch gravel base under your finish of choice.

  79. Bama Girl tracked back:

    We are currently in the process of building and are going to have a 325′ driveway. There is about 50′ that is steep. I am wanting to put in “tar pit and gravel” driveway (as we call it in Alabama). My only concern is the steep area. My husbands truck is 4×4 and can climb a rock face, but mine is only 2WD. Will my truck spin on the gravel?? Our last home had a flat tar pit & gravel road, and my truck had no problems. However, there was always loose gravel, which makes me concerned. Any advice?

    Does anyone know of contractors in my area (Central AL)?

  80. traci tracked back:

    I have had a crusher run drive for years. I had crusher run poured on the drive after getting worn asphalt removed. I did not realize crusher run could have been poured over the old asphalt drive. The crusher run has held up well, but I think it may need another layer soon. I would like to get a red brick color on the drive, and have heard of tar and chip and macadam driveways. Would either of these give the redbrick color? Is there any one in Southeast Alabama who does these kinds of driveways. Lately I’ve seen warm up tracks around baseball fields that appear to be made from brick color gravel. Does anyone know what these gravel are and if they would do well over an existing crusher run driveway?

  81. Bama Boy tracked back:

    I also have a large Driveway and a circular in front of the house that I am wanting to get Tar and Chip. If you know of a contractor in the Central Alabama area….please let me know…


  82. Rich tracked back:

    I live in northern Illinois south of Chicago. I have a 500 foot long (8 foor wide) tar & chip driveway (w/ 3 layers of tar covered by 3 layers of chips) that gently declines in grade and blends into my 3,000 square foot blacktop parking space in front of my garage and house. I made sure that my road grader operator building the original driveway had the black dirt (organic material) peeled off of my driveway lane down to a clay base. Then, I trucked in 2 and 1/2 inch -3 inch gravel for the initial base of my driveway until the gravel was 4-6 inches deep. I topped this gravel layer off with another 2-3 inches of road mix gravel (smaller sized gravel with crushed limestone also in it). I wanted to make sure that the road grader placed a nice crown (a slight ridge in the center of the driveway) on the center of the driveway so that the rains (and melted snow) would drain or flow off the sloped driveway. The solid base of your driveway is very important so that is why I started with a clay base, covered over by large sized gravel, followed by smaller sized gravel interspersed with crushed limestone so it would all sort of “lock together in place” like a jigsaw puzzle.
    Then, I waited for three years while I drove my cars and my heavy grain trucks over this gravel driveway so it would be firmly packed down solid. Then, I went over it with 3 layers of tar & 3 layers of chips (called an A-3 surface, I believe). My township road commissioner said to go with 3 layers of alternating tar & chips for the best results and the greatest longevity. I waited until I knew our local rural township roads were soon going to be tarred & chipped. I then called our local township road commissioner (a great guy) and asked him if he would ask for me if the firm doing the township roads would be interested in doing my long driveway since they were already going to be near me and their equipment was already out next to me. The tar & chip company said that they would cut me a very low price since they were already out next to me doing the townships roads. This was twenty years ago. The price I paid back then for the 3 layers of tar & chips was about $1 per square foot while my blacktop parking space was about $2 per square foot back then (and concrete would have cost me $3 per square foot back then).
    The tar & chip part of my driveway has held up superbly. After 18 years had gone by, I added one more layer of tar & one more layer of chips (for a total cost of 30 cents per square foot) just to “dress up” or maintain the driveway. I am sure that I got it done cheaply because the tar & chip company was in my neighborhood once again anyway doing our townships rural roads. I will get an occasional tuff of grass or a weed that takes root somehow in the tar & chip driveway but it is insignificant in scope and amount. I just spray a weed killer or Round-Up weed killer on the errant tuff of grass or weed. When I plow the snow off of my tar & chip driveway in the winter time with my 22 horsepower tractor with a snow blade, I have two tiny little 1/2 inch wide “runners” welded on my snow blade that keeps the blade up about 1/2 inch above the driveway so I don’t peel off a thin layer of some of the stone chips that are imbedded in the tar base of the driveway. It works like a champ. I don’t have but a few handfuls of chips that get plowed off to the side by the snowplow into my yard.
    With the blacktop section of my driveway and parking space, I have to seal it with a blacktop sealer about once every third or fourth year. That is a pain to do and it costs me about $220 for the liquid oil-based sealer needed to seal off the 3,000 square feet of blacktop that I have. I do it all myself with a pushbroom, 5 gallon buckets of sealer, and I wear my grubbiest cloths because I know that I will get blacktop sealer on my old jeans and ragged old tennis shoes each time.
    My advice is: Call your local township road commissioner for his advice and help in obtaining the services and best prices from a tar & chip company that he uses each year for your township’s roads. Tar & chip your driveway at the same time that they have their equipment and men out there and you will save at least 30%-50% on what they would otherwise quote you or someone else to do your driveway. Good luck.

  83. I own gallager asphalt located in fort worth texas and would be happy to help with any prices or questions you may have.We have 3 chipseal crews that work 7 months out of a year. Contact H.Gallagher 1800 490-1875 or or

  84. ChuckD tracked back:

    Hey Rich (and others) thanks for all the details. I just started my search for someone to do a similar job at my place, 400′ gravel drive, 6700sf total. First contractor I called immediately told me macadam “had been outlawed”. Guess this doesn’t bode well. He was nice enough to tell me who locally was “licensed” to do it though.

  85. BillHobo tracked back:

    Can anyone recommend a tar and chip company in central NJ (Monmouth County)?

  86. Glenn Vollmer tracked back:

    I am the owner of Vollmer Tar and Chip, Inc. We specialize in tar and chip for residential and commercial use in the Elk County, PA area. We offer services to the surrounding areas. If anyone is interested in a free quote please do not hesistate to call us at (814) 335 – 4234. “Don’t get left in the dust!”

  87. With the price of asphalt rising sky high, chip seal is becoming more popular. I love chip seal because it looks more natural and is lighter which is ideal for the desert. Also I can lay more than asphalt at a better price. I am licensed, bonded and insured and would love to give a free quote also. I am located in Arizona. I am listed in the yellowpages and am a member of the BBB. My name is Leonard Jeffery and my business is Pro-Pave Inc. My number is 602-741-5415.

  88. Andrew tracked back:

    Can someone give me a definitve spec for a tar and stone drive for the UK. A friend of mine has had one laid today and is worried about the work carried out. The contractor sprayed tar onto a Type 1 surface and then rolled in crushed granite. Appreciate any help. Andy

  89. Is this surface appropriate for playing basketball on? Not a real game, just shooting hoops.

    Also, when I am trying to find a contractor what should I be asking? How many layers should I expect? What size stone? What should the tar make-up be. Is there anything else I should ask about?

    I’d like to sound like I know what I’m talking about when comparing contractors.


  90. Ron [author of post] tracked back:

    Is this surface appropriate for playing basketball on? Not a real game, just shooting hoops.

    Nah, I wouldn’t say it’s appropriate for bouncing a ball.

  91. Frank Stransky tracked back:

    I live in the Chicagoland area and have been looking for someone who does “tar and chip”. I’ve got a 3500 sq ft drive and parking area. It’s always been gravel and is in need of more, but before i just throw down some road mix, I thought…”tar and chip. Any one out in my area still do it?

  92. mark tracked back:


  93. Pat Wade tracked back:

    Anyone know a tar and chip contractor around Gainesville/Ocala/Inverness, Florida?

  94. Williams Brothers Paving is a family business that started out laying tar & chip driveways in 1947 and hot mix asphaltic concrete drives in the mid 1950’s.

    We still do both and, also build natural earth mixed on site with polymers for a hard surface drive or haul road with a natural look.

    BBB and Service magic members in good standing,base in Austin Texas we do state wide contracting.

    See our website for details

  95. Steve Cranford tracked back:

    I live in High Point, NC and am interested in going over my existing asphalt driveway (approximately 4100 sf) with tar and chip. Does anyone know of an experienced tar and chip contractor in this area?

  96. RRMoore tracked back:

    It was a pleasure reading through everyone’s posting. My current asphalt driveway is shot, width-wise cracks filled with weeds, potholes and an uneven 4″ setteling, have all taken their toll on this 43 year old drive. Would it be to my benefit to have it all ripped up and start from scratch before applying a tar and chip drive? Thanks for your suggestions.

  97. RRMore, it would be a wise choice to remove the existing asphalt and the now failed base aggregrate. Like asphalt, Tar and Chip is not structualy strong. (unless full depth paving is specd) The aggregrate base under the tar and chip or asphalt is where you get the structual strength from. If you were to go over the top of what you had now, you would still have the dips and crowns that are there now. Or if they were to bring everything to grade with multiple shims of tar and chip, it would more likely cost the same as it would to do it right. I would highly recommend that you remove all the asphalt and install a new gravel base then tar and chip with 2 or 3 layers for the best results. Gabe Daly / Daly Paving

  98. this is hilarious:

    I own gallager asphalt located in fort worth texas and would be happy to help with any prices or questions you may have.We have 3 chipseal crews that work 7 months out of a year. Contact H.Gallagher 1800 490-1875 or or

    I’m not trying to hurt anyones ego or anything else here, however i cant help but point this out. Mr. Gallagher, I find it very odd you are running 3 chipseal crews 7 months out of the year. For one you only have 4 trucks thats 1 truck to every crew. Also, on your website there is only one thing, a track paver and roller. I dont see 3 chipspreaders, 3 distrubutors, rubber tire rollers, big steel wheels etc etc etc.. I’m sorry I just had to point this out..

  99. (Ya, that is kind of weird,) So what do you have to say for yourself, Mr “Gallagher”? Mr three chipseal crews? can you provide any proof, of the existence of you’re massive chipsealing company? and if so do you intend to take you’re company public? I would like very much to get in on the IPO and if you ever decide to publish a book or host a series of seminars, on “how to get rich from having three chipsealing crews that work seven months out of the year”, please let me know……………………………. you’re biggest fan “Pat Gorman”. ( presently only one chipsealing crew that works 9 – 10 months out of the year.)

    Note from Ron: Pat and “name withheld,” please feel free to question other people’s comments, but let’s all remain polite and avoid being unjustifiably rude. Thanks!

  100. Gallagher Surfacing
    Am i missing something here? why are people ripping into Harry. He only offered his services and proudly described his position. I visited his site and it looked like a profesional outfit with good plant.
    I think some are jealous of you Harry . **** them . good luck

  101. H.Gallagher tracked back:

    Thanks gavin i thinks so too, If anyone has any questions or need’s anything please feel free to contact me.

  102. allen tracked back:

    I am looking for a tar and chip contractor in N. California. I am in Mt. Shasta
    n. of Redding and South of Oregon.

  103. I have been reading (and been part of) this wonderful blog for awhile now. I see that many people are searching for companies that install tar and chip driveways.

    Therefore, I would like to tell you (I have Ron’s permission) of a directory I have very recently put together for companies that provide this, listed by state. It can be found here:
    It is linked to from the pages Tar and Chip Driveways, Driveway Designs, and Driveway Paving. You can find these on the Site Index.

    My goal is to list as many states as possible.

    If there are any contractors who are interested in being added to the site, you can contact me through the Contact Page on my site. I do charge a fee which goes towards my time working on the website.

    I hope this proves to be helpful to many homeowners.


  104. hi ron i just wanted to know what you ever did about your drive way that got messed up.or if you would still go back to tar & chip seal?

    Response from Ron:
    Hi Charlie, thanks for asking. Actually, we did nothing–the hole is still there! It’s bad but not terrible. If I had time, I’d look for another contractor to try patching it, but since we had a baby this summer, I’ve had no time. Next spring, I may revisit it.
    As for tar & chip in general, I’d have to say yes, I’d definitely do it again. (For what it’s worth, I think that our driveway hole was caused by bad grading, not by bad tar & chip.)

  105. I live in northern NJ and Ron was quite helpful in my quest for info on tar and chip. It’s not easy finding someone to do tar and chip. We have a long driveway, about 2100 sq ft total, so no matter what, we’re not getting off cheap! Here is my experience thus far. Hope it helps.

    • Craig from Hup and Sons was so nice. Most expensive at $8700, but I’m willing to pay a little more for the job to be quality
    • Harrington in Chester was $7850. Great to work with and glad to give references: 50 Parker Road Chester, NJ 07930 PHONE: (908) 879-7500 . This is who we’ve decided on.
    • Hicks in Sussex County at $4800 and would not give me examples of their work. If it seems to good to be true…
    • By comparison, a plain asphalt quote came in at $5700
    • Tar and Chip can be done in NJ until Oct 15th – latest. So that means you need to make a decision and get on your contractor’s work shedule late Aug or early Sept.
    • Since we called too late in the season, we will have to wait until May or June 2009 to get the work done. I’m hoping oil prices will be more favorable by then. If not, Harrington said they will honor our quote even if prices are up in the Spring. I’ll be sure to post an update then…

    Response from Ron:
    Angela, thanks for the great info. Hope to hear all about your new driveway next spring. Good luck with the project!

  106. Perry tracked back:

    I just recently looked into paving my driveway. In my area the prices have gone thru the roof. We live in the country and our current drive is gravel. CR610 I am told they call it here. Anyway if anyone can please confirm, will tar and chip be less expensive? I simply cannot afford to asphalt. We live in North Mississippi just south of the Tennessee sate line.

  107. Perry, that depends alot on a companies overhead cost. Equipment is expensive and labor is high on driveways when chipsealing.. so unfortunately its hard to say. It really depends on your driveway and how its laid out.. also your location plays a big factor in a driveway. If its not close to another job the company is doing you can expect a higher price for mobilization. I would recommend getting a few different bids or waiting until the price of asphalt comes down… which wont be long!

    Best of luck to you,

    Jim Maythorn / Estimator & Operations Manager

  108. My name is john stanley I have been a paving contractor in lignum va and kissimmee fl.(winter) for 38 years and I am 3rd generation I do a lot of tar and chip paving and I found that if we FLOOD the liquid on the tar and chips will virtually last for many many years. The trouble with most contractors is they tend to follow the state highway D.O.T. specs. These road specs are light for two reasons 1, our country is the only country in the world that uses the low bid system by law. so everything is minimums. 2, too much tar and 100,000 cars a day makes slick spots in the road and causes slippery pavemant @ 55 mph. These are not problems that a driveway will face. So its simple the more glue the longer it lasts.

  109. Douglas tracked back:

    Any Contractors for Tar & Chip in Tennessee? (Memphis Area to be specific) Thanks,

  110. mark tracked back:

    Any contractors doing tar and chip in the Bucks County, PA area? Thanks.

  111. See my post of October 3rd. I have a contractor listed for Pennsylvania.


  112. patrick oneal tracked back:

    can anybody tell me the best type of tar for tar and chip (crs ,rc ,asphalt ,emulsified).also the best size gravel to use and the temp. of the tar when sprayed. all this considering the base is good. please be as specific as needed. thanks, Patrick O.

  113. I am considering Chip Seal for my driveway this spring. Can anyone tell me which is the better option and why.

    Straight oil and stone over a new processed gravel base or oil and stone over a reclaimed asphalt base.


  114. J. Ewing tracked back:

    Several summers ago, a team of three men were putting what looked like tar and chip on the end of my neighbor’s driveway. They approached me when they were finished and said they had just enough left to do mine if I agreed right then. So thinking my neighbor was a smart guy and must have checked these workers out, etc., I told him to go ahead. He said it would be just like the tar and chip work they do on highways and would lend well to my country setting. In no time they were finished and after paying them, off they went. Bottom line, this is what I got, they poured oil over the area, added some pea gravel and I ended up with the end of my driveway covered with small rocks, certainly not a tar and chip. I could have gone down to the gravel pit and gotten a couple loads in my pickup and thrown them on myself. Now I’m left with all these little loose rocks, my well-meaning neighbors use their snowblower to remove my snow it throws rocks all over my lawn and I am left with the irritating and endless job of racking them (never getting all of them out) of my lawn. I asked my neighbor how he came to have these people do the work and he said they drove up to his house and he was outside and they asked him if he wanted them to do the work and he agreed. So, I am passing this on to warn against this practice, not to mention how dumb I felt to fall for it. Joyce

  115. Joyce, I am sorry to hear about you misfortune. I can’t stand “fly by nights” . Just want to know, if you were to sweep the loose stones off, would there still be some of the stones bonded by the tar? The reason I ask is because when we apply tar and chip for our customers (and the towns alike) there are loose stones left on the surface. After a while the loose stones can be swept off and you are left with a solid surface (besides a few stones that will come loose naturaly). Have you tried removing the loose stones?

  116. J. Ewing tracked back:

    Yes, I have removed rocks and there is nothing underneath but dirt. A very slight portion has what looks like motor oil, but does not adhere to the rocks. Joyce

  117. Well Joyce, I am sorry for you. Thank you for sharing with everyone. Hopefully your story will help some others!

  118. i am amazed to see how smart people are when it comes to chip seal it is the cheapest. hard surfice chips and oil it is what it is its not ceament or asphalt it will keep you out of mud and dust thats it you get what you pay for . two coats will last better than one .i have been around chip seal most my life and thats all i no i think all you smart guys for info

  119. Andrew Tuscany Homes tracked back:

    Thanks for everyones great info on the pro’s and con’s of tar and chip drives. I have been stumbling around the internet attempting to educate myself on the process. Like everyone says it is hard to find contractors in the area, who know what you are talking about. Does anyone have any good T&C Guys for Charlotte,NC. I currently have a customer who want a T&C for a custom home nearing completion. The site is in the Denver/ Iron Station area. Call or send me a E-mail. Thanks MB 0704-650-6990.

