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Driveways & Resin Surfacing

Oil And Chip Driveway: What It Is And What It Offers

Oil And Chip Driveway

When replacing or improving your driveway you will want to choose a surface that is going to be low cost and attractive. There are a few options that fit this criteria and one of these is oil and chip (sometimes known as oil and stone or tar and chip).

This is a lower cost option that can be laid quickly and offers an instant makeover of your driveway. There are a number of drawbacks however and it may not compare favourably to other driveway options such as resin based surfaces.

Improving your driveway will have a huge impact on your home and you want to ensure that this impact is a positive one-both in the eyes of you and your family, and prospective buyers at a later date.

With a new and improved outdoor space offering as much as 20% increase on the value of your home, you want to make the most of any budget you do have.

Choosing an oil and chip driveway may be exactly what you need to achieve a good surface that will provide the low cost solution you need-yet all things considered, when longevity’s factored into the equation, this may be a false economy, as the following article reveals…

What Is An Oil And Chip Driveway?

The name oil and chip can be a little misleading, as it gives the impression that this driveway surface consists of a mixture of oil and chipped stone. In fact, it is closer to a mixture of liquid asphalt and stone that is laid in layers.

This surface is used on rural roads in some parts of the world – especially where the road is infrequently used.

It is often used as a new layer over an existing surface to strengthen the road, and to increase its longevity. It can be used in a similar way on your driveway, or it can be laid as a new surface.

Oil And Chip Driveway

You do have more options with oil and chip than you do with an asphalt driveway. In the case of asphalt, the stones are added to the bitumen, and, therefore, are completely coated in the oil

How Is An Oil And Chip Driveway Laid?

The process of laying an oil and chip driveway is as follows:

● If adding the driveway as a new surface, the ground works need to be prepared with a gravel base layer.
● Hot liquid asphalt is then poured over this gravel, and is coated by a layer of loose stones that are then rolled into the asphalt.
● This process can be repeated if the driveway needs to be thicker and sturdier.
● The layers can also be added to the existing driveway surface as long as it is in good shape, with no apparent cracks.

Can I Personalise My Oil And Chip Driveway?

You do have more options with oil and chip than you do with an asphalt driveway. In the case of asphalt, the stones are added to the bitumen, and, therefore, are completely coated in the oil.

This causes the entire surface of the driveway to be black. With oil and chip surfacing, a layer of stone is added to the oil layer, allowing the stones to show through and appear visible.

You can then choose a different coloured stone to give a softer look to the surface.

Oil And Chip Driveway

While this type of surface is regularly used on the roads, it is less often used with driveways. This means that you may struggle to find a contractor who can complete this driveway for you. In most cases, a cold asphalt is used on driveways, as there is more control over the surface

What Are The Drawbacks Of An Oil And Chip Driveway?

This type of driveway can be suitable for most driveways and is a quick and easy solution to your need for a new look to the front of your home.

But it is far from perfect and needs to be carefully considered before you go ahead. There are a number of reasons to think twice about oil and chip:

● The texture of the driveway is rough, as the gravel layer has been rolled into the oil layer, but not premixed. This means that the gravel will sit on the surface, making it rough underfoot.
● The gravel layer will usually be quite loose, and stones will move around. You will find that eventually bare patches occur, and that the surface can be easily damaged.
● Your oil and chip driveway will only last around 7 to 10 years, making it one of the worst long-term performers compared to other driveway types. You can improve it by adding another layer of material after a few years to keep it going, but you cannot do this indefinitely.
● While this type of surface is regularly used on the roads, it is less often used with driveways. This means that you may struggle to find a contractor who can complete this driveway for you. In most cases, a cold asphalt is used on driveways, as there is more control over the surface.
● The reason that this driveway material is cheaper than other options is because of the bitumen that is used. It is often a cheaper version of that used for asphalt and therefore the adhesion is not as good. This can lead to the stones coming away from the surface, and even the entire layer coming away from the lower base as well.
● The bitumen may be prone to melting in hot weather, making your driveway alarmingly sticky. Tar being brought into the home is hard to remove; and it can ruin your car paint as well.
● Because of the low cost, this type of driveway surface is most often used by rogue builders. It will look good in the short term, but may degrade quickly – by which time the contractor is long gone.
● If you try to remove snow from the surface with a shovel, you can easily damage the top layer.

Oil And Chip Driveway

While we all want to save money on our home improvement projects, your driveway does deserve the best treatment you can afford. You want your home to look great from the road, and to have that wow factor!

What Other Options Do I Have?

If you are looking for a driveway surface that gives you a choice of colour, but will provide you with the longevity and value for money you want, you really cannot do much better than resin bound.

Instead of using tar, bitumen or oil based binders, this uses resin – a stronger and more durable product. The stones are also mixed with the resin before the material is laid on the driveway. This means that all of the aggregate is fully coated, and, consequently, will not come away from the surface.

Resin bound driveways are certainly more expensive than oil and chip equivalents, but there are so many reasons to consider this option, including the following:

● A resin bound driveway can be personalised to suit your tastes, both in terms of colour and mix of aggregates. The material is evenly coloured due to the way the aggregate is mixed into the resin, while oil and chip is patchy.
● The surface of a resin bound driveway is smooth, but with enough texture to prevent it from becoming too slippery. Snow, leaves and dirt can be easily removed without damaging the surface.
● Your resin bound driveway will last as long as 30 years – 3 times as long as an oil and chip surface, for a far more cost-effective price.
● A resin bound driveway is stable in all weathers, and will not melt in even the hottest temperature. You will never need to worry about cracking in cold weather either.

While we all want to save money on our home improvement projects, your driveway does deserve the best treatment you can afford. You want your home to look great from the road, and to have that wow factor.

An oil and chip driveway may offer a quick improvement, but in the long term it really may not live up to expectations. You are better off saving for a while longer, and getting the results your home really deserves.

Give your driveway the attention and investment it deserves, by opting for resin bound surfacing. Take the first step to creating a driveway of distinction today, by giving us a call on 0800 1700 636, or simply clicking the button below!