May 30, 2023

Pros And Cons Of Tar And Chip Driveways

If you’re looking for a driveway that is exceptionally durable, aesthetically appealing, and cost-effective, tar and chip driveways have few rivals!

These driveways offer a unique look, are nearly indestructible, and are surprisingly affordable – what more could you want?

While there are some downsides to installing a tar and chip driveway, the benefits far outweigh any minor drawbacks.

In this article, we’ll examine the pros and cons of tar and chip driveways – from durability and longevity to cost and environmental impact – so that you can make an informed decision for your next driveway project!

Durability and Longevity

When it comes to durability and longevity, tar and chip driveways are a great choice, lasting for years and helping you save time and money in the long run. The tar and chip mixture is applied to the prepared surface of the driveway. The tar binds the stones together, creating a strong bond and a stable surface.

The stones also help to protect the underlying layer of tar from the sun’s UV rays, which helps to extend the life of the driveway. The stones also protect the driveway from water damage, which helps to prevent the formation of potholes. Additionally, tar and chip driveways are low-maintenance, making them a great choice for busy homeowners.

The only maintenance required is to fill in any cracks or chips that may occur over time. Tar and chip driveways can also be relatively inexpensive to install, depending on the size of the driveway and the area where you live.

All in all, tar and chip driveways offer an excellent combination of durability, longevity, and cost savings.

Aesthetic Appeal

A black house with a beautiful tar and chip driveway.

A tar and chip driveway can give your home a unique, rustic appeal that can’t be found in other paving materials. From the range of colors available, you can choose to have a driveway that is dark black, a light gray, to a blend of colors that resembles natural stone.

The installation process itself adds to the aesthetic appeal, as it is a multi-step method that creates an interesting texture. The final product has a unique, rustic, and timeless look that will last for years and only needs occasional maintenance.

The texture of tar and chip driveways also adds to its appeal. As it’s made up of a combination of gravel and liquid asphalt, the surface is much rougher than other paving materials which can be more slippery when wet. This makes tar and chip driveways perfect for areas that have to withstand winter weather or for those who favor an unpolished, yet attractive look.


The cost of installing a tar and chip driveway is an important factor to consider when deciding which paving material is right for you. Generally, tar and chip driveways cost less than driveways made from asphalt, concrete, or pavers. It’s also a less labor-intensive process, which can help reduce the cost.

However, tar and chip driveways may require more frequent maintenance than other materials. This may be due to the fact that the stones can move and shift, leading to cracks in the surface. You should also factor in the cost of resealing the driveway every few years to prevent damage from weather and wear and tear.

All in all, tar and chip driveways are an economical option that can last for many years if properly maintained.

Maintenance Requirements

Maintaining a tar and chip driveway requires frequent attention, but how much effort is it really worth? Tar and chip driveways need to be sealed periodically to prevent wear and tear and to ensure that they remain water-resistant.

Additionally, it’s important to properly maintain the driveway by regularly sweeping away any debris such as leaves and branches, removing any weeds or plants that may grow in the driveway, inspecting the driveway for any cracks or damage, pouring gravel over the surface to restore any parts that may have worn away, and applying a sealant to the driveway to protect it from further damage.

Overall, tar and chip driveways require more frequent maintenance than other types of driveways, such as concrete or asphalt. However, the maintenance is relatively straightforward and can be done quickly with the right materials. With proper maintenance, a tar and chip driveway can last for many years, even in areas that have extreme weather conditions.

Environmental Impact

You can help protect the environment by considering the environmental implications of installing a tar and chip driveway. The materials used to build tar and chip driveways are generally asphalt and gravel, with the exception of some parts that may require the use of concrete or other materials. These materials are generally considered to be a better choice than traditional asphalt paving since they’re made from recycled materials and are more easily recycled or repurposed.

Additionally, tar and chip driveways require less energy for installation and require no chemical treatments or sealants. However, there are still some environmental drawbacks to tar and chip driveways. The gravel and asphalt used in these driveways are not biodegradable and can leach pollutants into the environment if not properly disposed of.

Additionally, chip seal driveways can be more prone to cracking and damage, which may require additional repair or replacement, contributing to environmental pollution. Finally, the chemicals used in the installation process can also be harmful to the environment if not properly managed.


Overall, tar and chip driveways are a cost-effective and aesthetically pleasing option for driveway surfaces. The durability and longevity of a tar and chip driveway is like a rock – it stands strong against the elements and lasts for years. Maintenance is minimal and it doesn’t have a large environmental impact.

So, if you’re looking for a driveway option that will last a lifetime, tar and chip is the way to go. It’s a smooth ride that won’t leave you stranded.

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