  120. Lesley Plumlee tracked back:

    Can any refer a contractor that provides these services around Nashville, Tn?

  121. Luke Smith tracked back:

    Well I can probably see the problem that Joyce had. They probably didn’t use an adequate amount of tar and they might not have used a steamroller. I just had my driveway done with tar and chip and I am satisfied. We had a regular gravel driveway that when every time it rained, it would wash the gravel away. So we had it leveled out and we put in drains to keep it from eroding. We had it tar and chipped, they came in and applied the hot tar and immediately backed the dump truck up the driveway and applied the chip gravel to the driveway. They then used a fairly large steam roller to pack it down. It looks great and there is no loose gravel; I swept it off. I would recommend this process to everyone, just make sure they use enough tar.

  122. Laura tracked back:

    Does anyone know a talented tar & chip contractor near Lexington, Kentucky?

  123. tracey tracked back:

    looking for good tar and chip contractor in seattle. thanks in advance for any leads!

  124. Lowdermilk Construction tracked back:

    Your driveway could of easily of been repaired without “re-doing” the whole driveway. And, on a side not $2 a Sq. Ft. isn’t a bad price considering the going rate around here is $5+ per Sq. Ft. I also read above someone asked it “Chip Sealing” is the same thing as “Tar and Chip” The correct answer is no. Chipsealing is when you spray tar over a cracked section of asphalt and apply 78 stone(the little rocks used as a final topper on your driveway) into the tar, usually this is done just prior to paving to help seal the cracks and keep the asphalt from shifting and tearing up the new asphalt. I am a paving/sealcoating/tar and chip contractor in the Mebane, NC area(between greensboro and raleigh) If I can be of any help please feel free to contact me at

  125. Ken Uliano tracked back:

    I’m in the process of getting my driveway redone and with Tar and Chip . So far the removed the 50 year old single car drive and excavated and lined the drive, ( aprrox 26 feet by 55ft) with a metal edge and redid the base and put the new asphalt down today… Looks great and I’m very happy with Southern CT paving. Anyway it’ll be a month before they come back and apply the tar and chip… IS that typical… Like I said.. I’m very pleased and just a bit anxious…

  126. Mr. Uliano, it is required to have a waiting period after asphalt is installed before chip seal can be done. I call it chip seal because that is the correct term for placing on top of asphalt. There are natural oils in the asphalt and those need to dissipate before the tar can be applied. It usually takes anywhere from 1 to 2 months. The easiest way to find out if the oils are gone from the surface is to see how water reacts. On fresh asphalt the water will bead up similar to a waxed car, when this doesn’t happen any longer then the oils are gone and the the tar can be applied.

    Just curious, did your contractor offer a true tar and chip application for your driveway (2 layers of tar and chip on top of solid stone base). And also, what type of oil are they using.

  127. RRMoore tracked back:

    Hello, I’ve contacted a local paver who does tar and chip. They told me that the ‘right’ way to do ‘tar and chip’ is to remove the old, cracked and sunken asphalt drive, (for which I wholeheartedly agree), and replace the substrate and then put asphalt over that. Then after about a month they’ll return to do the ‘tar and chip’ seal. The last posting seems to confirm this technique. I always thought that ‘tar and chip’ was an economical alternative to an asphalt drive. But with the adding ‘tar and chip’ on top of an asphalt driveway would add cost, not reduce it. I have yet to get the estimate, but thought I would get opinions about this process beforehand. Thanks in advance.

  128. Ken Uliano tracked back:

    I’m replying to Mr. Daly’s question about wheter or not the contractor offer a true tar and chip application for your driveway (2 layers of tar and chip on top of solid stone base). And also, what type of oil are they using.?

    Interesting you should ask… I had 3 different contractors put in bids and one mentioned that he would check with some area experts as to which were preferable, ( 2 coats of tar and chip versus a layer of asphalt and then a layer of chip seal). When he got back to me, he thought that the asphalt and the chip seal would be better for my particular application. The contractor I went with , gave me his reference list and everyone had chosen the asphalt and chip seal ….so that’s what I went with… BTW.. I ran the water hose over it today and the water beaded up and you mentioned so I guess I won’t be getting the chip seal anytime soon. Thank’s for that bit of advice

  129. Gloria Kearney tracked back:

    It’s time to replace our broken up asphalt driveway and tar and chip would look so appropriate to our 1910 home. My question is, during the “curing” period between base installation and chip seal, can normal autos drive over it? Not trucks. Also, in dire need of a reliable contractor in eastern Massachusetts/New Hampshire. Thanks for all the info I’ve gleaned from this site.

  130. Jack Dayley tracked back:

    What a great site this is. I have been working with a local contractor, out of Spokane Wa and was able to ask him all kinds of “intelligent” questions from what I read here. Our base is in pretty good shape – we have several inches of 3 – 4 in basalt rock with about 3 inches of 3/4 driveway gravel on top. He said they will grade that down smooth, lay down the crs2p tar ((thanks to (technical error – name lost) of Mar 2008 wonderful information)). He’ll put three layers of pea gravel over the top and work it in to all of our stone borders for $6800.00. He said there will be enough tar to work it’s way through all 3 layers of gravel and promised to do a great job. We have a circular driveway with about 5000 sq. ft. so I think we are coming out of this pretty good at $1.36 a sq ft. Most importantly, he said he would give us a signed contract and the phone numbers of previous customers for references. That was the kicker for us. If you are considering having this (and any) work done, make sure they give you references. If they tell you they can’t for confidential reasons, or whatever else, then I would look somewhere else. We are having the work done next week and if anyone wants any before and after photos, let me know at Again, thank you all for the great information.

  131. Eric tracked back:

    I was considering a tar and chip on our 600 foot driveway. We have a dumpster on our property that is emptied once a week by a very heavy garbage truck. The people that are giving me estimates for concrete say it needs to be a six inch pour or the truck will crack the drive. How do you think a tar and chip driveway will hold up to such abuse from a heavy garbage truck? Also, in the winter there have been times when the truck goes off the drive due to winter conditions. My fear with tar and chip is that the truck will damage the edges of tar and chip drive rather badly, if this ever happens. Does anyone have any thoughts on these issues? Thanks…

  132. Jack Dayley tracked back:

    We just finished having our driveway tar/chipped and are quite pleased with the results. If anyone would want a before/after photo, I will be most glad to send them. My email is

    To Gloria Kearney: The contractor said that we can drive on our driveway but during the curing time of 7-10 days, we should drive over different parts of the driveway so we don’t induce any ruts. That makes sense to me as they laid on the tar pretty heavily and put down three layers of chips. And the weather is in the 90’s around Spokane, WA where we live.

    To Eric: My contractor said that heavy-duty trucks, such as garbage trucks will not damage the driveway unless they have a routine where they turn tight corners and turn the wheels without forward motion. In other words, if they have to maneuver a lot to get at your dumpster, this could be an issue but if it’s just a back in or circle around and pick it up, there shouldn’t be a problem. I wouldn’t let them drive on the edges though. You should make sure you have at least a 2 or 3 ft border to the side of your normal driving path.

    I have the name and phone number of our contractor if anyone in the Spokane area is interested.

  133. I noticed the list of contractors posted above. Does anyone here know of a contractor on Long Island?

    Thanks in advance

  134. gerard tracked back:

    I have a 600mt2 (720yd2) laneway and street to surface and I’m considering either using tar and chip or concrete.The concrete is working out 60% more expensive but thats not an issue,I want a job that will last.I’m worried that the tar and chip will need re-doing in say 10 years.It’s a steep laneway and the water tends to run down the tracks where you drive although i will be installing channels to divert this water when i do the job.
    The tar and chip will look better than concrete but won’t be as tough,thats my dilema.
    also can anyone advise what the best way is to repair,re-surface a concrete yard that has a poor finish,some puddles,high spots etc,thanks

  135. Jack Dayley tracked back:

    If money is no issue, my preference would be 1. Pavers, 2. Stamped Cement, 3. Asphalt, 4. Concrete, 5. Tar and Chip, 6. Gravel. 7. Wagon Trail.
    We are two weeks into having our driveway tar and chipped and are still very happy with it. Because it is a driveway that is only driven on a few times a day, it will take a while for it to really pack in, but it is so nice, you can even walk barefoot on it. Time will tell, of course, but for the money, I wouldn’t change a thing.
    For your concrete yard, a surface coating might be the best way to go. Google “Concrete Resurfacing”.

  136. I would go with the tar and chip. Concrete has a chance of cracking. Cracks are difficult to repair and aesthetically be successful.

    If you have to spruce up the tar and chip down the road that’s not so bad.

  137. gerard tracked back:

    Thanks Jack and Susan for your comments,
    I’m leaning towards the tar and chipping because of the way it looks,it blends in better with the countryside i think.Thanks for e-mailing the pics Jack,
    will post back her to let you know how it turns out.

  138. Just finished up a project for a client. It was very upscale and they chose to use tar and chip with belgian block curbing for most of the driveway. It looks great….casual and sophisticated at the same time.

  139. I am very impresed with the wealth of knowlege as well as ignorance in the above. I too own a asphalt paving business, mine is in south texas. ( victoria area, between Houston and Corpus Christi. ) I have been in business for over 30 yrs.also 3 rd. generation contractor. In my limited experince ( please rember im just a rookie ! ) I belive, PROPERLY INSTALLED CHIP AND SEAL is superior to plant mixed asphalt ! The reason ( and I havent seen it menioned here ) more contractors dont offer chip and seal is two fold ; 1st. there is more money in hot mix, and after all we do live in a capitalicst country. ( thank you Lord ! ) and second hot mix requires seal coating on a continous basis. ( on the average every 2-3 yrs. ) In south texas we have a different problem, 300 plus days of sunlight And that dries out the asphalt, Therefore most contractors rely on repeat business. Im no different ! However chip and seal is more durable and does not require liquid sealer, as does hot mix. And in south texas we are both blessed and cursed by a longer season we can work in. My # s are ( 361 ) 350-0695 Beeville,Tx. and ( 361 ) 484-3994 Victoria,Tx. free estimates, and senior and civic discounts are cheerfly given. My: e mail is Thanks to all !

  140. Thanks for the info Jimmy. I’m glad to hear you’re advocating chip and seal. We just got our 6000 sq. ft driveway done and we are OK with it. Every time we drive on it, we go back and forth a few times to get the gravel to blend with the tar. It does take a long time and there are a lot of loose rocks on the surface that our dogs are still tracking around on their feet – helped by the minute particles of tar as an adhesive. If we would have been able to afford it, I would have rather had the hot mix and gotten it over with. The dark asphalt makes a nice stark contrast with all of the shrubs and flowers we have planted. At about $1.25 a sq. ft., compared to $3.00 for asphalt, we are still glad we went that way.
    By-the-way, Jimmy, what do you consider a PROPERLY INSTALLED CHIP AND SEAL?

  141. Jack in Texas as well as other parts of the country, most specifications are available from county commisioners. Or licenesed engineers. In Texas we generaly adhere to Burnett count specs. They tend to use a little more oil, ( emulsion or cut back asphalt ) and less clean cover stone. And I didnt see it mentioned above, but after a short curing time ( weather dependent ) The surface should be swept off with a power broom. This is always done on roads. Liabilaity reasons. The reason is too much loose stone tends to act like a grinder and loosen embeded stone ! BUT ! AND THIS IS A BIGGIE ! The base should be at least 4 to 6 inches, compacted to a denisity of at least 97 %. Denisity is the life of the asphalt ! Denisity should not be confused with compaction ! And just as every one has a oppion, Chip and seal is NOT A CURE ALL ! It has advantages as well as disadvantages. Cost and cosmetic appeal tend to be the main reasons. In Texas we use a lot of washed, graded pea gravel. This makes a redish brown color, when cured ! I hope this has been of some help, Please feel free to conact me if you want a old cowboys coments. Thanks, and may God bless you and yours. Jimmy.

  142. In my almost 20 years in the paving field, I have completed about 50-60 tar and chip driveways. When we contract for a tar and chip driveway we always tell the customer to have the driveway swept off of all loose stones after a few months or at most the following year. We work in the Northeast, CT,MA,RI. If the loose stones are left, they will most likley end up on the lawn and or road after removing snow. And if you live on a hill the loose stones can become slippery when walking until the are removed.

    Mr. Dougherty, what type of oil is used in Texas? We currently use MC-3000, an oil based product. But this type of oil is begining to be outlawed. Our alternative is CRS2, a water based tar. From what I understand, the Crs2 cures faster and does not have as much flexbility. Do you have any knowledge about these products you may want to share?

    As far as installation goes, on an existing gravel driveway we will usually spec there to be a 6-8 inch process gravel (crushed stones with stonedust) base thouroughly compacted. After which we will install a thin layer of 1 1/4 inch or 2 inch clean stone and compct that into the gravel. This will allow the oil more of a area to grip on the base then 2 layers of oil and their choice of stone. This is how we have always done tar and chip drives and have had no issues whatsoever. I am always looking for a better way or an innovative design for driveways. Anyone have any thoughts?

  143. Thanks Gabe and Jimmy. This is great information. It is so important to be well informed so you can ask the right questions to the contractor – and hold them to the specs.
    We had ours done a month ago and the weather has chilled a little. We only drive out and in one or two times a day so it’s taking a while for everything to pack.

    We are expecting a few days in the 90’s later this week and I was wondering if it would be wise to rent a small powered roller to speed process of embedding the gravel before the weather cools in Sept. Any help here?

  144. Ron, in the north east you have a different set of conditions to deal with. Freeze and thaw, so to my way of thinking you are doing the same process I would. Ive worked ( donkey years ago ) In the upper mid west so I think the conditions were about the same ! And yes thanks to tree huggers, ( expletive deleted ! ) we are in the middle of phasing out cut back oils too ! I think of it like it was in the early in the early 70 s. Because a couple of minorities in ( small children ate some paint chips ) Big cities and although the kids werent hurt ! They made it ilegal to manfg. lead based paint. SOOOOO! now our paints only last 5 to 7 yrs. Let the tree hugers or gonverment have just a little control and bam!!!. Now im back off my soap box ! lol. Any how the emulisions are the thing of the future, so we will just have to adapt ! Or, and with the help of big brother we will go the way of the dinosaurs!!! You can slow the cure time and the emulision mfgs. tell you NO !!! by adding about 5% diesel and 5% water to each tank. this also improves peneratation. What is your usual application rate per sq. yrd.?

  145. Jack, what type of oil did they use? Even so I dont belive that at this point I would ! You may ask Gabe his opinion, but he probably would agree. I think the more you drive on it with rubber tires the better, try to alternate the rolling pattern. Just moving the wheel a inch or so and use the full width of your drive! Good luck jimmy.

  146. They used crs2P. Maybe I’ll just drive on it for a couple hours when it warms up. I’ve been alternating the rolling pattern quite a bit, but there are some areas next to some rock walls, concrete edging, etc where I don’t want to drive too close.

    One thing that the contractor goofed on was he was too high where my gate opens. He gave it about an inch of clearance, but a few days after the job, the surface appears to have swelled about an inch so I’ve had to scrape all the loose rocks away to get the gate to open. Is this a common thing to occur?

    He said he would come out and take a look at it. I don’t know, at this point, if you can do anything other than a total re-do. To raise the gate is going to be a major problem, but I think he’ll make good on it. Jack

  147. jina tracked back:

    For Susan,
    I was interested in who did the tar and chip on Long Island. We are planning something similar to your posting for Aug. We are nervous because we have a narrow lane w/tree roots. We just spoke w/a contractor about hot oil and stone (pea gravel) with belgian block lining perimeter and placing a grass strip in the middle (approx 50′) and then a parking pad lined w/soldiers. The pad actually opens up behind the house andis viewed from my patio so we thought we would dress it up w/the soldiers pavers. What color will the pea gravel result in after application. With this what is the best for upkeep? What should be done first-blocks or tracks (lane)? Grass will be last.
    Also, is Oct. to late too do this install?

  148. jina tracked back:

    Hi Susan,
    I was interested in who did the work on your Aug.11th 2009 post? We are planning something very similar. We have what looks like a country lane (ruts-cute though) very narrow w/tree roots from various large trees. We want to do the belgian block and w/pea gravel. Is Oct. too late for this? The 50′ lane ends behind the house to the parking pad which is off/viewed from the patio. Up the lane, grass will be re-planted and driveway edge will be planted w/spillover plants to soften. Our thought for the parking pad would be to dress it up a little w/2′ of soldiers around the perimeter. So when the cars are pulled back it can be used as a spillover for parties. Quest. What is the lifespan on long Island for oil and stone? best way to maintain to extend life? Pad gets 2 hours direct sun & Lane gets enough light to keep grass going. will that help extend or shorten the life of driveway. All help is appreciated!

  149. Susan tracked back:

    Hi Jina,
    Regarding my post of August 11, 2009, the Belgian Block was installed by the landscape contractor and the tar and chip application was installed by the driveway paving company. This was done in Virginia. The Belgian Block curbing was laid first, followed by the tar and chip. It’s done in this way so the driveway grade can be set correctly in relationship to the granite blocks. Here is a photo of it.

    As far as tree roots go, for the health of the trees, you should not change the grade of any area under the tree canopies. This means that the driveway grade should remain the same if the canopy of any surrounding trees extends over the driveway. If the grade is to remain the same on your project, then hopefully upon any excavation, tree roots will not be disturbed.

