Maintaining asphalt over the years with a chip seal as well as crack repair, repaving, and other such maintenance is the key to ensuring your parking lot or driveway is always in good repair, and that the paving material lasts as long as possible. While a property owner can perform some minor asphalt repairs and maintenance on their own, an asphalt contractor needs to install a chip seal paving; however, this process will prolong the life of asphalt while restoring its overall appearance.

A chip seal is similar to a slurry seal. A chip seal driveway consists of a coating material and a layer of gravel. These layers are spread over asphalt, allowed to dry, and then brushed or swept clean, creating a fresh, new layer of pavement.

A chip seal road or repair is often a bit more expensive than a standard seal coating, but not quite as expensive as a full repaving or fog seal. However, chip sealing has many advantages for property owners and is an excellent way to ensure your asphalt is in good repair and protected from the elements. Note a bit more detail about chip seals, how they benefit your property's pavement, and how to properly maintain your driveway or parking lot over the years.

What Is Chip Seal?

A chip and seal is a thin protective sealant or surface material applied to asphalt. This type of material is referred to as a chip seal because, as said, it contains a certain amount of gravel or aggregate, rather than being a simple sealcoating. Chip seal paving settles into hairline cracks, minor chips, small holes, and other such damage along the surface of asphalt, seeping into those pits and pores.

A chip sealant is also typically brushed or swept into place rather than merely sprayed over the surface of asphalt, as is a fog seal or slurry seal. This brushing or sweeping creates an even surface that restores the look of an asphalt driveway or parking lot, while also ensuring that the sealant fills pits and pores of damaged pavement.

Chip sealants are also an excellent choice for adding texture and traction to asphalt. Added chips or aggregate make the surface of pavement bumpier so that vehicles have more traction and are less likely to skid or slide around, even during wintertime. Rougher pavement also reduces the risk of ice forming along its surface, adding to the safety of an asphalt driveway or parking lot.

What Is the Process of a Chip and Seal?

Chip sealing is not something a homeowner or commercial property owner can perform on their own. Note the process of a chip seal, so you know why you need to call an asphalt contractor to complete this work for you:

Benefits of Chip Sealing versus Other Repair Options

Never put off repairing or repaving your property's asphalt as needed, as even minor hairline cracks tend to get worse over time so that you eventually need to replace your pavement outright. Cracks, chips, and other such damage also allow moisture, snow clearing salt, and other debris to settle into the nooks and crannies of asphalt, causing even more damage. Note some benefits of a chip sealant versus other repair options for your property's asphalt:

How to Maintain Asphalt and Make Minor Repairs

Maintaining your property's asphalt properly over the years can mean less need for repaving, and can also extend the life of the asphalt so that you need to have it removed and replaced entirely far less often. Note a few tips on how to maintain asphalt and make minor repairs, so your property's pavement is always in its best condition.

When Should Asphalt Be Replaced?

While a chip sealing and other such repair work can fill in chips, cracks, and potholes along the surface of asphalt, any pavement that is severely cracked or that is outright missing certain sections might need replacing. Very old asphalt will also continue to chip and crack over time, and may not provide a solid basis for new sealant or a new layer of pavement.

Note, too, that an asphalt base can only provide a solid foundation for a certain thickness of pavement; continuously adding additional layers of any material can allow the pavement to crack and chip or become unstable. Once your asphalt has reached a certain depth, it may then need outright replacing rather than repaving.

Related Questions

What is the difference between a chip seal road or driveway and repaving?

Repaving typically refers to applying a fresh layer of asphalt over the existing pavement. A chip sealant is a layer of sealant and new aggregate. Chip sealing will protect asphalt and repair minor damage, whereas repaving fills in deep potholes and adds strength to the asphalt.

How often can asphalt be repaved or sealed?

Only an asphalt contractor can note if the pavement on your property is suitable for chip sealing or repaving, or if it needs to be torn out and replaced. Local weather conditions and the age of the asphalt also need to be considered when deciding how to best repair existing pavement.

Does chip sealing result in loose gravel?

The gravel or chips added during a chip seal process are pushed into the sealant material or layer. The sealant dries so that the chips are held in place. After a chip sealant application, the pavement is brushed, so any loose gravel and chips are then removed.

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