Chip Seal Driveway

It is all about the arrival experience

We Do

Decorative Driveways

Implement your Ideas

If it is your ideas or the architect’s idea we will work with you to get them off the drawing board and onto your driveway or path

Free Quotes

We look forward to a site visit and to provide you with a free quote for your project

Chip Seal Driveway

Here is Eastern Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Southern Main we provide high-quality chip sealing projects. For our customers, the application of Chip Seal is to provide a rich decorative pavement process that also extends the life of the underlying pavement. Our customers want to have a distinct “look” to the home, not just a typical flat black asphalt ribbon leading up to the house.

Types of Chip Sealing We Do Here in New England

The types of work we do and the properties we work on are usually residential, estates and parks. These types of properties that are having chip seal projects installed usually include lots of tight spaces they are not off in wide-open areas. Rather they are on highly landscaped with accents, curbs, walks, garage concrete transitions and all sorts of details that abut the paved area but cannot have chip seal on them. A signature of our work is twofold. Create a clean, crisp edge and if some hot asphalt gets in the wrong place knowing how to clean it up and remove it separates us from many other contractors. Attention to detail makes using our service the right fit with high-quality properties. Our customers notice and know if it is not done right. So, we do it the right way.

 

Landscape Design

Chip seal surfaces can be used by your designer to create textures and shapes for acents and focus for the designer and owner to work with a larger palet of concepts.

What We Do

There are very few experienced and also focused contractors that do chip seal installations. By the nature of the type of work usually done we ara contractor that services the high-end residential driveway market in the state of Massachusetts as well as the New Hampshire and Maine coast. The focus of our chip sealing efforts is to be a specialty contractor focused on this niche and knows it well.

Walk ways and paths are also an area of focus of this company. Because we have the equipment to transfer chips stone and hot asphalt cement long distances. This means that  a narrow project that trucks can not reach we can do a top quality  with no large increase in labor costs.

We are NOT a paving contractor that also offers chip sealing as an add on to their services along with seal coating, crack sealing and several other asphalt maintenance services. We are a focused Chip Seal contractor that has been doing this since 1996 so as of 2019 that is 23 years. That means a lot of work has been in this area and see what works and what does not work as our clients expect.

Only the Best

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Construction Pride

Installing a product that is meant to last takes proven experience and continual improvement in our process.

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Tried and True Technology

After doing this for over twenty years we have seen what works and know and avoid the pitfalls. 

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High Quality Construction Management

All projects have nuances involved regarding what the customer is looking for in the finished product. From the initial client visit to final clean up of the job, Paul is present and supervising the project. This ensures continuity for the entire task.

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Specilized Equipment

Purpose built custom equipment is used on every project to ensure the installation is high quality and staffing is at a reasonable level. 

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We Create a Distinctive "look"

Paving contractors are focused on flat and black driveway installations. We focus on putting the icing on the cake to create an arrival experiance when visitors approach your home.

What chip Seal Does Not Do

Chip seal is not a pavement repair product. We do not do seal coating, but the analogy here is similar to seal coating. If a failing driveway is seal coated, you will not stop structural problems. Seal coating will not fix cracks and provide a uniform paved surface. You will be able to see the defects and asphalt as a flexible pavement will move during the New England seasons and show the defects. Our point is seal coating does fix pavement. Chip sealing a driveway does not repair structural problems. It is a surface application and in comparison, to seal coating chipseal is much thicker. Defects do reflect and show up on the surface.

Chipseal does not provide a significant structural component to a paved surface which is why it is important to understand the base pavement. A plan needs to put in place and executed regarding what and how the base needs to be fixed before the chip sealing can be started.

Why is Base Pavement Important?

picture of broken asphalt

This is an extreme example of failed pavement from a parking lot and a coat of chip seal would certainly not fix this situation

A well-known saying in construction fits perfectly with chipseal installation and providing a high-quality end product. This saying goes like this “It is not the beauty of a building you should look at; it is the construction of the foundation that will stand the test of time. …”

The reason it is the section thickness of the total material applies is not that thick enough to fix flaws below. The depth of material cannot be too thick. The reason is the hot asphalt we apply has to be installed thin enough so that it will not bury the stone to its full depth in the hot tar covering the top of the stone. It only makes sense since the goal of the project is to create the color by having the top of the stone exposed and the rest cemented in place.