    I would be concerned about placing a grass strip running down the center of the driveway. Even though many applications are done without any type of curbing, it seems the center area might be more subject to problems over time. Just my opinion. Also, this narrow lawn area will need lots of irrigation to keep it nice looking with the paving on either side.

    An interesting idea might be to use the Belgian Block as pavers. This is a very old fashioned look and was done years ago. I like it a lot. You could also consider turf pavers. These are pavers with openings for lawn in the middle. Here’s a pic: (Imagine center of drive only.)

    I like your ideas of the wide soldier course of pavers in the rear parking area along the perimeters. Perhaps you could use one that closely resembles the granite block. Or use the granite block. You can also add a paved area in the center…a large square or circle of either paving material…depending on your budget.


  150. Gearhead tracked back:

    A few questions before I pull the trigger on tar and chip quote… My contractor plans to use an RS-3K emulsion and 2 layers. Is this a good choice that will hold up? Also, should the aggregate be rolled with a rubber tire machine or steel or doesn’t it matter? Thanks in advance.

  151. build for the next generation build concrete i have been an aspahalt contrator for 35 years and im 3rd generation after that before me going back to1947 and my driveway is concrete

  152. Ron [author of post] tracked back:

    Jimmy Dougherty was kind enough to share his professional opinion by private email. I have his permission to post them here.


    Rs- 3k ? r s , stands for rapid set, the three k I have no idea ! What part of the country do you live in ? That has a lot to do with the type of oil used. As to the type of roller used, a rubber tired roller is generaly prefered….. BUT NOT REQUIRED ! As regular tire traffic will roll out irregular spots And in my opnion Let your contractor use his judgement ! He is the proffesional ! And he is responsible for quality and out come. I like most contractors I know hate to be second guessed ! So if you are satsified with his refferences and price….. Get out of his way! Let him do the job he is contracting. Have you ever seen the sign in a lot of shops…..I charge this price for services rendered, If you help price is tripple ! Hope it didnt hurt your feelings, but most contractors hate to be micro managed ! jimmy dougherty….jbs construction.


    NO jack , that is a little strange. But give your contractor a chance to remedy it. Normaly they can bring a plate compacter over and run it for a few minuets, that should repack it. jimmy.

  153. Gearhead tracked back:

    Respect your opinion but unfortunately in the real world the contractor often has other interests beside the customer, just read all of the above posts and problems (not saying all the problems are due to the contractor but clearly some are). This leads me to a final question. Can tar & chip be laid if there is rain predicted?

  154. Gearhead, your name isnt jay leno is it ? Just Kidding……In my limited experince, I would think if rain is in the forecast then no would be the answer ! But…..! for instance a 30 % chance of rain means , 30 % of the area might get a shower. The other 70% wont get a blessed drop ! Of course thats Texas for you ! Since asphalt ( emulision, or cutback ) cost money, and no one wants to re do a job for free ! Im sure your contractor will take this into account. Remember just a shower acts like a primer, draws oil into base. So if a surface is a little damp, I see no problem. But if a gully washer is forecast, I personaly would wait. Remember it does cost money to send a crew out twice. Water is our friend it settle dust and most importantly makes surfaces more dense ! Again the life of the asphalt surface . Be it hot mix or chip and seal. Just a Dinosaurs opinon. After all both are made of liquid asphalt and stone. Hope this helps ! Jimmy

  155. Gearhead tracked back:

    Thanks Jimmy, I like your sense of humor! Guess I’m paranoid but seems I’ve read about issues here and other places with putting emulsions down if rain is predicted. Hopefully this is from folks who don’t know what they’re talking about as I’ve just looked at your website and clearly you’re (just slightly) more informed than I am! Thanks again for your input.

  156. Tom Knittel tracked back:

    I am glad I found this website. Wow what a wealth of info. I have a 1/2 mile plus driveway to pave in Hillsboro, Mo. I recieved one quote so far from a local paving contractor and he was definitly steering me to do the 3 inches of asphalt at$1.49 sq ft instead of the chip and seal that he said would only last 3-4 years at a $.78 sq ft. Our driveway has a good base down already. I plan on digging drainage ditches and adding more culverts this winter to solve some of my heavy rain water problems and then get a contractor that knows how to put down that 3 layers of tar & 3 layers of chips that was called an A-3 surface quoted in one of the other blogs. Anybody knowing an experienced tar and chipper in my area, please comment. Thanks for all the help.

  157. VirginiaRemodeler tracked back:

    I noticed that Pat Gorman of Gorman Paving wrote in plugging his business in Northern Virginia. I’d like to reply by telling you about our experiences with Pat Gorman and Gorman Paving. Here’s the short verion of the story. If you want the full story, check out Angie’s List, Consumers’ Checkbook, and City-Data’s Northern Virginia forum.

    First, please note that this review is intended to convey only the facts about our experiences with Pat Gorman/Gorman Paving. You, as the reader, must draw your own conclusions and determine for yourself whether you should hire this company, should you be in the market. We make no attempt to advise or persuade you regarding that decision, which should be made pursuant to your own judgment based on a totality of the circumstances.

    This is the worst experience we have had with a contractor, and we have worked with many contractors while renovating four houses during the past ten years. I would not agree to work with Pat Gorman again, even if he offered to pay me for the opportunity.

    Here are the primary points: 1) Pat Gorman talked a good game, saying things to us like, “Don’t worry, I’ll do whatever it takes to make you happy”, and “I stand behind my work”, but as soon as we had a problem with the work, he became irate and refused to correct the problem. 2) He represented himself as expert in areas where he appears to have little, if any, expertise. 3) He took on work that he and his crew could not perform, and then, when his efforts were unacceptable, he claimed that he does not do that sort of work. 4) He personally observed that his crew’s work was sub-standard and tried to get us to accept it anyway. 5) When we pointed out an obvious and serious problem with his work, he became personally insulting and then lost control of himself to the extent that his own crew physically removed him from the premises. 6) He ignored known industry standards for performing work. We did not know to ask specifically for every step that should be performed, and he did not advise us of those steps so that we could elect to follow them. Thus, they were not performed. 7) He stated that he would perform specific tasks that he did not, in fact, perform. 8) He used irrelevant clauses in his contract to threaten us when we did not accept the poor quality of his work. 9) He severed our electric dog fence, even after being advised of its existence, location, and importance and has not compensated us for the loss.

    Good luck to any who hire Pat Gorman/Gorman Paving.

  158. Penny tracked back:

    I’m having my driveway done today. Tar and chip. They are grading with a bobcat now. 90 cents a square foot. I will let you all know how it turns out. Pigeon Forge, TN

  159. Gearhead tracked back:

    Well all done and it looks fantastic. Way more attractive than asphalt. Now we’ll have to see how it holds up and if the stone stays in place on the slopes.

  160. H.D. Boyd tracked back:

    I live near Asheville, NC. I have spent thousands on my driveway that has a steep slope with just road bond. The ruts are now 6″ deep. I really want to do a “tar and chip”, but really need to know someone in the area who is experienced and provide references….
    Anyone know of a contractor who might fit the bill….Thanks! H.D.

  161. John Heck tracked back:

    Some of the costs listed seemed a little high in comparison, to me. I received a quote last week of $.96 per square foot for my drive. It has a little over 430 linear feet. Most of the drive will be 8 foot wide except for the turnaround, which is twelve foot wide.
    The total damage was slightly over 5k for two layers of stone.
    Asphalt for the same area was 13k. Ohio winters cause a lot of issues with asphalt, however, the drives and county roads with tar and chip seem to hold up well.
    Great website!

  162. Darrell tracked back:

    Ok I have read 90% of the post which all have good information. I want to know though can tar and chip be layed over a dirt drive? I have a 1000’long 10’wide dirt drive. I have spoken to a contractor here in OK They gave me a estimate of $12,000 which includes grading and leveling then I believe 4″ of base material, (not sure what) then all is compacted then the tar is layed and chipped and compacted again.Does this sound correct and what else should I be asking this contractor?


  163. sounds to me about right a contractor from fort worth tx and i do a lot of chip sealing. if he is puting down 4″ of base then chip sealing, it will work out good and yes you can chip seal over dirt.and the price seams fair for a good job.

  164. John tracked back:

    I’m in S.E. Texas and I had a tar and chip contractor just show up wanting to know if I would be interested in having my driveway done as he’s got his crew down the road at another job. I would assume with temperatures ranging from a high of 81 to 71 and lows in the mid 50’s for the next ten days that this is not ideal weather for having this done. What is the ideal temperatures for putting in a tar and chip driveway? I’ve got a 1500′ long driveway and I get the hot mix guys knocking on my door all the time with their 200′ of leftovers that I always decline. This guy was the first tar and chip contractor to show up and my wife and I were just talking about being tired of not having a clean car due to the dust from our crusher driveway. After I get a few bids from other contractors I’m seriously considering going with tar and chip over our crusher. Thanks in advance for any advice.

  165. pino tracked back:

    Can tar and chip be installed on top of a concrete driveway,will it stick?

  166. jimmy dougherty tracked back:

    Someone asked could chip and seal be applied to concrete? My short answer is any thing can be applied to anything else ! That being said, since concrete is portland based I would say no ! Two very diffrent material types. If you are trying to smooth a old surface as cheaply as possible I would consider a hot or cold mixed asphalt overlay. Be sure that you apply a tac or glue coating. And you will need to lay at least a one and a half inch mat. If you dont have that much allowable space ( either for drainage or clearance ) there are several types of latex modified products , that use some powered cement coatings. These are more suited for building low spots or badly shelled areas . Thats my 2 cents worth anyone else care to coment ?

  167. pino tracked back:

    Thanks Jimmy,
    I don’t like the look of asphalt,I was thinking of tar n chip (chipseal) with maybe a colored stone,I can’t see why the tar n chip wouldn’t stick,the contractors are willing to do the job,I suppose as long as they get paid they will do it but it’s hard to get a definite answer as to what the best thing to do is,hope I get some answers here,thanks again Jimmy

  168. Pino, Yes you can apply tar and chip over very clean concrete. There is a catch though. If the concrete is heaving or broken up in areas, it’s possible that the tar and chip can develop cracks and it will certaintly not “fix” any concrete problems, only cover them up. Although T&C has good flexibility, it can still crack with the concrete. If the concrete is in good shape, then I would suggest 2 layers of tar and chip. Single layers placed on a hard underlying surface like asphalt or concrete, tend to wear off quicker. (friction). If you do have your drive done, please let us know how it turned out.

  169. Pino,
    Even if your concrete is now in good condition, what happens later on if it cracks? I don’t know the size of your driveway, but if it is not that large, you might consider having the concrete removed and starting over with a nice, new, clean tar and chip application.

    You could contact some excavators or landscape contractors and check on the cost of removal. If they can do it in a day, the cost might be worth it.


  170. D. Keen tracked back:

    We currently have DG (decomposed granite) on our private road that we share with 5 other homes. We are tired of the DG maintenance issues and are looking at tar and chip. I have 3 questions below.

    We live in Central Texas in the hill country. The road is about 50 years old and well packed with 3 layers of DG on it right now: about 3″ thick. Under that is a combination of a modest layer of 1″ gravel and then natural caliche with lots of large rock (dense rock 6″ to multiple feet in diameter).

    I had 8 contractors come out and bid on tar and chip. Two said that they would not install over DG. The rest had no problem with it.

    1) Can we tar and chip over DG?

    Also: The road navigates the side of a gentle hill. The road is sloped slightly but contiguously from the uphill side to the down hill side to promote rain run-off which works well with DG. But it does not have a crown (which would trap the water on the uphill side and start erosion).

    2) Do you think we can tar and chip with the current grading or do we need to build up a crown and install draining on the uphill side?

    3) Some contractors have a big rig that sprays down the tar. Other guys spray by hand. Which one should we go with?

    thx so much for sharing here.

  171. Jimmy Dougherty tracked back:

    Dg is a very good base material, however it is porus. i WOULD BLADE THE LOOSE MATERIAL OFF ! If its a good hard surface beneath then two coarses of chip and seal should do the trick. However if the base is soft or any loose material then lay crushed limestone and compact. As to application method that would depend on the size of the driveway or road. A computerized distribitor is usually best, but be aware its getting late in the season, so make sure temperature is above freezing for at least 48 hrs. after application, assuming you are using a emulsified asphalt ! Good luck , jimmy.

  172. peter tracked back:

    Hello, My name is Peter and I do oil & stone in all of Mass. and I have done over 200 d-ways in the last five years and I would be happy to help anyone with a job or questions.

  173. Maria Ortiz tracked back:

    Our driveway was just repaired and it is already washing away with more holes than before. They were evening the driveway out and then they put some material down that looked like dark dirt and stones. They compacted this material with a small steamroller. This company was hired by the landlord which is why I don’t know what the exact materials were used. It would be better if I could submit a picture of the driveway so that you could see the materials and the results.

    [Note from Ron: Maria, if you email me a photo of your driveway I’ll be happy to post it with your comment.]

  174. im not so sure that what Maria is talking about is chip seal,it sounds like crushed asphalt.

  175. richard tracked back:

    Looking for a contractor that services Northampton, Lehigh and Bucks County Pennsylvania.

  176. Patrice tracked back:

    What an informative exchange on chip & tar! There was a posting from “K” on July 22, 2008 that I was hoping to see an answer to: “when I am trying to find a contractor what should I be asking? How many layers should I expect? What size stone? What should the tar make-up be. Is there anything else I should ask about?” There was a response to his question about bouncing a basketball, but not the other part. Any of you knowledgeable folks have a response? I know that the question of layers has been addressed in some of the postings, and it seems to depend on the situation.

    Also…Susan, I am wondering if you know that a company you have listed on your website as a T & C contractor has an “F” rating from the BBB? It’s Kerrigan.

    Also…Virginia Remodeler…I read your entire review about your experience with Pat Gorman and really was astonished. I am looking for someone to do T & C in Stafford County VA and had considered Gorman because they have an “A” rating from BBB. How in the world could they manage to get that rating, I wonder, when they obviously got an “F” from you?

    Thanks again to all who have contributed to this conversation.
    P.S. Ron…Very interesting photos on your “comment policy” page!

  177. Tar and Chip…

    Tar and Chip is a good way to do, or re-do, a driveway. It’s more attractive than asphalt – and cheaper and affords better traction. It can also be applied on top of an asphalt driveway to improve the appearance. It’s basically stone chips or sm…

  178. Patrice,
    If I find a contractor that wants to be listed on my site, I will add them. It is up to an individual to check out the contractor himself, as I couldn’t possibly be responsible for everyone.

    That being said, I did check out the BBB. I don’t know what the issues were. However, he also has some excellent reviews from another site…25 altogether and most of them good.

    When considering a contractor, the best gauge one can have is to go and see the work and get at least three references.

  179. As an oil and chip contracter from SE Pennsylvania, hopefully I can bring some informative thoughts to this discussion. First of all, I usually don’t encourage customers to put an oil and chip application on top of a stone base. While it certainly is possible to get a long lasting job by placing multiple layers of oil and chip, there will be a tendency for the driveway to “break up” or otherwise fail. Oil and chip does not have the structural integrity to be the primary source of bearing capacity for a driveway. If someone comes to us desiring the look of oil and chip, we recommend that they have the driveway paved first, followed by an oil and chip application afterwards.

    @ Patrice, if you are looking to oil and chip your driveway, while I wouldn’t recommend it on top of a stone base, if you decide to do it you are going to want at least two layers of the application. If possible, have them use a 1/2″ stone on the first application and a 1/4″ application for the second. This will give you a somewhat smoother surface because the smaller stone will fit in between the larger ones. You also want to make sure they are using an emulsion oil called E3-M (PennDOT calls it CRS2-P). This is a polymer modified oil that is designed for oil and chip applications. Often disreputable contractors will just use an “tack coat” (also called AE-T), which is a thin oil that will not last. As far as bouncing a basketball, I would not be expecting to be able to do that until the after the stone has been “run in” by traffic. On a low traffic driveway, the application may never get tight enough to truly be able to play basketball on.

    To sum up, oil and chip is designed to go on top of blacktop. In a pinch, it can be used to build a driveway, but I would be careful not to expect too much. As our host has shown, there can be problems with washouts, etc.

  180. Well I have posted a few times here and thought I needed to add a little about this last post. I have personally installed tar and chip on top of a stone base with excellent results. Wash out like Ron has had happen, could and does happen to asphalt driveways as well. I guess everyone forgets that the roads were all made of tar and chip, without asphalt under them, back in the day and some are still around today.

    It seam to me the Mr. Martin believes the asphalt is structural and is therefore needed before a tar and chip can be successfully installed on a driveway. Not true. Asphalt itself is not structural, it is simply a wearing course in regards to driveways. Unless someone was to install multiple layers of asphalt (6 inches or more), it too can be washed away. The only structural pavement on the market that I know of is concrete. Concrete can be spec’d to hold a certain amount of weight where as asphalt and tar and chip depend on the base they will be installed on top of to determine there weight threshold. Keep in mind that concrete is usually spec’d at a minimum of 6 inches for driveways. This is why they cost more than asphalt or tar and chip. They need more cement material to perform correctly which of course cost more than the gravel base the others need.

    Mr. Martin, going by your website, you have been business for a long time. You must have had to saw cut a road where the driveway meets up before. Doing this, you must have come across several roads that were made solely out of tar and chip. So I am not sure why you say driveways should be paved first before applying oil and stone as those roads being cut were not paved first and they are very old and still functional. Maybe you can teach me something here!?

