Tar & Chip

Surface dressing also known as Tar and Chip is a traditional surfacing method which involves spraying hot C67BC bitumen emulsion or Polymer modified bitumen, via tanker or a smaller towable tar spray unit directly over a deteriorated asphalt or concrete surface. Then, either washed 6-10mm gravel or granite chippings are broadcast over the hot liquefied bitumen, forming a complete coat of aggregate. The newly laid surface is then consolidated with a PTR pneumatic tired roller (rubber drummed roller) to ensure the aggregate is fully bonded to the bitumen. After the compaction is carried out the surplus aggregate is removed and disposed of. The end result is an aesthetically pleasing aggregate surface natural in appearance.
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Benefits of Tar and Chip

Substantially increases the longevity of a deteriorating asphalt or tarmac surface.
Anti-slip extremely abrasive.
The price is much cheaper than any other surfacing system.
Blue Rock Surfacing can lay up to 7 thousand square meters in a single site visit.
Aesthetically pleasing – The overall look is natural, proving to be most popular in rural areas.
Can be used as an affordable fix to spruce up a tired looking driveway or roadway.
Several colours to choose from including granite and golden gravel.
Easy to repair – Areas can show signs of wear especially in turning arks, these areas can be easily reinstated by simply cleaning of surplus material and reapplying a new layer of surface dressing
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Double Coating

For areas which need to stand up to HGVs and tight turning arks we recommend an additional second coat of bitumen and aggregate, which can be applied to form an even stronger surface layer. This usually consists of using different sized aggregate, typically 10mm for the first layer, and then 6mm for the second.
Locks Green, Nassington

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Where is Tar and Chip suitable

It’s important to understand that the system of Tar and Chip was not designed to be a primary surface coating. In fact its sole purpose is to form a protective barrier over asphalt, tarmac or concrete – usually a road or large driveway. It works by waterproofing and stabilising the overlaid surface. The liquid bitumen penetrates in between cracks and joints, helping to bond deteriorating surfaces back together. It is a very cost effective method of maintaining deteriorating roads and driveways.  At Blue Rock Surfacing we run a large bitumen tanker and also a small towable tanker for small areas up to five hundred square metres.
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Preparation is Key

As in any surfacing system correct preparation is vital to the life cycle and overall effect of the surface dressing. Although surface dressing works extremely well at stabilising a deteriorating surface, it’s important that the over-laid surface isn’t too damaged. In other words if the asphalt of your road or driveway is lifting or cracking to the extent that you pick pieces out with your fingers, patch repairing with asphalt will be necessary before surface dressing.
When it comes to surface dressing protecting the surrounds from spillage and overspray is an art form in its self. At Blue Rock we take every necessary precaution before bitumen spraying begins such as protecting drains from contamination with tightly sealed lids, taping up curbs and adjoining paving and also assessing the wind direction.
One other important factor is temperature. We generally recommend carrying out surface dressing from spring to autumn with a temperature ranging from 10-30 degrees Celsius. Laying on a damp or wet surface will also greatly reduce the bond of the hot bitumen
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Blue Rocks Tar and chip

As we have explained in the above sections Tar and chip is not just a case of spraying and broadcasting aggregate it takes a considerable amount of skill, knowledge and preparation to get it right. At Blue Rock Surfacing we have over 40 years experience in surface dressing applications. We have many repeat clients such as private estate owners, celebrities and trusts. Please view our gallery to see some of our completed projects.