What Is The Purpose Of Tar And Chip

If you’ve ever driven on a rural road or a farm-to-market path, chances are you’ve encountered a type of paving known as Sealcoating. Tar and chip, also known as chip seal, chip sealing, chip and seal, or sealcoating, is a cost-effective way to resurface roadways and other surfaces.

So what is the purpose of sealcoating? Read more as we’ll take a look at the purpose of chip sealing and explore its benefits and drawbacks in today’s post.

What Is Sealcoating

Sealcoating is a method of treating pavement surfaces that involves spraying a hot liquid asphalt (or tar) layer onto the surface, and then embedding small stones (or chips) into the tar. The tar and chips are then compressed using a roller.

Chip sealing is a method of paving that is often used on roads with low traffic, as well as driveways and parking lots. It is also a popular option for rural roads, where the expense of traditional asphalt or concrete paving may be too high.

Benefits Of Chip Sealing

There are several advantages to using chip and seal as a paving material:

1. Cost-Effective – Property owners who want a durable and attractive surface but are also budget-conscious often choose chip sealing because it is less expensive than traditional asphalt or concrete paving.

2. Low-Maintenance – Sealcoating is very low maintenance as it does not need to be periodically sealed or repaired for cracks unlike asphalt or concrete. Additional layers of chip and seal can be quickly and easily added for any necessary repairs.

3. Skid Resistance – The surface’s rough texture offers excellent skid resistance, which makes it a safer option for driving.

4. Versatility – Chip sealing is a surface treatment method that can be applied to different areas such as roads, driveways, and parking lots. It offers flexibility in terms of using various types and colors of stones to achieve a distinctive appearance.


While there are several benefits to using chip and seal, there are also some drawbacks to consider:

1. Rough Surface – Some property owners may be concerned about the increased noise and vibration for vehicles caused by the rough texture of the chip and seal surface.

2. Limited Durability – Although sealcoating is a long-lasting surface, it is not as strong as standard asphalt or concrete paving. The surface can deteriorate more quickly under heavy traffic or extreme weather conditions.

3. Higher Chance Of Cracking – The sealcoating surface is more likely to crack compared to the traditional asphalt or concrete pavement because it is flexible and can shift and settle over time.

4. Requires Dry Weather – For the proper installation of chip and seal, it is important to have dry weather conditions. If the weather is wet or damp, the stones may stick together and prevent the correct compaction.

Purpose Of Sealcoating

Chip and seal is a cost-effective way to create a strong and low-maintenance surface for roads, driveways, and parking lots. This method is commonly used in rural areas where traditional paving materials are too expensive. In urban areas, sealcoating is also used as a more affordable substitute for traditional asphalt or concrete paving.

Sealcoating has several environmental benefits in addition to being durable and cost-effective. It uses less asphalt than regular paving materials, helping to lower the amount of oil utilized in road construction. Sealcoating provides good drainage, which can lower the chances of stormwater runoff and erosion.

The process of installing chip and seal is relatively simple. The surface to be paved is first cleaned and repaired, if needed. Then, liquid asphalt is sprayed onto the surface using a distributor truck. Next, the chips are spread over the surface using a spreader box, and then compacted into the asphalt using a roller. Depending on the thickness of the surface and the level of traffic it will receive, additional layers of sealcoating may be added.

How A Professional Contractor Can Help You With The Chip And Seal Installation

For optimal results, it’s crucial to have expertise and knowledge when installing chip and seal surfaces. If you’re planning to use this surface for your driveway, road, or parking lot, it’s wise to collaborate with a skilled paving contractor who knows the intricacies of this type of paving. With a professional contractor’s help, you can make informed decisions on materials and receive guidance on installation. They can also help you choose the appropriate chip sealing type for your budget and requirements.


Tar and chip is a cost-effective and durable alternative to traditional asphalt or concrete paving. It provides good skid resistance and requires minimal maintenance, making it a popular choice for property owners on a budget. While it has some drawbacks, including a rough surface and reduced durability, it offers several environmental benefits and is a versatile paving material that can be used in a variety of applications.