    In my experiences, a single layer of tar and chip (aka chip seal) applied to an asphalt paved surface will wear off quicker than a true tar and chip installation. When installed over asphalt there is the possibility for the stones to become dislodged due to the friction between the stone and hard asphalt surface. When vehicles drive on such a job, the movement of the tires, especially while turning, can cause the stones to fracture against the hard paved asphalt and allow them to become dislodged from the tar a bit more easily. The tar provides some cushion but it is not thick enough (nor can it be placed thick enough) to provide complete protection from friction.

    We all need to think of any driveway designs from the ground up. They all need to start with a good solid base. This is where any asphalt or tar and chip driveway will get its structure from. I have replace many asphalt paved driveways that were more than 15 years old that were only an inch thick. And truth be told, most weren’t in awful shape. It always amazes the crew when we come across an old driveway that was so thin. The reason why the thin drives lasted so long was because they were built on top of an excellent base.

    If I wanted a tar and chip surface for my driveway, I wouldn’t hesitate to have one installed on top a good stone and process gravel base. When I install true tar and chip driveways for our customers it goes something like this. Keep in mind I am from the Northeast so it may be a bit different in your neck of the woods.

    Remove all organic material. (grass,dirt,etc.) Grade the sub-base for proper drainage and compact. Install 10 inches of process gravel (in multiple lifts) grade and compact. Install a very thin layer of either ¾ inch or 1¼ inch straight stone. Just enough to have the surface be complete stone. To thick and you will have problems because the stone will be allowed to move to freely. Grade and compact. Let sit for a couple of weeks. This allows for any possible settling and also allows mother nature to clean the stone surface (a clean surface allows the tar to “stick” better). Return and touch up any low spots (if any) with stone. Compact again. Now install the first layer of tar and stone. It is best to use a ½ inch stone as the first course and then get smaller (if desired) with the second course. Compact. Install the second layer and compact. Then we usually will take a broom to “fluff” the stone. That’s it, enjoy.

    This is what I have done in the past and will continue to do. I have completed jobs that are over 10 years old now like this and have not had a single problem. Just my 2 cents.

  181. Carol Cantagallo tracked back:

    I am looking for a reliable tar & chip contractor who will supply references, that is willing to do work in Charlestown, Rhode Island. Our home is 7 years old and we had a macadam driveway put in when we built. It needs to be redone and I am looking for quotes from contractors. Can be contacted via email:

  182. diane tracked back:

    Two winters ago, my neighbor used his companies snow plow truck and plowed my driveway quite a few times causing large ruts in my 200+ foot driveway that made it unusable for the entire spring and summer, even for the mailman.

    I don’t make alot of money so I can only afford one home project each year. I paid $700 plus materials for a guy to lay down levels of 23a crushed limestone to repair all the damage to my driveway. It was done slowly over a 2 month timeframe and each layer was driven back and forth on hundreds of times to set it before winter. It was a thing of beauty and set, looked and felt like a real concrete driveway. I was so happy and proud.

    Christmas week I came down my driveway from working 3rd shift and saw the my neighbor had plowed it again. There was only an inch or two of snow and I just couldn’t believe it. I was physically ill and still am over it. It is Spring now and my beautiful driveway is now a loose, crumbling, gravely roller coater ride. Much of the 3/4-1 inch limestone was strewn all over my yard. I came home the other day and noticed my neighbor had simply raked much of the loose, debree and leaf filled limestone back into the driveway so it is even more crumbly. I told him not to do that based on speaking with the guy that did the work last year and also the company where he purchase the limestone from, but he did it anyway.

    Can anyone tell me what I can do? Any suggestions would be much appreciated.


  183. I have a 400 foot long by 12 foot wide blacktop driveway that is fairly steep that was put in three years ago (before house construction because vehicles needed the hard surface for safety.) There are three DOT approved water control box/culvert systems include just to illustrate the water controls required in the NC mountains. The driveway has performed well but I am considering putting a brown, stone/chip and tar surface over the top of that asphalt — strictly for esthetics. Can someone give me advice as to whether this is a good/bad idea and if good, what specs. should I hold the contractor to?

  184. Gary tracked back:


    I live right in your general area (Asbury). Henry Hicks did the paving job around my garage (an area about 30′ x 100′) 10 years ago. The remainder of my 1/4-mile long driveway is gravel (about two layers of QP and two layers of 3/8 over the last ten years). It’s time for more gravel and I’m tired of the dust.

    In your search of all of the contractors in the area, who would you recommend for T&C? Are you still glad that you went with T&C? I’d love to have asphalt put down on this driveway, but I just can’t afford it. I’m hoping that T&C is somewhere between a $500 load of 3/8-inch gravel and the $20,000 that asphalt would cost. Closer to $500 then $20K :)

  185. kris tracked back:

    Does anyone know of any experienced tar and chip contractors in southeastern, ct.?

  186. kris tracked back:

    Hello Gabe,

    I can’t get your website to come up? Do I have the wrong address?
    I live in Niantic and would love to get an estimate. How can I contact you? Thanks.

  187. nick's paving tracked back:

    hi i am nick with nick’s paving i am located in southeren il and indiana and i server all tar and chip as some ppl call it chip seal and if you would like a free price on getting any driveway or parking lots feel free to call me at 618-316-0944 or 812-454-2072 we have over 35 years in the paving-chip sea field and would be happy to give u price and if u want u cna look me up in the jefferson county IL and evensville IN phone book hope u have nice day

  188. H.D. Boyd said:

    I live near Asheville, NC. I have spent thousands on my driveway that has a steep slope with just road bond. The ruts are now 6″ deep. I really want to do a “tar and chip”, but really need to know someone in the area who is experienced and provide references….
    Anyone know of a contractor who might fit the bill….Thanks! H.D.

    Our prime business is chipseal.. Numerous references and directions to projects we have completed as far back as 1993 are available for your comfort. – Click contact.

    (Liquid asphalt available at our plant FOB or delivered by tanker) Arden, NC

  189. Gabe Daly tracked back:

    To Kris,

    I have to say that I am sorry Kris but I have decided to stop asphalt paving and T&C installs for good and have deleted my website. It was a very tough choice for me personally because it was the only work I ever really did and I was pretty good at. But the last 2 years were extremely hard to get through and a very uncertain future in this field, 2 young children and my wife to feed, I decided to go into a field that will never go away and will allow me to “bank” on income, waste management.

    You may try to contact Sullivan Paving out of Essex, CT for an estimate. These guys are good. Besides them, I wouldn’t put my name on anyone else in your area. Hope it all works out for you.

  190. Stephen tracked back:

    I live in Springfield,MO Anybody know of a tar & chip contractor in this area?

  191. Karen tracked back:

    Wonderful info. Thanks to all who kept this going and for the education and first hand experiences. I’m in the lower hudson valley, NY (westchester county) and looking for a T & C installer. Anyone have a company they would recomend and share? Driveway is 2600 sq ft. of hard packed dirt with years of pebble embedded in it.
    Thanks in advance for the assistance.
    FYI – quote on doing all pavers came in at $39,000.00…rather put an addition on for that amount of $.

  192. To stephen in springfield , mo. Stephen please call me I can get you a list of good contractors in and around springfield . ( And maybe even a personal fried of mine if he isnt too busy ) But please be aware not all contractors in the yellow pages in that area are all they claim to be ! ( 361 ) 350-0695 ask for jimmy Good luck !

  193. These driveways make a great surface for larger areas. They last pretty well too. I wouldn’t lay it over a dirt driveway though.

  194. Dennis MacDougall tracked back:

    I am a facilities manager for a library in Westchester Co., NY. We are considering tar & chip as remedy for a deteriorated courtyard which is constructed on 5 foot square concrete pavers separated by redwood boards which have deteriorated. Pavers have heaved and the surface is very uneven. We are looking to save the expense of removing the old concrete. Does anyone have any experience doing chip and tar over concrete and are there any contractors that do this work locally?

    Dennis MacDougall

  195. DAVE BOLING tracked back:


  196. marcia tracked back:

    I live in North Andover MA. Does anyone have the name of a contractor for me in MA…..even NH would work…….

  197. doreen tracked back:

    Help! I need to find someone to do tar and chip in Nassau County Long Island. We have a long driveway and really love the look.

  198. Karen tracked back:

    For Tar and chip referral in Westchester County, NY. Lawrence DeLaurentis. Website:
    Projects shown on site are extremely impressive but he should have included all the projects he’s done to show the extent of his talent. Not a BS artist, listens, recommends and educates us novices. Spoke to those he’s done work for and not one had any negatives as a matter of fact all commented on how great he was and found him to be the most trusted contractor they worked with. That works for me so he’s doing my driveway. Good luck with yours.

  199. Andrew R tracked back:

    I have an existing asphalt driveway and am considering tar and chip over the top of it as it has a few cracks and is sort of two colours ( aspahalt not all laid at the same time- driveway extension) . Is this a good idea? Its basically a cosmetic job that should also cover up a few cracks and tree roots that are pushing up.

  200. Andrew,
    You should really remove the existing asphalt and start all over with the appropriate base. There are lots of comments here regarding the correct installation method.

  201. Andrew , I think perhaps susan isnt considering the fact you have only a few cracks ! While chip and seal isnt a end all . it is and has been used as a resurface treatment for well over 75 yrs. Most contractors and service master arent totaly familar with the stregenths and for that matter the limitations of chip and seal re surface treatments ! It is and has been used very sucessfully for years on many diffrent asphalt drives in various conditions . As long as surface is in a managable condition it should work well ! If in doubt ask your local county road commisioner ( as a tax payer in a election year , Im more than sure he or she will do back flips to answer your questions ! ) Good luck and God bless ! jimmy. 7/13/10

  202. Barelohim tracked back:

    I have layed a 6” crushed rock driveway’, over well packed clay/dirt substrate. My driveway slopes from garage to the street. No problems in the last three years. Snow removeal no problem with lawn tractor blade and set of blade shoes set up high… Few weeds, but a shot of roundup fixes that… I would like to spray a driveway crack filler over the stones. Because it dries to a consistency of hard rubber. If those pickup truck bed coatings weren’t so expensive I think that would be a great way to seal and set the crushed rock…. Anyone got a comment?

    Saskatchewan, Canada.

  203. adam tracked back:

    ive read almost every coment on this page ive been in the paving buisness for 13 years now so ill put a little input on this tar and chip driveways hold up very well if the contractor puts the right oil in it and puts the propper amont of chip down the process is simple prep driveway shoot the oil my experiance rc250 (asphalt based liquid oil will last longer) is the best it stays flexable cr2 is ok but keep in mind it is a waterbase oil (wont last as long) chip the first layer should be a large chip 78s work extreemly well then shoot drive again chip with #8s thats it now also keep in mind that your car will pick up the small stone for a while you can prevent this by shooting the drive one more time and putting a layer of#9s on top this will also help with hard rains after the job is done the oil should bleed through the top do not worry it is doing its job when iot doesnt bleed then id worry (so the process is easy)prep job shoot chip shoot chip if tar and chip is done right last for years if not im sorry

  204. Fran tracked back:

    Looking for Tar and Chip contractors in Michigan (Upper Peninsula) any suggestions?

  205. Adam in Westchester NY tracked back:

    I am also thinking of tar in chip for my driveway–I see your local and probably have done the job already for yourself? How did it go?

  206. I have been in the driveway business for 17 years on the east end of long island.Any Questions please e-mail @ Asphalt or oil & stone.

  207. I live in Rockland County, Nyack, NY and need a macadam/ T&C contractor for a small driveway about 12′ wide x 100′ long…have removed old aphalt and now have dirt mixed with 3/4″ gravel, with a 1880 Victorian house. Would do pavers but new windows are more of a priority so asphalt is most feasible financially. However, asphalt does not work with 1880, and I like the look of T&C so much better. Maybe I can start a trend in my neighborhood, away from gravel/ asphalt. Westchester contractors usually do not come to our area but Bergen County, NJ contractors do. Would appreciate any referrals to Lower Hudson Valley – Rockland County by Tappan Zee Bridge. Thank you so much for your forum. email me directly at if you like.

  208. tar and chipper tracked back:

    The attacks on MR Gallagher about half way down are stupid to put it mildly. Notice Gorman has a customer attack him, yet no one attacks Gallagher on his work funny, eh? I do Tar and Chip myself as well as driveway sealing, paving and patching. First of all to run a tar and chip crew you don’t need a spreader unless your doing miles at a time. All you need is a skidsteer, a roller, and a sealent sprayer, it isn’t as nice as a distributor truck but it will get the job done. It appears the morons ripping him are jealous. I make alot more money doing tar and chip than I do laying blacktop (mostly due to less equipment and a smaller crew), theres alot of guys doing it (paving) for one so you have to be cheap. Any moron can lay pavement. It is VERY easy thats why there are so many doing it. When I started I only did sealing and tar and chip. I started 3 years ago with a sealing machine on a trailer, a skidsteer(a old john deere that was laughable in size) a C 60 chevy and a small roller. Not much, but pretty good for a 24yr old. You don’t need alot of equipment to do tar and chip. It was me and one other guy usually one of me younger brothers. One guy sprays while the other spreads the stone with the skidsteer. The one on the skidsteer can run the roller too. As he will be moving faster. I visited his (Mr. Gallaghers) website and was impressed by his equipment than Gormans. I feel they are jealous. Honesty you can do tar and chip with one pick up and a trailer. The sprayer can be in the bed of a pick up and the roller on the trailer with a skidsteer. The stone can be hauled by a truck owned by someone else. Why have a truck sitting you don’t need there right? The stone should be dumped on a tarp on the lawn(that way it wont get into the grass and is easily cleaned up) I did ths when the carb went bad on my dump truck. So I believe that he has 3 crews. Remember if hes doing a drive way thats 1000-2000sq ft thats 1-2 truckloads at the most with multiple layers being applied. Right now I have one crew that paves and two that do tar and chip and sealing. The tar and chip crews are better they need less manpower. It takes 2 men to run a paver one to run each screw along with one to shovel and rake and another one to run the roller, now you also need a skidsteer on site if your smart, a tag along trailer with long ramps so you dont break the screed off of your paver and a truck to pull it with a driver to run asphalt to you. Now lets ask ourselves Which guy can work cheaper, the guy with the smaller crew and least equipment or the guy with such a big crew it will make your driveway look like a state job. Complete with half the gus screwing off. Tar and chip is cheaper because it takes less to do just as much. I like having 2 chip crews because I have 2 older tri axles, one for the paving crew and one for the chip crews which sometimes has to haul asphalt for parking lots. Also my drivers run for the quarry sometimes during the day to keep busy. I will not put up my info as I am proud that I don’t advertise, the way I get my work is word of mouth. I will tell anyone unless your going over a solid surface i.e. blacktop or concrete make sure the tar and chip is multiple layers I recommend 3 and more in colder climates but don’t go overboard and when you do find a contractor ask them how many layer it will be. Whatever your choice if for your driveway or parking lot just make sure its one you will like for a long time as it is a major investment and key part of your home. I looked at this website because one of my customers mentioned it. Ron you have done a nice job and what did you end up doing with the driveway? Did a patch work or did you have to start over again.

  209. pino tracked back:

    Tar and Chipper how would you recommend I fix a concrete roadway and a parking lot/ yard. the concrete is sound although the finish is poor and there are a few cracks,but no heaving, which is why I’m considering re-coating it with either tar and chip or tarmac, I like the look of tar and chip though,thanks in advance.

  210. tar and chipper tracked back:

    A tar and chip overlay sounds perfect for you as a solution it wil look attractive and be economical as well. The problem with an asphalt overlay is sometimes the cracks in the concrete can “telegraph” through the new surface resulting in cracks. Tar and chip doesn’t have this problem. I have done a few tar and chips over concrete and they have all held up. There is a advantage for whomever would do your job as the concrete is a excellent base. I do most of mine over stone. Make sure whoever does it applies two layers at least thats what I do over a good existing “hard” surface, a vthird layer on steep inclines helps too. Also I recommend having the loose stones sewpt up to avoid them being thrown and vehicles sliding around which if its done sloppily can happen. Also look into your local color options and make sure the type of stone you use wont turn to dust, some pretty colored stones don’t hold up the best. Tar and chip is the same as tarmac=tar+macadam. People who say it doesn’t hopd up fail to realize this…Planes landed on this stuff for years without problem I think cars will do just fine. Good Luck I hope I was helpful.

  211. Gabe Daly tracked back:

    tar and chipper, How can you possibly apply tar with a selacoat setup? The only way I have ever used it was in a temprature controled tank (distributor truck). Is your selaing tank heated? If not, then what type of material are you putting down for tar and chip applications? As far as paving being easy, I guess you can also say anybody can paint too. Truth is any one can do just about anything. I been in this business too long to say paving is easy. But if you do it all of the time than maybe it would be VERY easy for you. But to make pavement of any kind last, it takes proper experience and continual education. Some people have worked one particular way all of their lives and they think their way is the best. The question is whether or not they were taught the right way and continue to learn about what’s changing for the better… or not.

  212. pino tracked back:

    Tar and Chipper,

    Thanks very much,I will post back when I get the job priced, I might leave it now till the warmer weather in the spring.The concrete is great and strong but it looks very industrial and doesn’t blend in with the countryside.

    thanks again,pino

  213. tar and chipper tracked back:

    Yes my sealing tanks are all heated via propane. It’s not a fancy set up, I want a distributor truck, but I haven’t found one that is a deal that isn’t whipped. I just think that paving is alot easier than many make it out to be. I like it because its the same and it doesn’t vary, its very mathematical I guess. Its the same job in a different place. Paving isn’t a complicated science like some make it out to be, I’ve seen people pave with a spreader box and a small roller and it looks better than some jobs done with brand new equipment. It depends on how much you put into and care about the job.

