Considerations When Choosing Tarmac Driveways for Your Dublin Property

New SMA tarmac driveway in Leixlip 2

Chances are you’ve spent a significant amount of time searching for the best driveway material for your home or commercial space. Like many property owners in Dublin, you probably want a charming driveway that not only stands up to the Irish weather but also adds a design element to your property. In this quest, many have found their answer in tarmac driveways.

But is it also the right choice for your property? Let’s help you make an informed decision that suits your needs and preferences.  In this article, we explore everything you need to know about tarmac driveways in Dublin, including the factors you should consider to ensure you make the right choice for your beloved property.

Importance of Choosing the Right Type of Driveway

Your driveway serves as a functional and appealing extension of your home, enhancing its overall value and kerb appeal. It’s, therefore, crucial to choose a driveway material that complements your property’s style, withstands the test of time, and fits within your budget.

Choosing the wrong paving solution can have several negative effects. For one, if the surface is poor quality – too soft or crumbles easily, it can cause damage to vehicles. Additionally, a badly chosen or poorly installed driveway can also lead to drainage issues, causing water build-up and potential dampness in adjacent areas.

Such mistakes diminish the value of your property and can lead to unnecessary extra costs. So, before deciding, it’s essential to carefully consider the available options, weigh the pros and cons of different materials, and consider the long-term implications. Research, consultation with professionals, and reviewing other homes with driveways that you admire can also be beneficial.

Ultimately, you should strive to balance aesthetics, functionality, durability, and cost when making this crucial decision.

Tarmac Driveway with Rustic Border in Dublin 2
Tarmac Driveway with Rustic Border in Dublin

Why Consider a Tarmac Driveway for Your Dublin Property?

When picking a driveway material, tarmac is often a top choice for residential and commercial property owners in Dublin and all over Ireland. This is not surprising, given the numerous benefits of this driveway material.


Tarmac is known for its sturdy and long-lasting nature. It can withstand heavy loads and resist wear and tear from everyday use, making it a perfect choice for property owners who expect frequent vehicle movement.


Compared to other driveway materials like concrete, pavers, or gravel, tarmac is generally more cost-effective. Its easy installation process and lower material cost result in a wallet-friendly solution for property owners seeking an affordable yet durable driveway solution.

Click here to learn more about the tarmac driveways costs in Dublin.

Aesthetic Appeal

Tarmac driveways offer a clean, sleek, modern appearance that enhances your property’s overall appeal. Plus, you can choose from various bordering materials, such as bricks, cobblestones, or flagstones, to create a distinct look that matches your home’s exterior. Additionally, coloured tarmac options and decorative patterns can further elevate your driveway’s appearance.

Quick Installation

Tarmac driveways boast a faster installation time than other materials, such as concrete or pavers. Because tarmac sets quicker, you’ll have a functional driveway in no time, minimising disruption to your daily routine.

Tarmacadam Driveway Leinster 5
Tarmacadam Driveway Leinster

Key Factors in Choosing Tarmac Driveways in Dublin

From the local climate to maintenance requirements, here are some of the essential elements you need to consider when installing a tarmacadam driveway:

Local Climate

Ireland’s climate, characterised by wet, mild, and sometimes unpredictable weather, can affect your driveway’s longevity. Tarmac can handle heavy rain, frost, and fluctuating temperatures well, making it an ideal option for Dublin property owners. Furthermore, tarmac’s dark colour can assist in melting snow and ice during the colder months.

When installing a tarmac driveway, discuss with your contractor the right tarmac mix for Dublin’s climate. The quality and proportions of the ingredients in the mix can influence durability and performance under various weather conditions. Look for tarmac mixes that have good water drainage properties and are designed to resist cracking during freezing temperatures.

Size of Property

When selecting a tarmac driveway design, consider the size of your property and how the driveway will fit into the existing landscape. Tarmac is an excellent choice for smaller properties since it can be easily shaped and customised to fit any area. For larger properties, you’ll want to ensure your driveway meets your usage needs and complements the surrounding landscape. Proper planning can also accommodate any future expansions or alterations you might have in mind.

Sma tarmacadam with retaining wall in north Dublin6
Sma tarmacadam with retaining wall in north Dublin

Proper Installation

A professional tarmac driveway installation is crucial to ensure longevity and optimal performance. When selecting a paving contractor, make sure they have experience with tarmac driveways in Dublin, excellent reviews from previous clients, and are familiar with local regulations. It’s also helpful to visually inspect their previous work, if possible, as it can be reassuring to see first-hand the quality and workmanship they provide.

