Tar and Chip Paving in Arlington, Texas
Is Tar and Chip Cheaper than Asphalt?
Tar and chip is the process of combining layers of gravel and asphalt, then compressing them to create a smooth pavement. Lots of people use chip and tar for driveways since it’s a pretty solid surface that’s easy to maintain, has good traction, and, yes, is cheaper.
Tar and chip is more expensive than a gravel driveway, but it was cost you less than installing an asphalt driveway. You’ll probably spend somewhere between $1.00 - $5.00 per square foot of your driveway, whereas asphalt will run you between $7.00 - $13.00 per square foot. If you’re looking to pave your driveway but you’re money-conscious, tar and chip is a good material to consider!
Tar and Chip Pros and Cons
As with anything, there are upsides and downsides to tar and chip pavement. As opposed to gravel, you’ll get much better traction with tar and chip, plus it’s much more durable. You’ll end up paying more money for tar and chip, however, and installation requires more work.
Tar and chip also doesn’t last as long as asphalt. Asphalt pavement will last you between 20-30 years, depending on factors like climate and use. Tar and chip, however, will likely last you around 10 years, which means you’ll have to replace it sooner than you would asphalt. Plus, it’s easier to damage tar and chip.
For it's negatives, though, there are pros to tar and chip vs asphalt. As previously mentioned, tar and chip will cost you less, and it's far easier to maintain. If a crack shows up in your asphalt, you’ll have to be proactive and seal it right away before it becomes a bigger issue. With tar and chip, on the other hand, you don’t have to worry as much, and small cracks will often fix themselves.
While tar and chip will last you about ten years, you don’t necessarily have to remove and replace the entire thing. If your pavement is still sturdy enough, you can renew it by pouring additional hot asphalt and loose stone over it.
Is Tar and Chip a Good Parking Lot Surface?
Because tar and chip is much cheaper than asphalt, easy to maintain, and when it reaches the end of its 10-year lifespan easy to renew, it’s a great option for parking lots. You’ll spend double the cost of gravel but have a much sturdier surface for your lot plus better traction.
Although not as long-lasting as asphalt, maintaining tar and chip is far easier, and many cracks that appear will fix themselves. If your lot is a large space and it’s hard to keep up with the maintenance of asphalt, then tar and chip is probably for you. It’s also cheaper than asphalt, which is another reason it’s great for lots of any size.
The one thing you will have to be mindful of if snow clearing. Plows are known to cause damage to tar and chip, so if you live in a snowy climate, you’ll have to be careful that the blade doesn’t harm the pavement when plowing.
One final thing to consider is the aesthetic of your parking lot. Asphalt is plain-looking, and gravel is very rough. But the nice thing about tar and chip is that you can choose the color of the stone you roll in with the hot asphalt, which could increase the look of the lot if that’s something important to you. If the low cost and maintenance of tar and chip isn’t enough of a selling point, then maybe the ability to have more freedom when it comes to the look of your lot is!
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