  214. gabe daly tracked back:

    Tar and chipper,

    Right on. Paving is mathematical. I like your saying… same job different place. It’s so true for the most part. What I would tell a lot of my customers is…Almost anyone can make blacktop look nice, but only a few of them can make it last. Perception is a killer. So many times I’ve had to deal with fly by night companies that can make things look good…..until the check clears. It’s a shame. That’s why I was on you about your seal tanks. Can’t possibly do a good tar and chip job without controlled heat.

  215. tar and chipper tracked back:

    “Hi, were in the neighborhood and have some left over material would you like us to use it to pave/seal your driveway while we are in the area, we’ll give you a good deal?”
    Fly by night companies that say that while going door to door? I’ve had to deal with companies like that. They come to town for a few weeks maybe a month, burn up the area and leave. Anyone going door to door to sell asphalt should be treated with suspicion, especially when their business cards don’t have a address, just a cell phone number.
    I have sold asphalt door to door, but not like that, I’ve offered to patch someones driveway or top coat it while we where in the neighborhood, I do this after leaving the home of whoever called me for a estimate. This is a couple of weeks before I’m gonna be there paving, not the same day. I really like chip sealing instead of paving though.
    I have to compete with guys that show up with a van full of illegal mexicans with wheel barrels and a plate tamper and a hand roller. The finished job looks like a river of asphalt, complete with ripples and rapids, but people go with whomever is the cheapest.

    Tar and chipping is something that not very many people (paving companies) want to do anymore. I make out better on it not because I’m ripping people off, I’m not by any means, but there isn’t anyway to cut corners, if you do it won’t work.

  216. Patsy Black tracked back:

    I am looking for a contractor near Northeast Georgia and near South Carolina.

  217. tar and chipper tracked back:

    Im sorry Patsy I don’t know anyone in that area, plus it might be to cold already to do it now. Perhaps you can find a contractor on the internet in another state. I think there is one in N.C. I can’t recall the name though. If you call around enough you’ll find one though. Just make sure they do it right.

  218. Peter tracked back:

    Patsy…. John Riley of Public Paving does both tar & chip and regular asphalt paving in Tennessee, Arkansas and Missisippi. Not sure if he’d come over to your area, but John’s a real decent guy, and it might be worth calling him to find out. If you want more info about him, his website is Let me know how you make out. I know him and his family have been in the paving business for generations and he’s a guy you can trust.

  219. Chris Garfield tracked back:

    Tar and Chip…..You contractors actually use Tar? Tar comes from coal. Asphalt comes from crude oil. Two different products. They arn’t even the same color. If you are using tar and not asphalt, does it (tar) come in different grades like an asphalt binder does.

  220. Good day everyone I have been in business for 34 years we are a full service paving and tar and chip company. We own all the equippment needed for any paving, tar and chip, or excavating job. We service Fairfield and Westchester counties. If we can be of service email me. Thank you

  221. I am the owner of Kerrigan Paving and Tar and Chip I have been in business in the Northern Virginia area for 20yrs.I am experianced in both Asphalt Paving and Tar and Chip we do both commercial and residential we have done several high profile jobs both in State and out of State including the Brooklyn Bridge park in Brooklyn ,New York we have a Youtube video of that project called Kerrigan Paving and Tar & Chip go check it out! or call us at 703-257-3632

  222. mike tracked back:

    I am attempting to find a tar and chip contractor in the Seattle area. Anyone know of one?
    ALso, I am in process of building a house … and the driveway. I am putting down one inch rock and filling in top with mud and sand. I am thinking to wait till summer when it is good and hard.

    ANy thoughts?

  223. Nathan tracked back:

    I live in Killeen TX. I have a 300×10 ft road that I would like to get chip & seal. The road was
    graded and 2 inch of linestone roadbase was installed and rolled at a cost of $1100.00 The same contractor wants $3000.00 to chip and seal the road. Which I think is a bit high totaling $4100.00
    I was told that chip and seal should be about 20 to 30% cheaper than Asphalt. would you please let me know what I should be paying for the total job at todays prices.


  224. Rick tracked back:

    Did you find anyone in Seattle?

  225. Gabe Daly tracked back:

    Nathan – It’s hard to guess at what is a fair market cost for your tar and chip driveway project without knowing some other factors. Like how many layers of T&C, what type of oil, etc. But at less than a $1.40 per square foot… that would be an extremely good deal in the CT. area.

  226. i would not do that job no cheaper than $5,500 it seems to me nathan that your getting a realy good deal i would put him to work yesterday!

  227. I love laying tar and chip. I feel it is more cost effecient and as effective as asphalt. If anyone in Arizona is looking to have this done then I am your contracted. I am fully insured and bonded and I am and have been in good standing with the BBB. I offer free estimates and offer asphalt, sealing and tar and chip. Call me Leonard owner of Pro-Pave Inc. in AZ @ 602-741-5415

  228. Wally tracked back:

    I have a three year-old tar and chip driveway. The original loose gravel has mostly washed or been moved by traffic to the sides of the driveway. Two questions: (1) should I sweep the loose gravel back over the driveway and smooth it out?; and (2) is there an inexpensive rotary brush device that will assist in this process? The drive is about 1000 feet long so manually sweeping it would be quite a chore.

  229. Gabe Daly tracked back:

    I have a three year-old tar and chip driveway. The original loose gravel has mostly washed or been moved by traffic to the sides of the driveway. Two questions: (1) should I sweep the loose gravel back over the driveway and smooth it out?; and (2) is there an inexpensive rotary brush device that will assist in this process? The drive is about 1000 feet long so manually sweeping it would be quite a chore. -Wally-

    Depends on how the rest on the driveway looks. If you think that there is enough stone embedded, then you can just sweep them up and stock pile the excess somewhere just in case you ever need to make a repair like a sewer line or similar.

    You can rent a skid-steer and a sweeper attachment (about $250+) and that will make quick work of your driveway.

    Depending on where you live you may or may not be concerned about bleed through (oil rising above the stones). But if you are then I would suggest put the stones back on the driveway.

    Hope this helps.

  230. Nathan tracked back:

    I live in KILLEEN TX (central tx). does anyone have a good contact number for a contractor that install chip and seal in this part of Texas.

    Thanks for any assistaint provided.

  231. Marcia Minott tracked back:

    I live in North Andover MA and am still looking for a contractor that does Chip and Seal…….Anyone have a name for me?……I live near Southern NH so that is an option too

  232. Janet tracked back:

    I’m in need of a new driveway which needs to be done from scratch since only dirt and grass exist there now. The location is Rhode Island. I have one guy who says he’ll dig out loam, bring in processed gravel – 12″ – grated and rolled and compacted. Then he’ll put down 2″ of asphalt and then roll in blue stones while it is still hot. Anyone ever heard of this process? If so, How long will it last? He also said he could do it as above with the following change: Don’t add blue stone until 1 week later – after one week he would add liquid asphalt then put the blue stone on top and roll it into the hot liquid. First choice is $3400, second choice is$4400. Is the second choice better? How long will it last? He says the second choice is tar and chip but it seems quite different from what I’m reading here. It seems tar and chip is built of layers of gravel of different sizes, crushed , rolled , then the liquid asphalt and stone color but no tar mix is involved. I’m confused at this point. Which of the above options seems best, or should I look for someone else? Thank you.

  233. Gabe Daly tracked back:

    Then he’ll put down 2″ of asphalt and then roll in blue stones while it is still hot.

    I would not recommend this at all! Unless your driveway is very flat, those stones will come out quickly. Even if it is very flat, they will never really be held in by the asphalt.

    Don’t add blue stone until 1 week later – after one week he would add liquid asphalt then put the blue stone on top and roll it into the hot liquid.

    Again, I would not recommend this either! In order for the tar (liquid asphalt) to adhere to the new asphalt, it must be free of any oily residue. This takes a minimum of 30 days.

    I have done tar and chip on top of asphalt many times with great results but you must wait for the surface of the new asphalt to cure before applying tar or even asphalt sealer for that matter. Tar and Chip applied to asphalt is OK but the T&C will wear much faster leaving spotty asphalt showing through especially if you have your driveway plowed in the Winter. True Tar and Chip driveways do not have asphalt under them.

    Janet, I would suggest you look for another contractor as this one obviously doesn’t know what he is doing as far as Tar and Chip goes. He is right on with the 12 inches of base materials however. But even 2″ of asphalt is a cheap job for Rhode Island’s weather.

    Best of Luck!

  234. Janet tracked back:

    “But even 2″ of asphalt is a cheap job for Rhode Island’s weather.”

    If I decided to put down just asphalt, how many inches would you suggest for Rhode Island weather? Still a 12″ base of processed gravel, right? In RI tar and chip is much higher (nearly double) in price than asphalt. Not sure why, but it is. Thanks, Gabe for this great information.

  235. Gabe tracked back:

    Janet, I have done literally thousands of residential driveways in the Northeast (CT). It seems as though all the paving contractors think that 2″ is good enough. I always offered 2.5″ as my lowest option along with an additional better and best option. The jobs I have done at 2″ are generally for those that were selling there home soon or couldn’t afford a better job.

    Depending on your situation, I would recommend at least a 2.5″ asphalt thickness after compaction (make sure “after compaction” or “finished thickness” is in the contract!!!) but…if you will ever have delivery trucks (oil, septic, ups, etc) use your driveway it may have negative effects like premature cracking. Although 12 inches is a decent base (only if there is not a lot of topsoil under the excavated area), 2″ of asphalt is just simply not designed to put up with heavy loads.

    If you plan on staying at your place for say more than 5 years, I would suggest 2 layers of asphalt. 1st a 2.5″ (after compaction) binder course of larger aggregrate asphalt (1/2″ stones or bigger) and a second layer of 2″ of a smaller aggregrate asphalt (3/8″ stones) on top of that. This will give you a strong driveway that can withstand heavier vehicles and will last at least 20 years without much trouble.

    All I can say is it will cost much much more to replace your driveway down the road then it will to do it “right” now. If your driveway is relatively flat (no hills) you “might” get away with a single course with proper maintenance.

    I know true tar and chip driveways seem to cost a good amount more than paving but when you start really comparing a double layer T&C job to a single layer asphalt job…that’s not apples to apples. Ask for a price for the 2 layers of asphalt and then see how much difference there is between T&C and a good asphalt driveway. There pretty close in costs then. When you weigh all of the pros and cons though, (looks, maintenance, durability, etc) it isn’t too bad.

    Hope this helps.

  236. Beth tracked back:

    We’ve had a tar & chip driveway for several years now and love it. Had to call a local road contractor every week for eight months to get it done. Looks perfectly natural in our wooded setting. Question: is it possible to do a tar & chip walkway? We’d like to take the same look to the front door. Would this be a DIY project? Any websites with instructions? Thanks.

  237. Ron B tracked back:

    Our town uses tar and chip paving and I must strongly disagree with your contention that it is superior to asphalt paving. It is much noisier, rougher, less attractive, and wears down more quickly than asphalt. In addition, for several weeks after first applied, the “chips” (pebbles actually) bounce all over the road and ding the finish of passing cars. In the winter, the snowplows scrap the loose stone well into the surrounding yards. This is more than just a minor inconvenience; I just finished several hours of back-breaking work sweeping the loose stones out of my yard and wheelbarrowing them away!

  238. Janet tracked back:

    I finally found a company in Rhode Island that has been doing tar and chip driveways for 40 years. The company is Larry Torti Paving. They have been featured on “This Old House” and seem to really know what they are doing. We are planning to use them for our tar and chip driveway. Wanted to share this with other users who may be in that area. They have an informative website and a good rating with the BBB. Check them out!

  239. Ken Ferguson tracked back:

    Oil & Rock (tar & chip) like asphalt works only as good as the person installing it. Is your contractor insured, does he have refrences, Is he in the phone book or have a web site. Or is he a hustler going from town to town preying on the gulible and less informed.
    Another good rule of thumb is you get what you pay for . If youre looking for the cheapest price you can find that is generally what you will get. ( A Cheap Job!)
    My name is Ken Ferguson and I own the Road Doctor, a family owned business that is just outside Decatur Illinois wich is about the central part of the state. We do Oil & Rock known also as Tar and Chip, Asphalt Paving, Asphalt Sealcoating & Concrete. We are committed to providing quality dependable service at reasonable price. We are fully insured, stand behind our work and have a long list of refrences we can provide upon request. You can find us in any phonebook throughout the central part of the state. We travel throughout the state of Illinois, Missouri & Indiana and can extend our distance of travel depending on the job involved. We can be reached at 217-979-9000 or you can email us at

  240. It seems there is a problem finding chip seal contractors i would like to help
    we have been chip sealing in oregon and south west washington for over 35
    years if we can be of any help or answer any questions feel free. Bretthauer Road Oil
    in hillsboro oregon ww.

  241. NazKas tracked back:

    Are there any contractors in South East Michigan (Millford 48380) who can handle tar & chip for my drive way (about 300ft X 10ft)?

  242. Sorry that is the wrong coast for us but if i should hear of one in your area
    i will pass it along

  243. This was faster then i thout it would be but came across a chip seal contractor on
    the webb in michigan MICHIGAN PAVMENT SOLUTIONS zip is 49643 hope this helps

  244. Devra tracked back:

    Would welcome comments about 1) whether tar and chipping is a good choice for us; 2) consumer recommendations (from Karen, Adam, or other consumers)for a quality tar and chipping job in lower Westchester (Mamaroneck), NY.

    1) Is tar and chipping a good choice?
    We have an extremely long and moderately sloped driveway. We would like an attractive option that is not slippery but will not throw stones all over the property or be ruined by an ordinary snowplow. It may need plowing many times in the winter.

    I gather that concrete would crack too much. Are bricks an alternative — or are they too pricey and/or slippery?

    The current asphalt driveway looks terrible — cracks throughout and washed out at many edges. I doubt that it would be possible to grade the edge so that it drops off away from the driveway throughout the long driveway. Would putting a stone or brick edge solve the problem?

    2) Recommendations for a paver in Westchester who is experienced in tar and chipping would be welcome.
    THANK YOU to all participants on this informative website.

  245. Hi Devra,
    Tar and chip is a nice driveway choice. However, when first installed, the top layer is loose stone. If you have conditions where it needs to be plowed a lot, this is probably not the best choice, in my opinion.

    Concrete can crack. Both concrete and bricks ( especially bricks or pavers) will be costly compared to tar and chip. They are not slippery though.

    From a cost stand point, I would recommend re-doing the driveway in asphalt by a reputable company that will install the correct base. If not installed correctly, cracking can occur. As far as your current driveway being washed out at the edges, I would guess that the grade at the edges is lower than the edges themselves and therefore there is no support. Without having seen the area or having more specific information, it’s hard to say exactly, but if my assumption is correct, here are some options to correct that situation when you do the new driveway.

    1. Add some fill/soil at the edges to raise the grade so that it is level with the driveway. This can then be re-graded to meet the existing grade further out. The further out you grade, the less of a slope will be created. To further stabilize the area, add lawn or groundcover so that the soil will not erode. If the area is shady, you could add Ajuga, Pachysandra, etc. If sunny, Thyme, Sedum, etc. This option will be less expensive than #2 below.

    2. Add a brick, paver, stone, or belgian block edging to the edges of the driveway. This will act as a mini retaining wall and support the driveway edges. This edging must be very secure and I would suggest setting whatever material you use in concrete.

    I would decide which way you will go prior to actually doing the driveway. Otherwise you will run into the same problem. This does not have to be a problem as long as the grading/edges is done correctly. Price it both ways to see which fits into your budget.

    Lastly, if you want to dress up the asphalt, you can border it with brick or pavers. This design can have one or two rows, laid flat. You can create an apron at the beginning of the driveway out of the same material. You can do just an apron. You can add a circle design. There are a lot of creative ways to do this.

    If asphalt alone works best for your budget, just concentrate on having a nice landscape design. I always feel it is the big picture in landscaping!

    Good luck.

  246. Karen tracked back:

    HI Devra,
    For my situation I went with the tar & chip and am so very glad I did….even after the miserable winter we had that brought on more plowing than usual. Trick or commence sense with plowing is to raise the plow blade up so as not to scrape up all the top gravel. The little bit of snow left…maybe an inch or two was hardly an issue for driving and walking on. Even still, when the snow was finally over we did have pebbles to spread back onto the driveway. However the driveway always had a surface of pebbles as they rolled a good amount of them into the tar/oil. And I never saw tar patches. Not sure how they accomplished that but they did. By the way I have a rather wide and long driveway and didn’t mind moving the pebbles back at all. My driveway looks awesome. Absolutely completes a country house setting as opposed to looking like a parking lot.

    Obviously your driveway will only look as good as the person/crew doing it. Mine was done August 2010 by Lawrence Construction out of South Salem. You can read my earlier comments on why I decided to use him. Bottom line is its been almost a year and it looks as is if it was just done. No water build-up, mud, weeds, no loose tar covered pebbles getting stuck to the bottom of shoes and mucking up whatever you walk on. Additionally they put pavers in front of the garage and the transition to the gravel remains perfect as do the pavers….no shifting or lifting. I’m in Armonk so if you are interested in seeing my driveway you are more than welcome to. Just reply and we’ll arrange something.