Another reason we bring this up for people who may be researching the concept of chip sealing. They want to learn more about chipseal and see how applications in other parts of the country. There are different applications of chipseal to solve other situations like low volume roads and work well in different climates with less substrate preparation. There are also some miss applications of chip sealing in some cases.

In some parts of the country, this concept of hot asphalt and aggregate is used to maintain asphalt that has weathered and cracked or to seal roads that have a solid base but no wearing surface. To give you an idea of the differences take a look at our video page that shows other areas and other application methods of chip sealing

What we do

We create driveway impressions

We know that a surface to be treated with chipseal must be structurally sound with no defects because the thickness of the application will not make up for what is not underneath. If a customer has a question regarding their particular situation, we would be happy to come out and look at the conditions you have to see if it fits to use chip-sealing. We would rather say no and pass on doing something that will not provide both a decorative and durable pavement surface. It is not worth it to take a chance of a project failing. The taste of an inexpensive project or a project done haphazardly will far out weight the bitterness of a messed-up pavement surface that does not perform as it should.

Years Established

Completed Projects

One sample view of possible chip stone choice

Our sources can have some variation. We typically offer 5 local stone chip colors and can supply others on request.

The Stone

Selecting the right stone for the end user the question is who likes the “look” the stone will provide. Color and texture of the stone are usually what a designer and or homeowner is focused on. There is more to it than that. We study the source of the rock for physical and mechanical and qualities of the stone.

All possible stone sources for chipseal are not equal. It must be crushable to the right size and shape for a driveway application. Some beautiful stones, simply are not hard enough to stand up to traffic and snow removal over time. The analogy here would be comparing a driveway on Cape Cod, often you see clam or oyster shell driveways on the top layer. These need to be replenished periodically because the car tires split and crush the shells. Chip seals are built to last and are not something to recoat. The spectrum of rock hardness is much greater than the average person may be aware of. That is why we provide samples of local stone that will both look good and be durable.

All possible stone sources for chipseal are not equal. It must be crushable to the right size and shape for a driveway application. Some beautiful stones, simply are not hard enough to stand up to traffic and snow removal over time. The analogy here would be comparing a driveway on Cape Cod, often you see clam or oyster shell driveways on the top layer. These need to be replenished periodically because the car tires split and crush the shells. Chip seals are built to last and are not something to recoat. The spectrum of rock hardness is much greater than the average person may be aware of. That is why we provide samples of local stone that will both look good and be durable.

Physical properties of the stone are one example of shape. Round river run gravel that is mostly like marbles just will not tend to be easy to hold in the asphalt cement. If the stone were going to be completely buried in the asphalt cement, it would work, but the goal is to save the color of the stone. So getting each piece in a perfect socket to hold it in place is hard to do and increased the chance of failure.

Clean Washed Stone

The crushing and handling of rock in a quarry is a dirty, dusty business. Stone used for Chipseal must be clean stone. Another example would be as follows. Think of pizza and how you keep it from sticking. A good way to prevent sticking on the peel is using a combination of flour and cornmeal being dust on the surface first. The reverse is true for the selected stone to be used on a chipseal project. It has to be free of stone dust. All the dirt and dust has to be removed. It is washed off by us, so there is no interference between the stone and asphalt cement.

How we do Chip Sealing

Surface preparation on each job is done to prevent creating a high-quality bond between the current surface and the chip seal to be installed. Whatever is needed to free the surface from debris is stocked in the service truck. Shovels, rakes, power brooms and high-velocity blowers are all used to clean the area to be treated. A big part of our job is tied to our “Work is Our Bond” we work to provide a high-quality bond between the substrate and the aggregate to be added on top.

