How Do You Maintain a Tar and Chip Driveway?

Chip and Tar Driveway Ireland

One of the “selling points” of a tar and chip driveway, also called seal chip driveway, is that it requires little upkeep. However, while it is very low maintenance, this does not mean you can neglect it. You have to consistently care for the driveway for it to last many years and continue to look pristine.

Regular maintenance is key to avoiding repaving or replacing your driveway before the end of its lifespan. With proper care, a well-made tar and chip driveway can last 10 to 15 years.

Tar and Chip Driveway Maintenance Tips

The frequency of use and the climate in your area determine the amount of maintenance your driveway needs. In areas with high humidity or a lot of rainfall, moss can begin to grow on the stones. This will require more frequent cleaning and maintenance.

Below are some of the maintenance tasks you need to do to keep your tar and chip driveway in tiptop condition and ensure its longevity:

  1. Keep off the driveway until the binder completely sets.
  2. Sweep debris, dirt and loose stones.
  3. Power wash the surface.
  4. Repair damages immediately.
  5. Reseal the surface every two to three years.


1. Keep off the driveway until the binder completely sets.

A tar and chip driveway can be built in a day. But it is best not to use it until the binder fully sets – at least around three days. By doing this, you avoid creating uneven areas and dislodging stones.

2. Sweep debris, dirt and loose stones.

To keep your seal chip driveway in excellent condition, you need to clean it on a regular basis. This is also true for other types of driveways — concrete, tarmacadam, gravel, etc.

There are many different types of debris that can collect on your driveway – leaves and twigs, dirt, pet waste, etc. If these are left on your driveway, they can cause stains, discolouration, cracks and other damages.

The best way to prevent this from happening is by sweeping your driveway at least once a week. You may wish to invest in a leaf blower so that this task doesn’t take too long.

3. Power wash the surface.

You can use a pressure washer to clean the driveway more thoroughly when necessary or at least once a year. However, avoid spraying the sides with water or other cleaning products because it can damage the sealant. Make sure to sweep away any standing water.

If your driveway has stains from oil or grease leaks from your car, clean them right away. Remember, oil causes tar to break down. When this happens, the chips loosen and holes develop.

When removing automotive fluid stains, you can use dishwashing soap and warm water. If that doesn’t work, try using an oil solvent or degreaser.

Tar and Chip Driveway Contractor Ireland

4. Repair damages immediately.

Periodically inspect your driveway. Pay close attention to the edges. Take note of any cracks or uneven pavements. Repair them immediately to prevent water from seeping into the chips and causing potholes. Keep an eye on tiny cracks, but don’t fret because they usually heal themselves.

However, if they are still there after a few weeks and are getting bigger, do not think twice about fixing them. Fill the gaps using the appropriate type of filler.

Use a knife or screwdriver to dig out loose chips and replace them with new ones if you have any left from the installation.

Also, get rid of weeds growing in cracks between stones in your driveway. If left alone, weeds can push apart the stones and make the gaps bigger, which can cause your driveway to deteriorate faster than it should.

5. Reseal the surface.

One of the advantages of a tar and chip driveway is that it does not require repeated sealing. The general rule of thumb is to apply a sealant when the chips start coming off or the surface looks faded.  Alternatively, you can opt to seal it every three to five years.

The sealant helps protect the driveway from sunlight damage, oil spills, gasoline and other chemicals. It also prevents cracks from forming and keeps it looking new longer.

Professional Tar and Chip Driveway Maintenance Services

Maintaining a tar and chip driveway is an incredibly easy task, but it requires commitment. You have to consistently do them if you want to avoid prematurely replacing or repaving your driveway.

You can do most of these maintenance tasks on your own – sweeping off dust and debris, washing the surface and even fixing small cracks. But some tasks are best handled by professionals.

For example, it is wise to let pros power wash your seal chip driveway. This task may seem easy, but it is not. You need to know the right angle and pressure to avoid damaging the sealant.

You should also let professional driveway pavers handle major repairs to ensure that the appropriate material is used. Similarly, it is best to let pros apply a sealant to guarantee that it is done the right way.

Simply put, do not hesitate to hire professionals to help you keep your tar and chip driveway in excellent condition. Enlisting their services is key to avoiding extensive damages which are costlier to repair.

In conclusion, upkeep and repairs are often easily overlooked in the midst of busy lifestyles. However, keeping up with these small tasks is essential in preserving the beauty and extending the service life of your tar and chip driveway. So, always find time to complete these maintenance tasks.

Does your tar and chip driveway need to be repaired or resealed? Or is it time to replace it? Let our experienced driveway pavers help you maintain your driveway or build a new one! Call us now on 0852139591 or click here to request a quote!