    It certainly wouldn’t hurt to have a conversation with the owner, Lawrence DeLaurentis, and ask him to evaluate and suggest solutions to your driveway. He does do asphalt as well. Here is the contact info I have for him.
    Lawrence Construction Co

    18 Captain Lawrence Dr
    10590-1211 – South Salem (Westchester)

    Tel. 914-763-9013

    Good luck.

  247. Devra tracked back:

    Susan and Karen, Thank you very much for your extremely helpful comments. If last winter’s snow did not cause Karen a problem in Armonk, then plowing should not rule out tar and chip for us either. Totally agree with Karen about wanting a country house setting, not a parking lot. Susan’s landscaping and edging advice was very helpful as well. I will be calling Lawrence Construction. Thanks again!

  248. Karen tracked back:

    Hey Devra,
    Glad I could provide you some useful info. This site was a great resource for me and I’m very thankful for those who took their time to help me as well.
    As Susan suggested I too have stone edging…cobblestone down both sides and few rows at the driveway entrance with a metal grating drainage trough set into the coblestones across the entrance of the driveway…this was already in place prior to the T&C being done. Also before they did the T&C they replaced/fixed the drainage pipes under the driveway and regraded the entire length. Made a world of difference.

    Let me/us know how things go and again if you want to see the driveway you are welcome to.
    Good luck!

  249. Devra tracked back:

    Thanks Susan. I may take you up on the offer to see the driveway in the future, and thanks again for all of the ideas and for the referral to Mr. DeLaurentis. I will keep you posted. Devra

  250. Marcia Minott tracked back:

    I am in North Andover MA and have been looking for over year for someone that can do a tar and chip driveway for me…….can anyone help?

  251. KevSen tracked back:

    NazKas… you find a chip and seal contractor in SE Michigan? I am near you in Brighton, MI and would like to find some one too.

  252. KevSen tracked back:

    Hey Nazkas… got a call back from Chip and Seal paving. They have a crew doing several driveways in Metro Detroit the week after July 4, 2011. see or call 888-913-6999. I talked to a guy named John. He is going to visit my site (coming from Lansing) this weekend, but generally pricing is around $1.50 if you have a decent gravel base in place already like I do. Good luck.

  253. Random Thingy tracked back:

    Do you happen to know which surface is noisier. Reason I’m asking is:

    I live in South Africa and recently did some long distance driving. First the road was very smooth, recently surfaced, dark black colour and very quiet. Then the road changed suddenly to a very, very noisy road, you could see the gravel between the tar or asphalt, was a grayish colour and it almost looked like sand paper. I know it may have been an older surface but I have driven on even older surfaces and none were as noisy as this. BTW the surface was in perfect condition just it was noisy as if it was a different type.

  254. Debbie Hensley tracked back:

    I am trying to locate a business(s) that do chip & seal driveways in the Spokane, WA area. Anyone have any possible names?

  255. 2AJsMama tracked back:

    @Susan – we used Larry Torti for our driveway in RI about 1996 I think, sold the house in 2007 and driveway still looked great, wore like iron, though I do say we used a snowblower not a plow. Larry is a great guy, it was reasonable price though I don’t recall what it was back then. We have moved 100 miles to northwestern CT now, otherwise I would call him to do our new house.

    @Gabe – so glad you are still reading, sorry you are no longer paving. I checked out Sullivan Paving’s website, they refer to “Oil and Stone” which does not appear to be the same as the T&C (or macadam as Larry called it). We have just finished putting down 3-6″ (thicker in some spots than others, to try to level out the gravel & traprock) of reclaimed asphalt or “millings” as my dad calls it. There are some large chunks we tried to rake to the sides or to a new area before next load was dumped so they would be buried, though every once in a while there is one at the surface. Handraked, then backdragged with loader to try to grade it after dumping & spreading. Haven’t rolled it, but compacted about half (3 loads) by driving over it with fully loaded 18-yd dump truck the next day, The other half (on hill) was just backdragged and run over with empty truck.

    Can we put T&C over this? My dad has the “millings” driveway and it seemed to wear pretty well but I want to spray hot asphalt on to bind it, would also like to have stone for traction and for looks, don’t want to have to seal “blacktop” every year and deal with cracks, potholes, etc. Thanks

  256. JIMMY DOUGHERTY tracked back:

    Yes , try Slender paving or asphalt im not sure how they list their company name . They are a family owned business ! And have been in Spokane for several years that I personaly know of . Good Luck ! ( my name is Jimmy Dougherty ) If they ask how you contacted them. jbsconstruction .com

  257. Janet tracked back:

    Just a quick follow-up note: We had our tar and chip driveway put in this June and we love it. The look is perfect for our beach house. We used Larry Torti paving (in RI) and he and his crew did a wonderful job. We couldn’t be happier. Several neighbors want the same done to their driveways now. Catches on, doesn’t it? Many thanks to all of you who helped me with my decision making process – especially you, Gabe.

  258. 2AJsMama tracked back:

    My dad just told me I was “crazy” if I wanted to put stone over the millings, it would all get pulled up by a plow. Like I said we always used a snow blower on our Larry Torti driveway. I know people have said you can plow a T&C driveway but is that several layers of spray asphalt and stone? If we put hot (polymerized?) asphalt on top of the millings and roll peastone into it, will it stay or will it all come off in a year (like last winter!) or 2 of plowing?

  259. carol davis tracked back:

    Need to find a contractor in Maine who can do a driveway.

  260. b g williams asphalt tracked back:

    we have our buisness in waxahachie tx for 42 years. you must have good equipment for chip @ seal. we do city and county roads as well as small jobs, our number is 903 654 3642 it is very important to have a good base and most jobs do a two coats. we also put in cement to stablized the base. we have a broom and can sweep the excess rock off as soon as the job is finished. Talk to your local tx dot man in your area, if you feel you may be taken and he will answer all your questions , and maybe he will stop by when you are having it done. Get your TX Dot specs. make sure your contractors have insurance as well as workmans comp, do not be sued for accidents on your property

  261. This is all very interesting. I’ve just had my driveway T&C’d today. Rural setting on a gravel road & my gravel driveway was laid 4 years ago. 5,000 sf for $3,500 seemed like a pretty good deal to me and they’ve made a fairly neat & tidy job of it. I would hate the look of a blacktop drive in this location and, from what I’ve read, T&C seems like the right choice.

  262. Jason Myers tracked back:

    hey guys we are a chip seal contractor in NC. We work across the south east states primarily government contracts we lay 250 to 500 mile of chip seal annually with 3 crews. However we do some privaet work as well. If anyone has any questions about materials used, best practices or would like to learn about chip seal call 336 463-5572 or email.

  263. Brian tracked back:

    Tar and chip may be fine on a flat, level driveway in an area of the country where you don’t need to run a snow plow over it a dozen times each winter. I have a 550′ gravel driveway with a crushed gravel finish with two fairly steep grades in it – lower cost to install, easy and dirt cheap to repair. I have a box blade on my tractor and regrade the driveway once or twice a year. It’s 8 years old and still in good shape.

  264. Jim Ptak tracked back:

    Can someone posts some cost per square foot comparison estimates of crushed rock vs. Tar and chip? I am considering purchasing some land in Alabama and would need to put some infrastructure in (road, water, electric, etc…) I have never done anything like this and am trying to figure out how much the land is going to cost in total once I add the infrastructure. I will need about 3000 feet of road according to my estimate. The land is relatively flat and does not appear to have any drainage issues. If anyone can just ball park something it would be greatly appreciated. Love the article by the way. I had never heard of Tar and Chip before this.

  265. Jonathan tracked back:

    I’m in western Pennsylvania and am currently having a couple thousand feet of driveway paved this way by a questionable company for just over a buck a square foot. This is with minimal surface preparation—a quick smoothing out the existing gravel driveway with a Bobcat. The finished product looks reasonable, but as a layperson my main concern is whether or not they’re being too stingy with the tar. I gather there are other concerns about type of tar/oil. So durability and longevity are certainly in question. At least they are doing two layers. I may report back after some time goes by.

    @Jim Ptak: Material cost for rock around here is $10-$20 per yard delivered, so it’s pretty easy to calculate the cost for a given depth. The people I’ve used include tailgate service, so no extra cost for spreading. For me an initial layer of 3-inch limestone followed later by a crushed-rock type layer has worked very well. Come to think of it, you’ll need this kind of prep anyway as a decent base for your tar and chip. So the question is whether it’s worth the extra $1 (+/-) per square foot to do less maintenance versus rock-only. Of course you should do more research…

  266. Johnathan , I must have missed something ! You say this company is questionable ? Well…… why did you hire them ? As I say perhaps I missed something in youre question . It seems to me you did not do youre homework , and to that same point in most contracts we normaly write the specs . for each job . Ie; The amount of liquid asphalt that is to be applied per sq. yrd. . The type of asphalt ( emulsion , cut back ect . ) and while almost any type of spray applied delivery system will work , a metered heater equipted truck type is gerenaly prefered . The type of cover stone ( crusher , washed stone or washed graded pea gravel ect ) As to preperation , you seemed to indicate that youre drive was not new . So im going out on a limb , but you probably had a good base . Other wise the contractor would have sold you a new base ! ( please remember , we contractors make our money by doing more work on a job , not by doing less ! ) To be honest it sounds to me that you are trying to micro – manage this project ! As to the mininal preperation , it must nt have needed it . Other wise youre contractor would have recomended it ! He or She sounds like a honest company ( based on what you said in youre e – mail ) and are just trying to save you money ! Im a contractor in S. Texas And this is our primary business , and from what I see I believe you are getting a pretty good job for youre money ! We charge by the sq. yrd. and our rate is approx. 1.50 per. sq ft . When you divide it by 9 sq. ft. ( when you stop to consider the cost of diesel , liquid asphalt , 3 or more vehicles 4 experinced laborers ect. ) It sounds to me you are getting a good job at a reasonable ( actually cheap ! ) price ! And please dont forget all contractors are FOR A FOR PROFIT BUSINESS . i KNOW THATS A DIRTY WORD THESE DAYS !!!! Thank you Lord and our Founding Fathers !

  267. Oh and lest I forget , thank you sponsers of this site ! I believe you are doing all of us ( contractors and consumers a like ) A great service ! you help dispell rumors and misunderstandings about the nature of the oldest method of paving known to man . Recently , I read a article about finding what appears to be chip and seal found in Roman times ! ( and im betting mixed in the liquid asphalt were a few Christians as well !!! ) We take that last part for granted ! Thank you again , It must be expensive to maintain this site . Yet ive never been asked for a thin dime !

  268. Jonathan tracked back:

    @Jimmy Dougherty: Thanks for your comments. I wasn’t actually asking questions, just reporting on my experience. I’ll be the first to acknowledge that I’ve done this bass-ackwards, doing my research during and after the job, and defying any and all sensible advice about hiring a contractor (spur-of-the-moment decision, virtually no paperwork, paying a large chunk in cash, etc.). The company involved is questionable because of the tactics they use to get the jobs, i.e. get their feet in the door by telling you they have extra tar from another job and will give you a great price to use it up. There was also an attempt at game-playing w/respect to layers/courses, as if one combined layer of tar and gravel could somehow be considered two. Basically I trust these guys about as far as I could throw their tri-axle, and I watched them closely over the three days it took them to finish. BTW, they are using crs2; I forget the grade of limestone, but it looks just like the local township roads.

    I know I have a decent base because I put it there. I suspect these guys might put the stuff over dirt if you let them. No need to be defensive with me about earning money. There were about ten guys and a lot of expensive equipment tied up for those three days. As I said, my only concern now is how the driveway will hold up over time. If it lasts then I got a great deal, if not then I have only myself to blame…

  269. Great website! Getting this information out can really save people a lot of money, especially since asphalt and concrete prices are rising all the time. Our company, Williams Brothers Paving, has been doing tar and chip (or chipseal as we call it) for over 30 years in Central Texas. We have experience with different stone material and different tars. We also have more information at Keep up the good work!

  270. Jack Johansen tracked back:

    Jason Myers, id like to know where you lay 250-500 miles of chipseal in north carolina anually? Does Seaco have a tank farm just for you all?

  271. Michael tracked back:

    I live in East TN with up to a 30% grade on my gravel driveway with 4 switchbacks. Does chip & tar “mud up” in the spring after snow melts? Can it even be applied on my steep grade? Will my tires kick up the tar and gravel while I try to get up my drive? What about using snow chains- will it rip up the tar?

  272. Kyle tracked back:

    I’m looking for a contractor in California that does tar and chip driveways.

  273. Vera tracked back:

    We are thinking about purchasing a home in Farmington Hills Michigan but there’s only 1 problem…we need to have a driveway installed that will go up a hill to the front door of the house. There’s currently an asphalt driveway from the street to the garage which is actually the basement of the house (approx 300ft long) We would need to branch off this driveway & go up a hill to the front entrance of the home. (I home care my Father and Mother-in-Law, both are in wheelchairs and can’t do stairs). I can’t seem to find a contractor in Southeast Michigan that knows what I’m talking about. I’ve called it tar & chip, chip & seal, chip seal all I hear is crickets…Maybe I need to call it something else in these parts? Any help or referrals would be appreciated!

    Take Care & thanks for maintaining this site! :o)

  274. Jason Myers tracked back:

    Hello Jack your question about where in North Carolina we lay that amount is a good question we wish NCDOT would let that amount for contract. We also work in South Carolina for SCDOT and some SC counties as well as Vdot. We have actually had contracts with SCDOT with more than 100 miles in a single contract. However recently due to many circumstances we are lucky to have 100 miles total. And Seaco is not the only supplier out there, you have Asphalt Emulsions(slurry pavers), Hammaker East and a few others.

    Thank You

  275. Vera, try Johnny Burke, Im not sure of his company name. He is a friend of mine . But more over he has a lot of experince in chip and seal paving methods. And has a very good reputation in SE Michigan. He is currently in Killeen, Tx. I think he goes home in late April or May. His wife is under going Kemo in Temple, tx. If you will e mail me youre info I will foward it to him. The next time I hear from him. or Thanks , Jimmy D.

  276. R.Main tracked back:

    It sounds like it’s been several years since you had this driveway installed (2006). How’s it holding up now, 6 years later?

  277. Ron [author of post] tracked back:

    It sounds like it’s been several years since you had this driveway installed (2006). How’s it holding up now, 6 years later?

    Thanks for asking! There are some weeds cracking through the surface; I think it’s time to re-do it. I’m going to call Hup & Sons paving again and look into it. Will update this page when there’s news.

  278. arlene tracked back:

    Help, I need a tar and chip contractor for Big Bear CA

  279. Rick tracked back:

    I’m looking for a contractor in NE PA that does tar & chip driveways.

  280. jc moseley, i have been serving the tennessee,alabama,and kentucky area tar and chipping driveways parkinglots roads call (615)293-2660 for free estimate.

  281. Looking for a oaving contractor who does tar and chip in the northern New Jersey area. Essex county and surrounds.

  282. My name is Ken Ferguson and I own an company called the Road Doctor. We are a family business and specialize in providing quality dependable service at affordable prices in the areas of Hot Oil & Chip, Asphalt Paving, Asphalt Sealcoating & Concrete. We are located in Central Illinois but travel throughout much of the U.S. We are fully insured and have refrences upon request. You can reach us at 217-979-9000 or email us at

  283. Claudia tracked back:

    I’m located near Burlington, Vt and just had my driveway asphalted because it was constantly washed out when it rained hard. I don’t like the asphalt look and would love to have it chip sealed, however my contractor told me there are no companies in Vermont that do that procedure. I was wondering if there is anyone in the neighboring states that could help me?

  284. Greg tracked back:

    Hi Claudia … I live in Texas but …. when someone says
    …..there are no companies in XXXXX that do that procedure……
    I have to think BS…I bet if you look hard enough you will find a company and if you look really hard you will find a great company…good luck…Greg

  285. ChuckD tracked back:

    Claudia, I don’t know if this will be much help, but I’m just outside Albany (NY) and had a 400′ driveway changed from gravel to asphalt by Harbour Roads. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them. I felt they did an outstanding job. We had planned at the time to have them also chip seal it but since have had other more pressing projects we needed to address so it remains just a rough asphalt. But it’s held up very well over the past three years with all manner of heavy equipment driving on it.

    I see by their website they service a 100 mile radius around the Capital District so you may be out of range. But knowing their attitude they would probably try to help in some fashion.

    I would also add that the driveway has lost its “blackness” and is now a more relaxed gray which is great because I think had the same concerns as you. Blacktop driveways are a dime a dozen and we wanted something different. Ours is far from black and has a well-textured surface for when the weather gets rough (something I’m sure you know about).


