Considering The Pros & Cons Of A Chip Seal For High Traffic Paths

Key Takeaways

  1. As a homeowner or commercial property owner, it’s essential to think of your driveway or parking lot as more than just an asphalt canvas – it’s the foundation of your home and business.
  2. Without regular care, problems can arise that significantly shorten its lifespan from 15 years to five years or less. These problems can arise from various factors, from extreme weather conditions to high traffic.
  3. Chip seal is a cost-effective way to repair roads and highways. It is generally cheaper than other paving materials.
  4. Chip seals provide an extra layer of protection against extreme weather conditions such as rain, snow, sleet, hail, etc.
  5. While chip sealing may be suitable for low-traffic roadways, it isn’t recommended for use on high-traffic paths. It is because they become displaced over time, leading to an uneven and potentially hazardous driving surface.

As a homeowner or commercial property owner, it’s essential to think of your driveway or parking lot as more than just an asphalt canvas. It’s the foundation of your home and business, offering protection and convenience for vehicles, pedestrians, and deliveries — you name it! Your driveway or parking lot can also add curb appeal and be aesthetically pleasing when appropriately designed. Although asphalt is a strong and durable material, it still requires routine maintenance to stay in good condition. Without regular care, problems can arise that significantly shorten its lifespan from 15 years to five years or less. These problems can be caused by various factors, from extreme weather conditions to high traffic. Are you trying to figure out the best way to upgrade your driveway, pathway, or parking lot? There are so many options available that it can be challenging to decide which fits your needs and budget. A chip seal might be worth considering if you’re looking for a durable solution. Have you ever wondered if chip-sealing is suitable for high-traffic areas? Pickett’s Paving LLC will explore the pros and cons of using them on roads and highways. We’ll also show you which surfaces can be sealed without any problems.

What are High Traffic Areas?

Before we discuss the pros and cons of chip seal application in high-traffic areas, we must define a high-traffic area. It is any surface used for frequent and long-term travel, such as roads and highways. These areas often have a higher amount of vehicle and foot traffic than other areas. This blog post will consider highways and roads as high-traffic areas.

Chip Sealing For High Traffic Areas: Pros and Cons

Pros of Chip Seal Application

1. Cost Effective

It is a cost-effective way to repair roads and highways. It is generally cheaper than other paving materials and can last for years with proper maintenance. According to experts, chip seals typically cost $2-$3 per square foot, a much more affordable option than asphalt paving which averages around $7-$13.

2. Fast & Easy

It is relatively quick, taking only a few days to complete. It means that projects can be completed quickly and efficiently without disrupting traffic on the highway or road. Chips seals generally take about 48 hours to cure. In contrast, other alternatives, such as asphalt paving, can take more than three days to set completely.

3. Sealant & Safety

Chip seals act as a sealant to protect against water and other liquids that can seep through the pavement and damage the underlying structure of roads and highways. It’s essential to keep these surfaces safe from the elements since they are often subject to heavy use by drivers.

4. Weather-Resistant

It provides an extra layer of protection against extreme weather conditions such as rain, snow, sleet, hail, etc. The chips help trap moisture near the road or highway surface and prevent it from eroding in harsh climates. It makes them ideal for surfaces exposed to a lot of precipitation or temperatures that fluctuate widely throughout the year.

Cons of Chip Seal Application

1. Not Suited For High Traffic

While chip sealing may be suitable for low-traffic roadways, they are not recommended for use on high-traffic paths. The chips can become displaced over time, leading to an uneven and potentially hazardous driving surface.

2. High Noise Level

Chip seals can be noisy when driven on since the materials used tend to make much noise as vehicles go over them. It could lead to increased levels of noise pollution in residential or commercial areas near the affected roads or highways.

3. Difficult To Repair

They are complex and costly if chip seals become damaged due to heavy usage or extreme weather conditions. Removing existing chip seal material without damaging the underlying surface is difficult. Repairs often require more extensive work that may include resurfacing the entire area.

4. Short Lifespan

Chip seals typically have a shorter lifespan than most other paving options, such as asphalt or concrete. They may require more frequent maintenance depending on the amount of traffic they endure. It could lead to an increased cost over time for property owners or municipalities that choose chip seals for their projects.

5. Pop Rocks

No, we’re not talking about the candy! Over time chip seal binder can weaken, which can cause the aggregate to pop out of place. These loose chips are dangerous as they can shoot out and cause injury.

Where to Apply Chip Sealing?

Now that you’re familiar with the pros and cons of chip seals, let’s look at where they are best applied:

1. Low-Volume Roads

Chip seals are particularly useful for low-volume roads in rural areas as these don’t have to withstand high traffic. As such, their shorter lifespan is less of a problem.

2. Parking Lots

Chip seals are also great for parking lots since it only needs to last 2-5 years before requiring maintenance. Since cars tend to travel slowly in these areas, the risk of losing chips is minimal.

3. Low-Maintenance Paths

Chip seals are also ideal for low-maintenance paths or trails in parks and other recreational areas. The material will last long enough to be effective without needing too much maintenance from park staff.

Bungalow,/,Ranch,House,With,A,Lawn,And,Driveway

4. Private Driveways

If you have a private driveway, chip sealing can quickly repair it without investing too much time or money. Chip seals can last between three to five years, depending on the traffic, making them an economical option for driveways that don’t need significant repairs or upkeep over time. It’s best to consult with an asphalt contractor to know whether chip sealing is the right solution for your asphalt asset before applying. Related: Chip Seal Vs. Asphalt Paving: What’s The Big Difference?

Bottom Line

Chip seals are an economical and effective repair solution for high-traffic paths and private driveways. Still, they won’t provide the same level of protection as expensive asphalt maintenance solutions like resurfacing. Resurfacing is recommended for areas that need more protection from wear, tear, and regular use. In any case, consult a professional asphalt contractor to determine what material should be used for your asset repairs. Consider using chip seals when dealing with low-traffic areas, including commercial parking lots or residential driveways. Get Asphalt Maintenance and Repair By a Professional Asphalt Contractor in La Crosse, WI Pickett’s Paving LLC provides professional asphalt maintenance and repair services to those in La Crosse, WI, for high and low-traffic paths. We have years of experience dealing with residential paving applications, so we can deliver top-quality service at competitive costs. Our skilled professionals can help you determine the best material for your asset’s repairs, whether chip seals or alternative asphalt solutions. Contact us today and get a free quote.