When Not To Chip Seal

Pavement like this needs repair prior to chip seal application.

When we look at and start any project, the first consideration is, are these the right conditions for a long lasting great looking project.

Dig Out

Some pavement surfaces just have to be dug out and replaced.

Haul Away

Truck out the the cracked asphalt

Haul In New

Truck base material and full depth base asphalt installation.

Chip Seal Installation

Rubber tired roller works the chip stone into the asphalt cement

There Are Times Not To Use Chip Sealing

There is a time and a place for everything, and we want to help clarify for our potential customers when it is not appropriate to use chipseal for a decorative top coat of your paved surfaces here in central New England. The operative word is decorative. What we mean by this. If you have paved area that is in decline and showing signs of breakdown like cracking it is time to stop and evaluate the situation. Chipseal is a relatively thin application of asphalt cement. Chipseal will not arrest and cure situations that may be below.

Poorly Drained Area and Lack of Base Gravel

A chip sealed driveway is high traction, a decorative surface that beautifully frames a house. There are situations and times when it is not right to use chip sealing for a driveway. These issues are somewhat common sense, but we want to outline below the factors that have to be considered before chip sealing.

Structurally Deficient Pavements

Chip sealing is the final surface treatment for pavement. It is not a total solution for everything else that may be present. Chip seal will provide a very effective moisture seal with a complete coating of the base asphalt applied at 350 degrees. The Asphalt cement does not create a significantly thicker profile to support previously failing pavement against traffic. If the base material is deficient, the base pavement is breaking up; the drainage is bad all are situations when chip sealing will not fix the root causes.

Pavement That Needs Crack Sealing

If the existing pavement is to be coated repairs must be made first. If the structure of the pavement is sound but if cracks are present, then they need to be fixed. In any pavement that has cracks that are greater than one-quarter inch or more, it is likely that greater repair is needed. Large pavement cracks would be an indication that a good solid foundation is needed instead of minor frost movement. So sealing and repair of cracks may be needed as well as confirmation that no other deficiencies are present.

Presence of Potholes

Potholes are a good sign of structural problems and or poorly maintained pavement has to be fixed before chipseal application. An evaluation needs to be made so the repairs used to solve the problem to create a solid base for the chip seal to be placed on. Usually, potholes are an indication of structural problems. The traffic weight breaks down the surface then, with water intrusion tire traffic pumps material out of the pothole. Another situation can be the erosion of the material below. Either way, the situation needs to be fully repaired prior to repaving and chip sealing.


Driveways that have rutting in them that is greater than one quarter to a half inch in depth need to be fixed before chip sealing. If this is not fixed the addition of a chip seal cannot selectively fill in the low spots.

Ride quality Needs Significant improvement.

If the driveway does not ride well, it is rough and out of profile, the application of chip sealing will not correct the situation. Chip sealing thickness cannot make up for deficiencies in what is under it. The situation is the same as painting over a cracked and peeling wall in your house it does not work. Sometimes the pavement just cannot be saved and it needs to be replaced

New Construction May Be Needed

A new pavement surface or a driveway taken out and replaced solves all of the problems that can undermine a chip seal project. A solid base is installed, and then an initial layer of pavement is placed and compacted. When this is done we chip seal the driveway like putting the frosting on a cake. Just no candles are needed.


Call us if you have questions. We have more than our share of experience in what does and does not work to produce a lasting chip sealed surface.Call 1-781-254-2773

About this Process

Many of our projects are working on some of the premier properties in New England. Performance and a successful track record count.

  • The best materials
  • Over 20 years of experiance
  • The right equipment
  • The right “Mind Set”
  • We say No when we have to

Call To Start The Conversation:



We do not want to give the impression we do not want to do any one job. We know the pitfalls of a potential project and want to be clear in when and why we do not do a project or wait till the conditions are correct for long term success of the project.
Chip Seal driveways look great
The point of this page is we only want to have installations that do well over time so that our business continues and grows. It has to be a good deal for both the client and the customer. Durability is what makes our installations a good deal.
Can you really tell when there may be a problem?
Yes, we can. In no way are we looking for trouble. The fact is after over 20 years of direct experience and our network of others that do the work we can say been there done that. There is no benefit to taking a shot on something. Because when there is a problem there is no easy plan B to correct the situation.
How many color choices are there?
We have multiple samples we can show you that are from select sources and hard enough to perform well in an exposed aggregate situation and the traffic it will experience.
More Questions?

There is a section for frequently asked questions section on this site that goes into more questions and more detail.  If that does not help please ask us and we will add them.

Contact Us

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+00 123 456 7893