  286. Dick Hummer tracked back:

    Macadam paving/ bituminous surface treatments, done right, meets and exceeds in some ways HMA (hot mixed asphalt)… It is not recommended for anyone with kids that will use the driveway as a play area… It provides a great custom look, offers great winter traction, since it is a menbrane sealer. it provides the flexiblity that can heal cracks in the warmer months… In my humble opinion, no greater paving systems exists… We have been using this system for 60 years with total customer satisfaction… Our Company has been in business for 60 years… My company HUMMER CONTRACTING, LLC. has been in business for 60 years and has done thousands of these jobs, we have many pictures and references, we offer free estimates and informative suggestions and stone samples… Our operating radius includes most of New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania. Call us for a free estimate… Dick Hummer 908/339-1434 (cell) or 908/ 859-1530; E-mail

  287. Dick Hummer tracked back:


  288. Dick Hummer tracked back:


  289. Prodigalcat tracked back:

    I’m considering a Macadam/Tar and Chip driveway. I prefer the look of it and it seems, from reading other posts, that it’s less expensive than an asphalt driveway. I live in Southern New England. In the next few weeks I’ll be asking local paving companies for estimates. What is the current approximate per square foot cost of such a driveway? Our driveway is very long with a moderate slope down from the top of the driveway to the house. The driveway was built 15 years ago with, I think, 6″ to 8″ of recycled asphalt. Since then we have had the driveway regraded twice to eliminate the bump down the middle, created several ‘berms’ (like gentle speed bumps) to control rain water running down to the house and three times added 3″-5″ of new gravel all of which seems to have settled in and left a dusty or muddy drive depending on the season. From that description can you tell me what sort of preparation we might need?
    When I looked into doing this several years ago the contractors I spoke with described different preparation and different processes for the final driveway….and this time I would like to compare ‘apples to apples’ so to speak.
    I’d like a neat appearance that will last so I’m considering an iron edge along most of the driveway and perhaps belgian pavers on the edges in the portion close to the house. What is the customary cost of installing those?
    Perhaps I’m not a good negotiator but it seems the estimates I get and the prices I pay are always more than my friends for everything from lawn mowing to painting.
    Thank you in advance for any responses!

  290. Dick Hummer tracked back:

    Call me on the phone and I will advise you, I am a contractor doing this work for 60 years. 908/339-1434 (cell)

  291. Dick Hummer tracked back:

    Ron: How about contacting me for a quote, I am in your area and would like very much to quote on your requirements… Call me for a second opinion… Dick Hummer…

  292. Martin: Your are in Essex County, I am in Warren County, but I feel I can service yours needs very competively… Please contact me either by e-mail or phone… I do a lot of my work through landscape architects and have connections that will help you with total site planning, if needed… Mr name is Dick Hummer/ HUMMER CONTRACTING, LLC., 908/339-1434 (cell) or e/mail me at… I eat, sleep and live tar and chip work 24 hours a day and have done so for 60 years, I will welcome your call…

  293. Janet: I am too far away to service your paving needs, but I would welcome your call so that I might advise you on your paving needs, I am a frequent visitor of Newport and love your state… I think you may be getting bad advice, call me 908/339-1434 and I will try to help if I am not too late… There is a Contractor up your way by the name of Torti, have you tried him… If you like you can e/mail me at … Dick Hummer

  294. Jonathan: You question is if your Bituminous surface treatment (2 seal coats) were applied heavy enough… If you were present during the application of the juice, it should shine like a mirror behind the tar truck, if there are any streaks, like a drilled wheat field, your application is too light… Dick Hummer

  295. To: AJ’sMamma: Assuming your millings are graded and compacted to a true and even finish, you are in good shape for oil and chips… If you have a narrow driveway with a high crown or bumps and projections, obviously the plow is going to ride hard on those high spots and may dislodge a few pebbles… Never plow with any blade with down pressure, like a bulldozer, road grader or front end loader would have… Stick to your light trucks with gravity snow plows, if the blade has runners that will keep the blade an inch higher than the road metal, that is perfect… I would try to get grade MC-3000 asphalt to apply direct to the millings, that is very hard to get and may only be available early in the year or not at all where ever you are… That is a cut back asphalt, the light oil content will reactivate the asphaltic cement in the millings creating a fabulous surface… I would always use two coats on a new installation… CRS-2P is the second choice for liquid asphalt, it has a polymer additive that is a big help… The millings will sponge up extra asphalt, go with a heavy first coat .5 gallons per square yard minimum to .7 gallons maximum… Second coat use 4/10th to 1/2 gallon… Don’t bury the oil on the first coat, you need to see some black, like a salt and pepper finish, this assures that the second coat will be well integrated and will not be peeled off… 20 Lbs sq. yard is about right.
    second coat cover with about 25 pounds sq. yard… Dick Hummer… I cover NJ and Eastern Pa.

  296. Prodigicat… Where are you in Southern New England… It sounds like you have adequate base thickness and that is so important with any form of flexible pavement… As far as a steel form edge, that will add considerable cost to your project and will be almost totally hidden… They are nice, but even if your base edges are crooked, the “tar truck” can follow a straight, even line… Any stone outside of that line will remain just loose stone leaving you with a well defined paved edge… It is important to back up your paved edges with top soil… Sod should guard against wash outs along the tidy edges… You have to stop with your paved edge somewhere… If you use steel formed edges it will not stop wash outs… Belgium blocks are great but are quite pricey… My experience is that a new Macadam job, with 3 coats of oil, a couple inches of new, clean stone penetrated with a heavy coat of oil, chipped and then followed by 2 seal coats (+/- 2.5 inches thick when done) – will cost you the same price as hot mixed asphalt (HMA), mostly because it is a lot more involved… Often more costly, it has a lot to offer, better traction, seamless construction, ability to heal itself, more crack resistance, much lower maintenance cost, choice of color and other attributes… Call me, I will help all I can… 908/339-1434 Dick Hummer…

  297. Tom McG tracked back:

    Great site for driveway info! We are looking to replace a gravel driveway with tar and chip. We had our old asphalt driveway replaced with gravel about 2 years ago. Perhaps the installation was not done correctly, but within a few months, the gravel driveway was overrun with weeds. So in order to avoid this and to maintain the country gravel look, we are considering tar and chip. We live in Columbia County, NY (about 45 min south of Albany). Can anyone recommend good contractors in this area? Thanks for any help.

  298. ChuckD tracked back:

    Tom McG,
    See my reply above to Claudia on June 13th, 2012.


  299. marcia minott tracked back:

    I live in Noth Andover MA and have been looking for years for someone to do a tar and chip driveway for me. Does anyone have a name for me?

  300. b g williams tracked back:

    i have been doing chip&seal for over 43 yrs, we do sub=divisions and state & county roads. the key to chip & seal is the same for all asphalt. have a good compacted base, sweep all loose dirt and base. i recommend putting one layer, roll and pack, sweep, apply second coat ,roll and let set for app 2 yrs and make repairs if any and then you can think about a 3rd coat if needed. if you have a weakness put in some portland cement to stablize. all of this crap youre hearing from these contractor half of them dont have the equipment or knowlege of knowing. Talk to your state engineer if you want the truth. i have never heard of .7 gal of asphalt to the sq yd. sounds like a rip off. I am in Texas call me at 903 654 3642. i am chipping for city of dallas tx now , 23 miles

  301. To Tom McG: Columia County, N.Y. There is a very prominent producer of paving grade asphalt emulsions to NY DOT specs., they produce 21 million gallons per year in NY… They have locations at TONAWANDA; LYONS; ALLEGANY; JAMESVILLE; CELORAN; and CANDOR… They are a division of Barrett, known as Midland Asphalt… If any of those locations are in your neck of the woods, give them a call and I am sure they will be able to put you into touch with someone that can supply your needs… I am 175 miles from you, transporting equipment to and from your site would run at least $1,500 my cost and would be prohibitive… If that doesn’t work out for you, call me… Best of luck…

  302. To BG Williams: Always nice hearing from a fellow squirt jockey with wiskers almost as long as mine… Macadam work in our neck of the woods has been on the decline in recent years with HMA being the most commonly used paving product in our urban areas… I do HMA also… I totally agree that one of the problems has been, with Macadam on the decline, there are just a few little HMA driveway guys that attempt to do a Mcadam job once or twice a year and are poorly equipped and lack the knowledge to do Macadam…
    I have been at it for 60 years now, I regret that with the current day high cost of juice, that we no longer get to bid on penetration-macadam… In the old days we would apply 2.5 gallons of OA-4, now called AC-20 per square yard, this asphaltic cement was applied at 350 degrees… Then we applied two seal coats (called Armor coats)… This was a 3 inch thick wearing surface… The asphalt cost us 7.5 cents a gallon and we charged 13.5 cents per gallon for 30 years… We laid a million gallons a year, Those were the days… Glad you can still find road work in your area… We spec most of our work out according to PEN DOT Form 408…Pa. still uses a lot of Macadam in the rural areas…


  304. John tracked back:

    Has anyone experienced bring tar marks in thier house from walking on a tar and gravel driveway?

  305. Dick Hummer tracked back:

    I do tar and chip every day, asphalt bleeding, is somewhat a thing of the past with modern methods and materials, but it does happen once in a blue moon and it is generally the fault of the Contractor… I need to know if there is evidence of asphalt bleeding to the surface in a few small areas or whether it is happening to the entire job…
    Covering the bleeding with more stone generally helps, sometimes a small amount of stone dust will take care of the bleeding… Please call me and I will try and offer some
    more suggestions… Meanwhile, put co-co mats in front of all the doors and wipe off all stone particles that may track in, this sometimes will help when there is a very miner amount of tracking… My cell phone number is 908/339-1434, my name is Dick, call me at your convience…

  306. John: To remove small amounts of asphalt, use a a rag dipped in kerosene or #2 fuel oil or any type of petroleum, use enough to dilute the asphalt and avoid hard rubbing… The asphalt may have picked up some small grit that will mar your surface with hard rubbing…
    Avoid using naptha, lighter fluid, gasoline or anything volital… Kerosene will safely remove asphalt from any surface including your car… You could try Fels-Naptha, if you have it, that may also work…

  307. TMcg tracked back:

    Thanks Dick and Claudia,

    I will start calling around this week and post how it goes.

  308. To BJ Williams: When we did the old Township “dirt roads”. as they were called, we would grade and roll the existing base aggregate, then prime it with .4 gallons of MC-70
    cut back asphalt… We would allow that to soak in for a half hour, sometimes over night…
    Then we would apply about 25 pounds of 3/8 inch stone… Then shoot it with .4 gallons
    of CRS-2P (or RC-800 cut back, no longer allowed/ air polution); again covering with 25 pounds of 3/8 inch stone… Rolled and drag broomed on both coats… Then after 30 days
    of use, we power broom the road and apply .35 gaollons of CRS-2P or in the old days we used RC-250 or RC-800… Then the Township would skip 5 to 10 years before applying an additional seal coat… I am always asked if it is safe to snow plow Macadam, how in the world could you find Macadam that sees more snow plowing than Township roads… When we have 2 inches of snow, we apply chemicals, then plow down to bare pavement…

  309. BJ… Where are you located in relation to Amarillo Texas, I got a call from a squirt jockey that has a Rosco distributor that was in a fire, he has 2000 gallons of CRS-2P on board, he is willing to give the load away just to clean out his tank… The distributor was heavily
    damaged by fire, he has heated the juice to 175 degrees and just wants to get rid of it… It’s worth $6,000 if you can use it and he will gladly give it to you… If interested, call me and I will pass along the mans phone number… Dick Hummer 908/339-1434

  310. Timothy Lyon tracked back:

    I live in Sycamore, IL and would like to replace my old asphalt drive with chip and seal. There is a local contractor, but they have refused to contact me in over 2 years of trying. Any other contracters interested or recommended?

  311. My name is Ken Ferguson and I own an asphalt paving company called the Road Doctor here in central Illinois. We do hot oil & chip as well as asphalt paving and asphalt sealcoating and I would be more than happy to give you a bid on doing chip & seal on your driveway as we travel throughout the state of Illinois and much of the U.S. Give me a call anytime at 217-979-9000 or you can reach me on my cell at 217-620-6528. Keep in mind that you only have about 3 to 4 more weeks of decent weather this year in which to do this in.

  312. Dave Slater tracked back:

    What caught my attention was rain damage to a tar and chip driveway.

    I read thru the many comments and didnt notice anyone saying first you have to fix the water problem. That is the BIG issue. There are some interesting web sites that discuss how to control water on your property.

    So after fixing the water problem….

    I have had good luck maintaining my driveway myself. I do it about every time the state tar&chips the street my driveway connects. They raise the street a couple inches with a sqare edge bump across my driveway. I use tar (roof and foundation coating) and gravel chips from a local supplier. A coffee can screwed to a wooden pole serves well to dribble the tar along the raised edge of the road and on my driveway for about 6 inches. Then a layer of gravel is sprinkled over the tar. Following a second application of tar and chips I compact the chips a well as possible using my lawn tractor or car as a roller.

    Deep holes tend to gather the tar and the tar comes to the surface as the chips sink down. These small patches of tar bleed through are again sprinkled with chips and re-compacted. This is repeated until bleed through stops.

    I have not had major washout but suggest only filling the hole a couple inches at a time with a day or two between applications.

    A leaf blower is a great tool for removing dust, dirt, and debris from holes and the driveway base. Once you remove the chips and loose stuff from your driveway it is easy to spread the tar and follow with chips. Note that you do need a good base and absolutely must control water movement on and around your dirveway.

    Good Luck, You can do it.

    later, slater

  313. I am a third generation paving contractor. Asphalt, concrete, and tar & chip are only as good as the sub-base they are installed over. Proper grading, slope, and ditching are required te prevent erosion of all three surfaces. Tar & chip has the most flexibility and forgiveness of the three. The other factor of a good or bad job is the amount of layers, and the size of aggregate used in the installation process. Typically you want to start with a one inch stone size. After a layer of tar is applied a 1/2″ to 3/4″ rock should be installed. Then a second layer of tar. Then a layer 1/4″ to 1/2″ should be installed. The more layers installed the longer the life of you driveway or road will last. The finer the aggregate on the final layer the smoother the finish will be. Also remember that each layer should be compacted. Uniform PavingLLC. Has two locations one in NC. The other located in Ga. Please call us at 828-361-5343 or 678-880-9586 if you have any questions we could help you with.

  314. This is Leonard with UniformPavingLLC we service North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, and Florida. We have been tar & chipping since 1957! Please contact us via email at

  315. i wouldnt worry about the job, if i needed it done. get the contractor to give you a contract, call his insurance company and have your name added to his policy as the insured. Should the job not have been done right ,call the insurance company and file a claim. The insurance company will come and look and tell him to fix it or they will have it done. All of this crap on how long you have been in buisness has nothing to do with the job.If he told you the base is not right , then it should be stated. no warranty should be in there if he didnt give a warranty. If you accepted his bid the way you agreed, you shouldnt have a complaint

  316. J. Williams tracked back:

    I have a rock/gravel/dirt driveway (approx 350′) and to prevent the snowblower from picking up rocks and doing damage to the blower I have to raise the chute up about 2″ above ground level. But after a while of driving on the 2″ layer of snow it becomes so packed in that I now have a driveway of ice and it’s a bear to drive on (slight uphill). It’s really fun when it starts to warm up and now there is a coating of water on the ice.

    My question is, with a chip seal surface, will I be able to lower the blower chute so I don’t have a thick layer of snow left behind or would the surface be too rough? Everyone with an asphalt driveway is snow/ice free after a slight warming.

  317. @J. Williams- yes you can operate a snow blower all the way to the surface of chipseal. After your chipseal system has been installed, I recommend to blow or sweep the loose aggregate off the surface of the chipseal pavement. Feel free to call Uniform Paving llc. For a free estimate.

  318. Lisa tracked back:

    I’m looking for a contractor to chip seal my mcadam driveway that was installed about 8 years ago. We have noticed a lot of cracks and some “alligatoring” in certain areas. We had the driveway sealed last fall for the first time and were disappointed with how slippery the driveway is now and the overall look. The driveway is flat at the top near the garage and does slope downward towards the main road. Will chip seal work on a driveway with a slope? We live on the shoreline in CT and really like the look of chip seal.

  319. Timothy Kilgore tracked back:

    Looking for a quote and contractor in NC for a Tar and Chip Driveway near Raleigh area we have a gravel Driveway just now

  320. Timothy Lyon tracked back:

    Apparently no one has a tar chip driveway anymore because there is no such as a reliable paving contracter who does them. This situation is the most frustrating experience I have ever had. You would think I was asking for someone to sell their first born from the lack of response. No wonder businesses are in trouble in this country – customer service is a joke.

  321. If you need a road chip sealed, we can travel to your area and install a chip seal road for you.

  322. Dick Hummer tracked back:

    To Lisa: Where are you in Connecticut, I am currently in touch with a person who has found a good contractor in Connecticut that does tar and chip… I am trying to stay within a 100 mile radius because of economics… I would love to come up there to work it sounds like there is lots of work there… Contact me, perhaps I can help… Dick Hummer

  323. Lucille tracked back:

    I am interested in Tar & Chip for my driveway. I live on a farm in southern West Virginia. Do you know of anyone in my area that does this? I have about 1/4 mile of driveway.

  324. unhappy tracked back:

    Wish I had seen this blog a year ago. CH Paving totally robbed me by doing a horrible job on my driveway.

  325. To “Unhappy”: I cover most of North Jersey and several Eastern Counties of Pa. Call me if you like and we can come out and offer some informative suggestions, there is no charge… Maybe your job can be doctored up… I have a number of oil and chip jobs coming up as well as HMA jobs, maybe I can tie you in with one of my jobs… Right now I have jobs in progress in Basking Ridge, Oldwick, Mendham Pittstown, Washington NJ, Phillipsburg and Bath Pa, with more work coming in every day… My cell phone is 908/339-1434… I want to help…

  326. Wendy Howes tracked back:

    This site has been very helpful. Thanks for keeping it going! I have been unable to find someone to chip seal my driveway in western Maine. Is there anyone out there?
    Many thanks for any suggestions.

  327. Amanda tracked back:

    I live in Des Moines, Iowa. I currently have a tar and chip driveway, but the company I used offered very few options in gravel choices (gray or riverstone was all they had) and they got tar all over my house and on my decorative concrete. I’m unlikely to use them again when I have it re-done, and I would like to use gravel with much warmer tones. I can be contacted at if you do tar and chip for the Greater Des Moines area or central Iowa. I’d be very interested in seeing your work.

