An oil & stone driveway, sometimes known as tar & chip, will offer the look of a gravel driveway, but will still provide a strong and durable surface. We suggest two coats of oil and stone on new driveway surfaces. The driveway base is prepared, and a coat of oil (RS-5) is applied with a special sprayer attached to the oil truck. A layer of gravel is then distributed over the treated surface and is then compacted with a roller.
This process is generally repeated once more, to provide two coats of oil & stone. Once the oil has cooled, it will harden and provide a stable surface for the gravel. The end result will look like a natural gravel surface. There will be constant loose stone, however, maintenance will be minimal depending upon the stone type. Stone comes in a variety of sizes and colors and provides and excellent alternative to asphalt.
*All stone types are naturally mined products and may vary in size and color.
MAINTENANCE & CARE
How long will my new oil & stone driveway last?
~ An oil & stone driveway could last as long as 10 – 12 years before needing to be replaced. As with an asphalt driveway, things like weather and usage play a big part. Proper maintenance is important. Gravel is easily washed down slopes in heavy rains, and often carried away in vehicle tires. It is easy for weeds and potholes to quickly become a headache.
How long should I keep vehicles off my new oil & stone driveway?
~ Again, you could drive on the surface right away if you must, however, we do suggest waiting about 1-2 days before doing so. It is always best to wait till the oil & stone has had a chance to cool and settle before driving on it. After the initial waiting period, driving over the oil & stone actually helps to compact it further.
What type of maintenance is required or suggested for my new oil & stone driveway?
~ Oil & Stone surfaces will require a bit more maintenance than an asphalt surface. Because the stone will shift over time, regular maintenance items such as re-raking and top-dressing will be required periodically. Bare spots will normally appear around areas where cars turnaround, pull out or go around curves. Raking the existing stone or adding additional stone when required will help keep the driveway looking good and prevent the oil base from wearing away. Weeds and vegetation can also easily spread throughout the oil & stone surface, so regular weed control should be kept up. Hand weeding or over the counter weed killer can be applied to help control this. *Weeds can be very aggressive and will actually grow through the oil & stone surface. The application of oil & stone will not prevent weeds.
What do I need to know about salting or plowing the driveway in winter?
~ Both Asphalt and Oil & Stone driveways can be salted or plowed in the winter. It is particularly important however to keep the plow blade raised slightly when plowing an oil & stone driveway. Stone will easily be picked up with the snow, leaving unsightly bare spots if not done properly. It is sometimes necessary to touch-up the surface in the spring, usually simply by re-raking the stone. Salting will not cause any damage to either surface.