The Benefits of a Tar & Chip Driveway

Benefits of Tar & Chip Driveway

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When choosing a driveway material, tar & chip driveways offer a cost-effective and low-maintenance alternative to traditional asphalt driveways. Not only do they provide a unique, textured appearance, but they also offer enhanced traction, making them ideal for both residential driveways and various types of roads. A&A Asphalt Paving & Concrete Services is a leading tar & chip paving contractor in Metro Atlanta. We specialize in durable and attractive paving solutions and are confident that we can successfully repave your driveway with whatever material you choose.

What Is Tar & Chip Paving?

Tar and chip, also known as chip seal, is a type of driveway paving material that combines hot liquid asphalt with crushed stone or gravel layers. The process begins with applying a layer of hot liquid asphalt to the driveway surface, followed by spreading a layer of crushed stone over it. These stones are then compacted into the asphalt, creating a textured and durable surface. This method is popular for rural roads, driveways, and parking lots due to its cost-effectiveness and rustic appearance.

Compared to traditional asphalt driveways, a tar & chip driveway offers a more natural and varied look. While both driveways use asphalt, adding stone in tar & chip creates a sturdier and more resilient surface. This combination makes a tar & chip driveway less prone to the uniform cracking and wear that often affects asphalt driveways over time. The stone layer in tar & chip driveways provides extra durability, making it more resistant to weather conditions and heavy traffic. This makes tar & chip an excellent choice for homeowners seeking aesthetics and practicality.

Benefits of a Tar & Chip Driveway

You may be weighing the options between a tar & chip driveway and an asphalt driveway. Here are some benefits of a tar & chip driveway.


One of the primary benefits of a tar & chip driveway is its cost-effectiveness. Tar & chip is less expensive to install than traditional asphalt or concrete driveways. The materials used in tar & chip driveways, such as hot liquid asphalt and crushed stone, are readily available and less costly. This makes it an ideal option for homeowners looking to achieve a durable and attractive driveway without breaking the bank. The initial installation costs are lower, and transportation costs are reduced because the materials are sourced locally. Additionally, the maintenance costs over the driveway’s lifespan are minimal, adding to the overall cost savings.

Low Maintenance

Tar & chip driveways require minimal maintenance compared to other types of driveways. The rough surface naturally helps clean the driveway by providing better drainage and preventing debris buildup. Additionally, small cracks and imperfections are less noticeable in tar & chip driveways, and any repairs needed are typically simple and inexpensive. Unlike asphalt driveways, which may require frequent sealing and patching, tar & chip driveways often go years without significant maintenance. This makes it a convenient option for busy homeowners who want a beautiful driveway without the hassle of constant upkeep.


Tar & chip driveways are known for their durability. The combination of hot liquid asphalt and crushed stone creates a sturdy surface that can withstand weather conditions and heavy use. This makes it a practical choice for homeowners needing a driveway that will last many years without significant wear and tear. The flexible nature of the tar allows it to expand and contract with temperature changes, reducing the likelihood of cracking. Furthermore, the stone surface provides a robust layer of protection against the elements, ensuring the driveway remains in good condition for a long time.

Improved Traction

The rough texture of a tar & chip driveway provides excellent traction, making it safer for walking and driving, especially in wet or icy conditions. This benefit is particularly significant for homeowners in regions that experience frequent rain or snow, as it helps reduce the risk of slips and falls. The increased traction can be especially beneficial on slopes or areas where vehicles frequently stop and start. In addition, the stone surface offers a better grip for tires, which can enhance vehicle control and safety.

Aesthetic Appeal

Tar & chip driveways offer a unique and attractive appearance that can enhance the curb appeal of any home. The natural stone used in the top layer can come in various colors and sizes, allowing homeowners to customize the look of their driveway to complement their property. The rustic and textured look of a tar & chip driveway can add a charming and inviting feel to the home’s exterior. This customization option means that each driveway is unique, providing a bespoke appearance that can set your property apart from others in the neighborhood.

Quick Installation

Installing a tar & chip driveway is a relatively quick process. The simplicity of the materials and the method used means that the driveway can be laid down and ready for use in a short period. This benefits homeowners who want a new driveway with a short waiting time. Typically, a tar & chip driveway can be installed in a matter of days, depending on the size of the area and weather conditions. The quick installation minimizes disruption to the homeowner’s daily routine and allows immediate driveway use.

Eco-Friendly Option

Tar & chip driveways are more environmentally friendly than traditional asphalt driveways. The materials used, such as natural stone, are more sustainable and have a lower environmental impact. Additionally, the lighter color of tar & chip driveways can help reduce heat absorption, contributing to a cooler environment around the home. By choosing locally sourced stones, homeowners can further reduce their carbon footprint. The porous nature of the driveway also helps with natural water filtration, reducing the impact on local water systems.

Ease of Repairs

When repairs are needed, tar & chip driveways are easier and more cost-effective to fix than asphalt driveways. Potholes and other damage can be quickly patched with new layers of tar and stone, without the need for extensive resurfacing. This ease of repair helps maintain the driveway’s appearance and functionality over time. The repair process is straightforward and can often be completed by the homeowner, saving on professional repair costs. This means that even if the driveway sustains damage, it can be quickly restored to its original condition.

Natural Drainage

The porous nature of a tar & chip driveway allows for better natural drainage compared to non-porous surfaces like concrete. Water can seep through the gaps between the stones, reducing the risk of puddles and runoff. This natural drainage helps prevent water damage and erosion, contributing to the driveway’s longevity. Improved drainage also means less pooling water, which can freeze in cold weather and create slippery conditions. The natural filtration process through the stone helps to reduce pollutants in runoff, benefiting the local environment.

Schedule Your Tar & Chip Driveway Paving Consultation 

Choosing a tar & chip driveway can provide numerous benefits, from cost savings to enhanced durability and aesthetic appeal. If you’re considering a new driveway, contact A&A Asphalt Paving & Concrete Services to schedule your complimentary driveway paving consultation. Our experts will help you determine the best paving solution for your home, ensuring you enjoy all the benefits of a tar & chip driveway if that’s the material you choose!

FAQ About Tar & Chip Driveway Paving

The answer depends on your specific needs. Tar and chip driveways are often preferred for their rustic look and lower cost. They provide excellent traction and require less maintenance in terms of no need for sealcoating. However, asphalt may be a better choice for areas with heavy traffic or for those who prefer a smoother finish as it typically lasts longer and withstands wear better.

One main disadvantage of tar and chip is its susceptibility to weather conditions. Extreme temperatures can cause the tar to become sticky and potentially dislodge the chips. Additionally, snow removal can be challenging, as plows can scrape off the chips, requiring repairs or reapplication sooner than with asphalt.

Tar and chip is generally less expensive than traditional asphalt paving both in terms of initial installation and maintenance. This cost-effectiveness is due to the simplicity of the installation process and the materials used, which do not require the asphalt to be pre-mixed or heated to the same extent.

Tar-and-chip can be up to 30-40% cheaper than asphalt paving. This significant cost difference is due to the materials and the installation process, which is less labor-intensive and faster than that of asphalt. The exact savings can vary depending on local material costs and the condition of the existing driveway base.