  328. Ann C tracked back:

    I am interested in a tar & chip driveway for my 1840’s house in NJ. There is an existing driveway that we want to redo & we want to extend it to include an area to turn. I saw a post that said snow blowers cannot be used on tar & chip. Is this true?

  329. Ms. Ann: I am a dyed in the wool Macadam contractor from Phillipsburg, New Jersey, I travel up to 100 miles from here to ply my trade; beyond that point the cost becomes prohibitive. I have been doing this work for 60 years and there is still a limited market for what we do. Call me, we will give you our opinion on whether or not your situation lends itself to tar and chip over the phone. We offer free estimates and informative suggestions. Give me a call so we can chat, my cell number is 908.339.1434, best time is 8 am to 8 pm. Regards, Dick Hummer/ Hummer Contracting, LLC I want to add that snow removal should not be a problem with reasonable care.

  330. denise tracked back:

    I am looking for someone in our area or nearby to replace our ugly blacktop driveway with tar and chip. I can’t find anyone!! I live in Binghamton NY. Can anyone help me find a reputable company that can do this? I’m striking out online! Thanks

  331. Denise: I try and limit my work to 100 miles of Phillipsburg, New Jersey… I can cover your job if it is a larger driveway. I have to transport equipment and that runs a dollar a mile each way for fuel for 3 trucks. To mobilize your job for just the fuel cost, I am looking at $600, approximately… I have some recently completed up scale estates in the central Jersey area that are not yet posted on my site, in addition to what is currently shown… I can send you pictures if you like. I can provide stone from various sources to match almost any color scheme. Feel free to call me for informative suggestions, I love what I do and would be pleased to assist you… Best regards, Dick Hummer, call my cell
    phone 908/3391434…

  332. Michael tracked back:

    Looking to get tar and chip in east brunswick nj area. Does anyone have any experience with contractors here?

  333. Dick Hummer tracked back:

    Sir Michael: I would be more than pleased to come down and quote you on your driveway. Please contact me on my cell phone to work out a suitable time, generally a weekend works well for me. This week end is shot, next week end I may be in Wisconsin.
    If you are home during the week, I may be able to get away to see you. Call me and we can chat. 908/339-1434 (cell)

  334. Hello please check out our blog on tar and chip paving also at

  335. carol davis tracked back:

    Looking for a contractor to do an asphalt and chip seal driveway in Southern Maine.

  336. Dick, Thank you for the advice on the load of crs2 p that was shocked. Very good advice you helped a lot. Thanks again!

  337. Dick Hummer tracked back:

    Thank you Harry, we had a pleasant conversation… The good news is there are new squirt Contractors starting up, I visited one in the Green Bay, Wisc. area last month, I am in frequent contact with a new outfit starting up in Michigan, they are making an investment in new, specialized equipment. I have been talking with a homeowner in Mass. that located a local Contractor willing to do their work. We discussed an unusual blend of Asphaltic cement and cold patch oil that he custom blends for squirt work… It will work well if he gets his percentages right with the constituents. I have done that, but much prefer a manufactured emulsion with a DOT pedigree… I will look around southern Maine… A good place to start would be to contact a local Hot Mixed Asphalt plant of local stone quarry and ask if the know of any contractors that oil and chip local Township roads, if the do, give them a call and see if they will do a driveway… They will sometimes squeeze in a private driveway while in your area doing Township work…

  338. Dick Hummer tracked back:

    To the Gentleman buying the oil and chip job where the Contractor is custom blending Asphaltic cement diluted with grade MC-250 from a hot mix asphalt plant. I have done this and it is tricky. You need enough AC to have the body you need and enough MC-250 to soften the blend enough to not float the stone chips. Too much AC and the stone chips falling on the oil has an echo like falling on a tin roof and will quickly ravel off the road surface and leave you with a “fat surface”. Too little AC with too much MC-250 will tend to stay soft and bleed… Go see some of the jobs he has done and talk with his customers, it can work well but it takes practice and a measure of luck… Stay with CRS-2 or CRS-2P emulsion if at all possible and use good clean quality 3/8 inch size stone chips and get the oil covered as fast as possible, no more than 5 minutes… Hope tis helps…

  339. I have a long driveway that is sloped… Currently gravel For most and then paved at the bottom of the slope… It Has been seriously eroded from water flow down the driveway… I have read that tar and chip is not recommended for sloped driveways because of erosion. I need a new driveway but hate the thought of paving 1. because of the expense of getting an asphalt driveway on such a long stretch… And 2. Because of better traction on gravel during the winter months when the driveway is icy… I am so relieved when I get passed the paving and reach the gravel because I stop slipping and can make it up to my house… Any thoughts on the best surface for traction and preventing erosion?

  340. Dave drake tracked back:

    I live in Traverse City Michigan. And I have a 900′ long driveway that is asphalt. And I’m looking to have it tar and chiped over the top. I’m looking for someone in this area that does that type of work if anyone knows the name and number of that company

  341. Anyone know of a good tar & chip driveway company that does work in Ulster County, New York? I’m roughly 30 miles west of Kingston.

  342. denise kellett tracked back:

    We live in NY and have had NO luck finding anyone who knows anything about tar and chip. And the out of state companies that do know how are not willing to come here or help us find anyone . We have been trying since January! We did however find an asphalt company that is willing to do this:

    he will put down 2 inches of asphalt. We found landscaping pea gravel that we will buy by the yard. We,(along with able bodied helpers) and his crew will hand throw 7 yards of the pea gravel into the hot asphalt. They will roll it and set it in the asphalt.
    We saw this done while on vacation in new jersey last week. It looks natural and beautiful. We can not get it done until mid sept. We will send you pictures if you like! Hope this helps, good luck finding someone to tar and chip…..its not easy……denise

  343. Karen tracked back:

    Denise, where in NY are you?
    For Tar and chip referral in Westchester County, NY; Lawrence DeLaurentis. Website: Did my driveway couple of years back and it’s still perfect.

  344. Dick Hummer tracked back:

    Denise Kellert: It sounds like you plan to lay 2 inches of Hot Mixed Asphalt (HMA) and attempt to seed it with pea gravel. That is a very bad idea, if in fact, that is your plan. HMA is very cohesive (sticks to itself), but is a VERY POOR adhesive, that is why your DOT requires a liquid asphalt “tack coat” under a new HMA paving job. HMA Top contains about 6% asphaltic cement, which is mixed hot and is just enough to coat the constituent ingredients. Your plan is very flawed, some of the pea gravel will indent in the interstices, but will quickly ravel loose with traffic, leaving you with loose gravel on top of HMA. As it rolls around under traffic it grinds away and has an abrasive action. BAD IDEA.
    Tar and chip is the only way to go, keep looking, you will find someone to do you a nice job.
    Very best of luck, Dick Hummer

  345. We are in Oregon and are licensed in
    Washington also we have been chip sealing
    Since 1979 Bretthauer Road Oil

  346. Ken Beeby tracked back:

    I live near the coast in Plymouth County MA and am looking for an experienced tar & chip contractor to pave my residential driveway. Can you help?

  347. Philip Nevin tracked back:

    Great site, but I can not find an answer to my question.

    I’m looking for a way to repair cracks in my oil and stone drive. DIY. Our drive went in in 1996 when we built. The drive is 1/4 mile and right up a drumlin in western NY.

    The base was 18″ of creak run. The we had it topped with gravel for the first year to let it completely settle. Had to make some drainage corrections, but it has been easy.

    Had hot oil and stone put on, and everyone thinks it’s paved!! We have had it re coated by the contractor twice. I plow it myself using an ATV and moose plow. No damage at all.

    I can get small gravel at the town transfer station, and I usually get it in 5 galloon pails. It is washed gravel; very little stone dust. What can I use as a base? Driveway sealer? I can then compact it with our large lawn tractor.

  348. Dick Hummer tracked back:

    Sir Phillip: Black sealers are cosmetic treatments and will not adhere to stone and therefore is useless in tar and chip work. You need grade CRS-2, which is an emulsion and most likely what your Contractor applied. Or MC-250, which is not an emulsion and is used to manufacture stock pile cold patch. Either of these liquids should suffice, both require a moderate amount of heat (about 165 degrees). The emulsion is very safe, the MC-250 is cut back with kerosene and can catch on fire if you don’t handle it properly. The CRS-250 can only be acquired from the squirt jockey that oiled your driveway. The MC-250 from a Hot Mixed Asphalt manufacturing plant at certain times. You should be doing complete seal coats every 10 years AFTER YOU HAVE FIRST ESTABLISHED A WEARING SURFACE OF AT LEAST 2 INITIAL SEAL COATS. Cracking is best handled by a complete seal coat. You need to be using a 3/8th inch size, 100% crushed stone chip, smaller stone will float on the oil and bleed like crazy in the summer heat. The stone has to be applied immediately after the asphalt has been applied, within 3 to 5 minutes. It should be compacted by some means. Blow out or dig out the cracks so the oil can penetrate. Good luck, you can call me for more advice at 908.339.1434 Dick Hummer.

  349. Russ tracked back:

    I had a chip and seal drive (600ft+) installed during April 2014 (Uniform Paving LLC). I bought the more expensive light colored stone. The original base was crush and run. The contractor laid a couple of aggregate (gray stone) layers (last one was fine aggregate) topped with liquid asphalt before spraying and then laying the top coat of decorative stone and rolling the finishing stone into the liquid asphalt. As of April 2015 nearly all of the top stone is either washing away or can easily be scraped with your foot.

    Bottom line, other than the deeply embedded stone, the surface is basically the sprayed emulsion and heavily stained decorative stone (black) . The contractor is telling me this is normal. We live in the NC mountains and some of the grade is approaching approx. 8%.

    Why did I spend all the extra money on decorative stone if it is suppose to degrade or wash away? This can’t be right can it?

  350. Russ: It sounds like your Contractor started off on the right foot. If you want a color to predominate, you should use that color on at least the last 2 coats. That salt and pepper appearance after some initial wear is quite normal. That surface asphalt (the black specks) will soon weather away and the intermediate seal coat becomes the actual wearing surface that is visible. If the intermediate seal coat is some other color, it will show up in the second or third year. I avoid the color white because of its sharp contrast to black asphalt and oil drippings from cars can cause ugly stains. Often white limestone (crystal spar), tends to be very soft and will crumble and turn to powder under traffic. My work is mostly upscale estates and mansions, Macadam is a great system, it just has to be done the right way. The cure to almost anything that can happen to a Macadam job is simply to apply another ” tar” and chip seal coat. In a couple of years that may be your answer to your problem. Your Contractor should get a yield of 80 to 100 square yards (720 to 900 square feet) per ton. If your driveway is 600 ft. by 12 ft. for example, each coat should take 8 to 10 tons of that amount, all by 3 to 5 pounds per sq. yd. should permanently adhere. Use a good looking, high quality, stone chip on every coat, it doesn’t take that much and is the cheapest constituent ingredient. Call my cell if you like, 908/339-1434 Best of luck… Dick Hummer

  351. Debi W tracked back:

    We live in the Ann Arbor, MI area and have a 300+ ft gravel driveway that was “refurbished” with new base and top stone 4 years ago. We are interested in installing a macadam or chip and seal driveway overtop our gravel drive. Are there any local contractors that do this type of installation in our area?

  352. Lori Bonelli tracked back:

    Dick-Can you share the Green Bay, Wi contractor? We have a long gravel drive that we’d like to have chip seal in Kewaunee, WI. Thank you.

  353. Russ tracked back:

    Thanks for responding Mr. Hummer. The driveway is suffering substantial raveling and stripping within the wheel path. What is remaining is the emulsion with the most deeply embedded decorative rock. Based on what I’ve read, it shouldn’t take long for oxidation to take care of the black (emulsion) surface.

  354. Dick Hummer tracked back:

    Russ It is hard for me to fully appraise your situation without seeing the job, it sounds like your color coat has worn off and left the undercoat showing. I have had some poor results years ago using light colored stone. It seems like the lighter the stone color, the softer the stone and the darker the color, the harder the stone. When the time rolls around to seal coat again, I would lean toward a darker colored stone and I would go with a heavy coat (1/2 gallon per square yard) of CRS-2P. The “P” stands for Polymer additive, that rubber additive grabs and holds the stone like crazy glue. If you can find a local guy that you can trust to deliver the goods, this time, the job should hold up longer than 10 years, (possibly 15 or even more) without a follow up coat. Best of luck… Dick.

  355. Dick Hummer tracked back:

    Russ: The stone application must follow immediately after the emulsified asphalt is applied; within a minute or two. If that water starts to break (surface turns from brown to black), the stone will not fully adhere. This could also be the problem, if your Contractor go too far ahead of the stone application with his asphalt application. Dick…

  356. Dick Hummer tracked back:

    Lori: I have been in touch with two outfits from that area in the past year, let me see if I can recover their information. I will be please to put you in touch. One is in Green Bay…

  357. Anyone that tells you tar and chip has any advantage over an ashpalt driveway is either misinformed, or a complete liar. A properly installed asphalt driveway will require virtually no maintenance for 30 years or more. A properly installed tar and chip driveway will require maintenance every single year if you want it to stay the same condition it was when installed. Yes, you can sealcoat an asphalt drive for appearance, and to increase the longevity in bad freeze thaw areas of the country. Remember, I said properly installed asphalt drive. I have been doing paving of various forms for many years. I have installed hundreds of tar and chip drives. In the right circumstance they are fine. Heck, even crushed stone, brick, concrete etc have their place for driveways. However, for durability, and limited maintenance, nothing comes close to asphalt. For example, my personal driveway, which I drive tri-axles, trailers, and other equipment on was paved in 2002. I live in Pennsylvania, regular freeze thaw cycles every year. It has never been sealcoated, and will likely never be sealcoated. Even with all the heavy equipment, loading of pavers, rollers, skidloaders, snow plows etc. You can’t find a crack or spot that needs repaired and the asphalt has been down 13 years now. No weeds, no run off, no dips, no holes, no work of any kind. It should be good for anothre 15 years at minimum without any type of maintenance. At which time, I will mill the ends, and put down 2 inches of top coat and I will be dead and buried before it needs any other work.

  358. Laurie tracked back:

    I live in Kirkland Washington, 20 minutes from Seattle. Anybody recommend a company out here in the Seattle area? My driveway is 175 feet long by 12 feet, I’m guessing. I think the tar/chip seal makes the most sense. I’m sick of my gravel, and the potholes, etc.

  359. Julie Schulz tracked back:

    do you know of any contractors in the Milwaukee Wisconsin area that do tar and chip installation? Thank you

  360. Ed Przybylski tracked back:

    I live near Three Rivers Michigan I’m looking for a dealer that installs chip and tar surface for a driveway possibly someone in northern Indiana or Southwest Michigan. Also I would like to know if the tar is similar or the same as Sealcoat for asphalt.

  361. Brian tracked back:

    I have an asphalt driveway now and it is just starting to crack can I use tar and chip on this and get a refreshed asphalt look?

  362. james tracked back:

    Yes Brian you can have a tar and chip installed over your existing blacktop driveway. The best method is hot liquid crumb rubber tar and chip. This type of tar and chip is far superior than conventional tar and chip. You can also have a top bond coat commonly called (fog seal) to the surface after chip seal installment which will give back your blacktop apperence. Im a tar and chip/ asphalt contractor for 40 + years If you have any other questions ask away.

  363. George Naughton tracked back:

    I live in Pittsburgh,Pa and would like to know if there is a contractor that does tar and chip in the area.

  364. I paid someone in Michigan to chip and tar my driveway today. It was raining. The stone didn’t look like it bonded to the tar at all. Tonight I could literally push all the stone away from the tar in one section I tested. Is that normal? I’m freaking out because bad weather is headed our way soon. Thank you for weighing in

  365. S.H. tracked back:

    Hi, Which “size” stone would you recommend for a northern Florida “tar and chip” (chip seal) residential driveway (no snow, relatively level and straight run) in terms of appearance and function – “granite 89″ (smallest 3/8”) , “granite 7″ (medium 1/2″ – 3/4”), or “granite 57″ (largest, size 3/4″ to 1”) ? I am leaning toward “granite 57”, merely due to the fact that the smaller stones would shift on the loose top layer. Would the larger combination (granite 57) compact as well with the tar ?

    Thanks, I appreciate your kind feedback.

  366. Gail Smith tracked back:

    This is the worst investment I have ever made. This tar and chip driveway has long giant trenches weeds everywhere very unsightly the contractor will not come back out. I’ve had to make a complaint to the Better Business Bureau it’s a shame I hope nobody else gets a tar and chip driveway if this is the result. Would like to see the contractor from Hoenwald TN honor the 1 year warranty.

  367. We live in Virginia and had an asphalt driveway (about 1/5 of a mile long and very twisty — very, VERY twisty). Because of very poor soil and lots of wet clay, we had numerous areas with cracking, crumbling, and potholes. We hired a contractor to “tar and chip” over the asphalt and fix the bad areas. After working 3 days on our driveway, he said we had one of the worst soil bases he’s ever seen! There was one area they actually had to dig out an entire dump truck-load of wet clay and soil before filling it and adding the “tar and chip”. But it looks great and I like it much better than asphalt — with much less upkeep and a much better price tag. But you really do need to get someone who knows how to do this method well and has done many before.

  368. My father started in 1928 ,I started in 1955 and just retired2020.
    My son in law is running the business under the same name george skipper & son .

    Our penetration Macadam chip seals have lasted 20-30 years and still counting.

    Im sorry to read bad reports of work by others. Very sad.


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