How to Dress My Tar and Chip Driveway: The Do’s and Don’ts of Maintenance

When it comes to creating a driveway for your home or investment property, there are a few boxes that you – as the homeowner – will want to tick.

These include factors like convenience and the ease of maintenance, durability, how strong the surface remains under a high footfall and lots of vehicle traffic, and of course how natural it looks. Tar and chip driveway surfacing is a solution which covers all of those key areas – but how can you ensure it always looks its best?

Here are a few top Do’s and Don’ts for tar and chip driveway maintenance.

Do: add pops of colour with potted plants and planters

One of the best things about a tar and chip driveway surface is that it uses authentic aggregate and stones to create a textured finish which looks just like naturally poured gravel. Adding your own accessories in the form of potted plants and planters can help to pull the whole look together and connect your driveway with your front garden or the outside of your house, for a well-rounded and cohesive overall presentation.

Consider balancing the display of colour with symmetrical planters, flanking your property on both sides to transform your driveway into an entrance.

Do: keep your driveway free from debris for a tidy finish

Tar and chip driveway surfaces do not require much in the way of maintenance, but one thing you do need to keep on top of is debris. Using a stiff bristle brush will make it easy to brush away fallen leaves and other unwanted debris – with other things to look out for including surface water and any cracks which appear in the surface over time. Tar and chip surfacing is easy to fix and lends itself well to covering any gaps or cracks – however, the fast you can act the easier it will be to cover any damage at a low cost.

Don’t: Attempt to paint over the surface. Leave gaps instead

As a popular alternative to tarmac or concrete for a restaurant or public car park, there are many benefits associated with tar and chip surfacing – not least the aesthetic design which is much softer than a slab of slate grey concrete, and which taps into countryside and rural settings nicely.

However, if you want to denote specific parking spaces throughout your car park, then be aware of one very clear rule – do not try and paint over the top of your tar and chip surfacing. The natural texture of the stones will leave your lines looking incredibly rough and untidy. A better option is to leave entire strips free from the surfacing material, painting the ground underneath in a clean white to really make the lines pop.

This, combined with the colour from your supplementary planters and furnishings, and with a high level of upkeep using a simple broom and some elbow grease, will have your outside space looking its best – all year round.

Think tar and chip could be the right solution for your outside space or driveway? Head to our website to find out more about natural finish which suits traditional, town, and country houses alike.