The Quick Answer
Tarmac is a very popular choice for driveways due to its hard wearing nature. Although this is true, tarmac still has to be looked after just like any other type of surfacing solution in order to keep it looking good as new. You may have been told that maintaining a Tarmac driveway can be difficult, but it’s always worth doing your own research so you can decide for yourself.
What can effect Tarmac Maintenance?
Temperature & Tarmac Maintenance
The UK weather is usually quite predictable (rain, rain and more rain!!!). We don’t often see adverse weather conditions or extreme temperature changes, however it is good to be aware that when the surface layer of tarmac is over heated it can become soft. This will mean that every day use (driving/parking) may cause the tarmac to sink in areas, leading to permanent dips. A tip for tarmac maintenance would be to try and keep off the Tarmac in conditions like this. If you aren’t able to stay off the driveway then take extra care when driving or parking. Try to avoid unnecessary wheel turning or wheel spinning.
Spillages & tarmac maintenance
If left alone substances such as oil, gasoline and thinners cause a reaction which can break down the bonding strength of Tarmac. This can make tarmac maintenance quite tricky. Usually very small spills should be fine and can go untreated, however medium to large spills should be treated to avoid the breakdown of the tarmac. When treating oil spills it’s best to soak them up with sand, whereas gasoline or thinners should be washed away with water.
This may seem like an obvious step to tarmac maintenance but unless kept on top of, it can start to cause serious issues. You can use either a stiff brush with warm water and soap to clean the surface, or carefully use a jetwash. You don’t want to dislodge the aggregates within the tarmac by using an industrial jet wash or putting your lance too close.
Be sure to remove all moss.
Use a protective sealer to add a layer of protection to your tarmac surface. This is done by using a roller and a roller tray. A tinted sealer is recommended to restore the natural black appearance. By using a sealer you are not only holding on to the natural colour, you are also minimising the tarmac maintenance levels.
Top tips for maintaining a tarmac driveway
- Leave your new tarmac driveway 2-3 days before you drive on it. Walking on it is fine but heavy vehicles could cause sinking!
- Request a naturally dark aggregate to be used in order to retain a dark coloured surface. Naturally light coloured aggregates used with a bitumen will look great to start with, but as the surface wears, it can start to look grey.
- Keep on top of the tarmac maintenance by carrying out the steps we have outlined.