Masking of adjacent features

The analogy is to a high-quality professional knowing how to create a clean, crisp edge and clean up any spills that may happen. The only problem is with real sticky hot asphalt heated to 350 degrees when it cools off it is there to stay. Same as a painter we mask areas that can not be affected. When there is a miss or application during spraying fixing it is not a problem based on experience and knowledge.

Spraying Hot Asphalt Cement

Application of the hot asphalt cement at 350 degrees requires multiple insulated safe ways to get the material from our large heated and insulated tanker truck to wee it has to be distributed. Sometimes it is by a hose, small tanker or handheld pour pots depending on what is needed. The point is we have the right stuff to adapt to the job situation. Safety with hot asphalt cement is a paramount consideration for all in our handling and is taken very seriously.

On most chip seal installation projects, Paul the owner does the spray application. Experience and knowing how fast to move the spray wand to create just the right thickness to embed the stone in the asphalt cement but not have it be covered. Ideally, each stone captured the quarters deep in the asphalt cement. Particularly not covered. That is why the application thickness of asphalt cement is so critical.

Hot spray of asphalt cement

Small areas are sprayed then stone applied so that it will not cool off too much. This helps set the stone into the cement with good contact of both.

Our Mini Asphalt Shuttle

One of our keys to creating durable chip seal installations. We keep the asphalt cement at the right temperature for installation no matter how far from the truck we need to work.

Specialized Asphalt Spray Equipment

The equipment to the left is one of our custom pieces of equipment. It is a small insulated tanker built on a heavy duty golf cart type of vehicle. It may look like Barney Ruble invented it but it works. The point of this unit is to get asphalt cement to the point of installation at the right temperature. If it is too cold the stone will not grab the stone the way it should. We use this mini tanker to shuttle the hot asphalt cement from the larger full-sized road truck down pathways or complicated driveway if we can not reach an area with our hose.

The roller in the background of this picture is rubber tired and is used to help roll the stones into place tight up against each other. We do not want the stone to be buried in the asphalt cement since you would lose the color and texture of the stone that is being added.

We have other specialty equipment to help with efficiency and quality of the product. We do not show it on our website since it took time to develop and do not want to be copied.

Efficient use of Labor with the right equipment

As with all construction projects time and labor is a big consideration. Now that is a consideration that has to be tooled around. Tons of clean washed stone is feed by a conveyor belt out of the back of our large trailer to our small custom buggies. These are used to efficiently move the stone to where it needs to go. Wheelbarrows are seldom required and just way harder. Efficiently spotting the stone where it is needed makes a world of difference in what can be completed in a day. Especially since getting large equipment into many places is hard and it just will not fit. Residential driveways and driveways on large estates are just not conducive to large trucks and equipment. All of the things we do are scaled to residential estate situations.

The ultimate control of the stone application is done by hand with stone rakes by our experienced installers that know how much should be placed to provide a uniform application of the chipped-stone. Pushing the right stuff to the right places fills in an even distribution of the stone. Now that the right amount of stone is placed on top of the hot asphalt cement the chips have to be set in place and forced tight against each other to create a uniform stone texture.

Finish Rolling

Our rubber-tired rollers have an off-set pattern to the tires both front and rear to help kneed the stone chips into place. This helps work the stone into asphalt binder before it cools. It blends the stone in instead of one unified pushing the stone in front of the roller. The timing of both the stone application and the roller is kept close to the application so the asphalt cement is still hot and malleable. In our video section, we have collected other applications or rural roads and parking lots that are similar but not using hot asphalt cement. Looking at some other applications you may see a relatively large gap in time between when the asphalt is sprayed and when the stone is applied.

The additional feature is our rollers work the stone into the asphalt cement but does not break the aggregate and by the time the asphalt cools and sets up a tight and uniform finish is produced.

Clean Up

Our experience tells us that when a homeowner hires us or we contract through someone else the homeowner wants us to come and do what we say we are going to do. Do it well. Then clean up before you leave. Sounds pretty basic but so often we hear of all sorts of situations where that does not happen. Before leaving we always police the area to make sure everything is picked up and as it should be.

