Tarmac is a popular driveway material all across North America and Europe. Short for tarmacadam, it is also widely used for building airport runways and roads.
Tarmac is a black material held together by a viscous substance. It is often confused with asphalt because of how it looks. While they may have the same appearance, these paving solutions have different chemical compositions.
If you are planning to pave or repave your driveway, tarmac is an option you should consider, especially if you want the project completed fast.
To help you decide if a tarmac driveway is right for you, we’ve put together a guide detailing its advantages and disadvantages.
Advantages of a Tarmac Driveway
One of the top reasons why property owners go for tarmac is that it is easy to install. So, if you choose this paving solution, you do not have to worry about not being able to use your driveway for a long time.
Depending on the size of the driveway, laying the material and completing the project can be done within the day. Then, the surface needs to cure or solidify for 2 to 3 days before you can use it.
This is significantly shorter than the time it takes to install other materials. For example, with concrete driveways, it is recommended that you wait at least 7 days before driving on it.
Aside from the ease of installation, tarmac’s low cost is another reason why it is preferred by many. Currently, it is one of the most affordable paving solutions in the market. It is priced lower than concrete, brick and other types of paving slabs.
The cost of installing it is also cheaper than concrete driveways and other types of drives. This can be attributed to the fact that building it is easy and does not require a lot of time.
But don’t think that the ease of installation is reason enough for you to go the DIY route. This is not a project meant for DIYers as properly laying tarmac entails skills, techniques and tools. Moreover, the process is laborious because it involves excavating the driveway and laying the foundation.
To put simply:
Building a tarmac driveway is easy for experienced pavers. But for DIYers, the process can be complicated and tedious.
Tarmac drives are also known for their durability. For as long as they are built properly and maintained well, they can last up to 20 years.
They are resistant to various weather conditions from extreme cold and heat to frequent rains. They can also withstand heavy weights, making them an excellent choice if you own several vehicles.
Tarmac driveways require minimal upkeep. Hence, experts often say that they are designed to look after themselves. You just need to regularly remove the dirt and debris to keep the drive clean and aesthetically pleasing. It is also best if you apply sealant on it every 4 to 5 years.
Disadvantages of a Tarmac Driveway
Just like other surfacing solutions, tarmac also has its drawbacks. For one, while it can withstand heat, ultraviolet (UV) light can cause tarmac degradation. It can become brittle and eventually, potholes may appear.
Aside from UV light, tarmac can also be damaged by diesel, petrol or other automotive oils. These oils can weaken and dissolve the binder in tarmac, resulting in cracks.
Another potential issue you might encounter is the growth of weeds. This usually happens when the cracks on your tarmac driveway are not immediately repaired. When this happens, the crack is likely to get bigger.
Similarly, moss and algae may grow on it, especially if the surface does not get dry quickly. These can make your driveway slippery, turning it into a safety hazard.
Despite these disadvantages, many property owners still choose tarmac for their drives. This is mainly because the benefits outweigh the disadvantages. Furthermore, many of these so-called issues with tarmac drives are avoidable and solvable.
For example, fixing cracks would not require overhauling the entire drive unlike what happens with concrete drives. When it comes to oil spillage, you can simply cut out and patch the affected area and resurface the drive to restore its impeccable appearance.
For weeds, all you need to do is to ensure that cracks are fixed immediately. Meanwhile, cleaning your driveway regularly can prevent moss and algae growth.
In conclusion, these so-called disadvantages are not really dealbreakers as they can easily be resolved. Moreover, for as long as you got professional driveway installation services, you can expect a high-quality and hard-wearing drive.
Interested in having a tarmac driveway? We have professional pavers who are experienced in building tarmac drives. Call us now on 0852139591 or email us to request a quote!