Cost Considerations

While tarmac driveways offer cost-effective solutions, you’ll still need to consider your budget and price range. Make sure to request quotes from multiple contractors and compare their rates, services, and quality of work.

Remember, cheaper doesn’t always mean better — investing in a quality installation will save you money in the long run. Also, consider any additional costs, such as decorative features, edgings, or advanced drainage systems, when planning your project.

Durability and Longevity

Tarmac driveways are favoured for their durability and long lifespan. With proper installation and care, they can withstand heavy usage and severe weather conditions, lasting between 15 to 20 years on average. This longevity makes it a sound investment for your property.

Since quality installation can significantly impact the lifespan of your driveway, hire a professional tarmac driveway contractor in Dublin to ensure correct installation and optimal longevity. Choose a reputable company that uses a thick layer of tarmac and proper compaction techniques during installation.

Appearance and Aesthetics

A tarmac driveway can enhance the overall aesthetics of your property. The sleek black finish of a tarmac driveway offers a modern and clean look. Additionally, there’s scope for customisation, with the ability to incorporate decorative edging or other design elements for a tailored fit to your property’s style.

Consider accenting your tarmac driveway with blocks or bricks around the border to create a distinct and attractive look. Also, check the colour options available, as tarmac can come in various shades. Opt for a colour that complements the exterior of your Dublin property, creating a harmonious and visually appealing look.

Tarmac Driveway with Silver Granite Border 5
Tarmac Driveway with Silver Granite Border

Environmental Impact

If you are eco-conscious, you’ll be glad to know that tarmac driveways have a lower environmental impact compared to some other driveway materials. Tarmac is recyclable, and the production and installation process is less energy-intensive.

Consider hiring a local driveway paving contractor to minimise carbon emissions associated with long-distance transportation. Also, ask your chosen paving company about using recycled tarmac for your driveway.

Maintenance Requirements

While tarmac driveways are relatively low maintenance, they require some upkeep. This could range from minor touch-ups to resealing every 3-5 years to maintain its sheen and avoid cracks.

Regular sweeping, occasional power washing, and promptly addressing any cracks or damage will help preserve its appearance and structural integrity. Discuss maintenance tips and schedules with your contractor to ensure you’re well-prepared to care for your new driveway.

Drainage Solutions

Adequate drainage is essential to prevent water pooling, which can damage your driveway over time. When discussing your tarmac driveway installation with the contractor, ensure they incorporate proper drainage solutions. This might include grading the driveway to encourage water runoff or installing edge drains to channel excess water away from the surface.

Tarmacadam driveway with kerbing and drainage8
Tarmacadam driveway with kerbing and drainage

Local Regulations and Planning Permissions

Before installing your tarmac driveway, it’s crucial to understand and adhere to all local regulations and acquire necessary planning permissions. Different areas might have different rules, and non-adherence can lead to fines or penalties. Hence, always make sure that your driveway meets all local guidelines and regulations.

Seek advice from your contractor, as they are likely to be well-versed in local regulations and best practices and can help ensure compliance. Always obtain written permission from relevant authorities before commencing any work to avoid violating local rules and incurring fines or penalties. Keep all documents related to permits and regulations secured and readily available for any inspections or inquiries.

Tips on Maintaining Tarmac Driveways in Dublin

As mentioned earlier, proper maintenance can significantly extend your tarmac driveway’s lifespan. They can stay in optimal condition and appearance through regular and appropriate care.

Here are some essential tips for maintaining tarmac driveways:

Regular Cleaning

Keep your driveway free from any debris, dirt, moss, or algae by cleaning it often. Using a soft-bristled brush can be an excellent tool to clear it of any dry or loose materials. Additionally, a pressure washer on a low setting can aid in removing more stubborn stains or grime.

Avoiding the Use of Abrasive Products

During the winter, refrain from using abrasive de-icing products. They can cause the surface to deteriorate and lead to premature weathering. Instead, use sand or salt-free alternatives to ensure safety without damaging the surface.

Prompt Repair of Cracks or Depressions

Even minor cracks or depressions can escalate if not addressed promptly. Getting professional tarmac driveway repair services in the early stages will not only prevent further damage but also maintain your driveway’s structural integrity and aesthetic appeal.

Tarmac Driveway Repair 1
Tarmac Driveway Repair

Monitor Nearby Vegetation

Pay attention to nearby tree roots or other encroaching vegetation. Tree roots can cause significant damage by breaking the surface and leading to cracks. So, it’s essential to remove them promptly. Maintain a buffer zone between the driveway and plantings to minimise problems.

Regular Professional Inspections

Schedule professional inspections of your driveway from time to time. Trained eyes can identify potential issues that might be overlooked and provide necessary care instructions or repair services.