Our Chipseal Service

We provide our driveway chip sealing services in Eastern Massachusetts. We work closely with architects, landscape designers, paving contractors, builders, and homeowners to implement their vision of a custom pavement surface that is rustic, decorative and durable. We have installed chip seal driveways at some of the biggest mansions and chip sealed paths in area national parks. With extensive experience in both the asphalt emulsion business and chip sealing, we can work with our potential clients to develop a chip sealing solution that will achieve your vision of an elegant driveway.

For every project, we analyze every project to make sure that all factors for success are provided for. It makes no sense not to do the right job. We know that not doing the right thing means customers that are not happy and as a result, we waste time trying to make it right. In construction, there are enough things that can and will go wrong on their own so creating problems mean you cannot survive. We strive every day to build a reputation as the most knowledgeable and reliable chip seal contractor in New England.

Just Say No

Part of building a good reputation for good work means saying no when we have to. All sorts of factors come into play things like available time, temperature, dry surface, preparation, quality of the base. There are only certain times of year chipseal can be done when it is too cold it just will not work.

We have done this by saying no when we have to. On every driveway project, our quality control is driven by not doing anything that will not stand up to the test of time.

New Construction Project Completion

When the leaves start falling it is getting close to when chip sealing is coming to a close. When frost gets in the ground it cools the asphalt cement too fast to get a well-done project completed.

New Construction

New construction has a lot of pressure to get the project completed. Often at the end of a building project, the pavement is one of the last steps to complete a project and make it look the way the owner has envisioned it. With all the decisions of a construction project, the client naturally wants to get the job done looking right and get rid of all the disruption. Often our chipseal projects are part of a bigger renovation or rebuild of a house. Delays happen decisions are made things happen and when it comes time to finish the job the pressure is on to get the driveway completed. If it gets too late in the season or too cold and it is not right it should not be done.

Chipseal can only be done late spring through mid-fall no matter how the rest of the project progressed this is not a place to make up for lost time. When the weather and season are not correct, we say no. When the required dry weather, temperature and job conditions cannot able to be met we will not push to do an installation that is destined for failure. We work with the paving contractor to let them know the right amount of reveal to leave so that with the asphalt cement and the stones embedded in it so the finished pavement plus chipseal comes out to the correct finished height.

Chip Sealing Existing a Driveway or Pavement

Renovation of a driveway with chip sealing takes a slightly different approach. With new construction, it is assumed the base asphalt has been placed to the right depth and compaction. Chip sealing certainly can be done on an older driveway. The initial focus on this type of chipseal project changes to making sure that the base asphalt is completely sound and hold up over the long term expected life of a quality chipseal project. Working with and around asphalt for years we have developed an eye for problems and what may be causing it. Ruts, cracks, places water does not drain, old repairs that may not have held up all need to be fixed and fixed right before chip sealing. These repairs need to be made at the source to eliminate the problem not trying just to cover up a defect.

Design changes to a driveway such as better turn around space or addition of a circular area should be considered before the chip sealing is done. If this is the case we do not do paving can suggest some contractors we know the quality of there work is high. Or if you have a company you are comfortable with that is fine with us. At this point, if changes in the driveway layout are going to be made it needs to be done before sealing.

Chip Seal Reputation Management

The subtleties of a high-quality chipseal project is not readily visible to the consumer. There are a few different asphalt products that can be used on as the binder for a chipseal project. Each one has properties. Our selections are all based on experience from the preparation, asphalt cement used, the stone we use and how we do the work are all geared towards a long-term durable end product that will make your property look the way you want it. Other contractors may or may not take short cuts or know any better or have the equipment to handle the materials we do. Some do take short cuts or not know any better on some of the finer points and “failures” can prove to future consumers that chipseal does not work. We are happy to provide references.

What We Do For You

We will provide a distinctive and durable driveway that will enhance your home. We meet with you, your architects or landscape designer to set up the project correctly. A specific plan will be outlined for you on what we plan to do on your particular project. If you have questions and would like a quotation on a chip seal project, please contact us. Call 781-254-2773

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