Avoid Heavily Weighted Vehicles or Equipment

Tarmac driveways can soften under extreme heat, causing them to be susceptible to damage from heavy vehicles or equipment. Try to limit these from parking or being placed on the driveway, especially during hot summer days.

Maintain Edges

Keep the driveway edges well-supported and protected. Soil, a row of bricks, or landscape timber can help keep the sides strong and limit the risk of crumbling.

Regular Tarmac Sealing

Over the years, tarmac driveways may fade due to exposure to sunlight and harsh weather conditions. So, it’s essential to apply a high-quality tarmac sealer every few years. The sealer acts as a protective layer guarding against harmful UV radiation, oil spills, and other forms of stains or damage. Moreover, reapplying a good quality tarmac sealant can restore the rich black finish and improve its overall appearance.

Take Precautions While Shovelling Snow

During winter, be careful when removing snow from the driveway’s surface. Always use a plastic shovel, as metal can scratch or damage the surface.

By following these tips, along with any additional recommendations suggested by the installation contractor, you can expect to enjoy a long-lasting, resilient, and aesthetically pleasing tarmac driveway.

Mistakes to Avoid When Installing Tarmac Driveways in Ireland

As you plan your tarmac driveway project, keep the following common mistakes in mind to ensure a hassle-free installation process and a long-lasting driveway:

Skimping on Quality

Don’t cut corners when choosing the tarmac mixture, bordering materials, or driveway contractor. Investing in top-notch materials and services will benefit you in the long run, ensuring a durable and visually appealing driveway.

Neglecting Drainage Planning

Make sure your contractor maps out proper drainage systems to prevent standing water and keep your driveway functional. Remember, inadequate drainage can cause water pooling and damage your driveway over time.

Ignoring Local Regulations

It may seem time-consuming, but it is necessary to consult with local authorities to ensure compliance with building rules, permits, and zoning regulations. This process can save you from potential fines and complications down the line.

Tarmac driveway with rustic border in Tallaght 3
Tarmac driveway with rustic border in Tallaght 3

Not Integrating Your Driveway With the Surrounding Landscape

Your driveway should blend seamlessly with your property’s existing landscape design. Work with your paving contractor to ensure your new tarmac driveway complements your home’s exterior, garden, and other outdoor elements.

Incorrect Subbase Installation

A sturdy and well-prepared subbase is crucial for a long-lasting tarmac driveway. Ensure that your contractor installs the proper depth and type of subbase and that it is adequately compacted.

Poor Timing for Installation

Weather plays a vital role in a successful driveway installation. Avoid scheduling your project during months of heavy rain or freezing temperatures, as these conditions can negatively affect your tarmac driveway’s performance and longevity.

Inconsistent Maintenance Practices

Regular maintenance is vital for preserving your driveway. However, improper or inconsistent upkeep can lead to premature damage. Follow maintenance best practices consistently, as recommended by professionals.

Tarmac Driveway Cleaning

Poor Communication With the Contractor

It’s essential to maintain open communication with your chosen contractor throughout your tarmac driveway project. Stay updated on progress, discuss concerns, and clarify expectations to minimise potential misunderstandings and delays.

Overlooking Post-Installation Care Instructions

Once your driveway is done, it’s vital to adhere to any post-installation care instructions provided by your contractor. For instance, avoid driving or parking on the newly installed surface for the recommended period, usually between 3 to 7 days. Following proper care guidelines helps maintain the driveway’s integrity and ensures optimal performance.

Not Monitoring Warranty Period

Keep track of your driveway’s warranty period and address any issues that may arise during this timeframe. Working closely with your contractor ensures a timely response to potential problems and protects you under the warranty agreement.

In conclusion, tarmac driveways are a sound investment for both practical and aesthetic reasons. They are resilient, cost-efficient, and capable of enhancing the overall look of your Dublin property. However, their longevity and appeal depend heavily on careful planning, quality installation, and regular maintenance.

From considering factors such as costs and property size to collaborating with a reputable contractor who understands the nuances of tarmac driveways, each step is integral in ensuring a smooth installation process and a stunning result for your Dublin property. Consistent maintenance is the final key to preserving its excellent condition for the coming years.

So, as you embark on this project, remember that each decision you make, from the preliminary planning to the final post-installation care, plays a significant role in shaping the result. All these factors come together to craft a durable, beautiful driveway that will serve as a statement piece for your property.

Transform your property’s facade with New Style Driveways — your trusted partner for top-quality tarmac driveways in Dublin. Together, let’s create a functional and durable driveway that stands out! Call us at (01) 4851582 | 0852139591 or click here to schedule a consultation.