Can You Chip Seal a Gravel Driveway?

In this article, we will discuss if a gravel driveway can be chip sealed. Gravel is a popular material because it is cheap and durable. You might hear about chip seal and are wondering if you can do this on your gravel driveway. To help answer your questions, we have shared tips and ideas that you can refer to.

Can you chip seal a gravel driveway? You can cheap seal a gravel driveway. Chip seal can be done over an existing driveway material as long as it is in a good shape. Moreover, chip seals are usually applied over a paved surface. On the other hand, there is another option for gravel driveways which is a double inverted chip seal. In this process, a double application of oil and chips is done over the gravel.

One would usually think of traditional materials like asphalt, concrete, and gravel when talking about driveways. On the other hand, there is another option that you can choose and that is a chip seal driveway. Below, we will talk about these driveways are and their benefits.

Can you chip seal a gravel driveway
Image by David Mark from Pixabay

What is a Chip Seal Driveway?

A chip seal driveway is an affordable way to pave using traditional concrete or asphalt. It makes use of tar binder from asphalt to help hold various types of stone and gravel so that they are permanently in place.

How is a Chip Seal Driveway Created?

The process of laying a chip seal on your driveway is not that complicated. After the roadbed has been excavated, you can start laying the chip seal. Start with a base layer of gravel then pour liquid tar on top of it. Next, using a roller, press a decorative layer of stone at the top of the tar before it can fully cool. You can repeat this process depending on how many layers you want to have for your driveway. Make sure that the tar is cured before you add another layer into it. The curing time of the tar binder varies depending on the climate and environment in your area.

Why Should I Consider a Chip Seal Driveway for My Home?

There are many benefits of having a chip seal driveway which includes keeping the gravel in place, creating a surface for traction, providing heat retention, and it is attractive to look at. Moreover, a chip seal driveway is more affordable as compared to the traditional asphalt pavement. Let us learn more about this below.

Keeps Gravel in Place

One of the reasons why you need to chip and seal your driveway is that it keeps gravel in place. This is very helpful if you have a gravel driveway. Gravel is a loose material and it can be hard to deal with during the winter months. Moreover, heavy rains can wash gravel out from the driveway. If you chip seal gravel, it will stay in place and will make maintenance easier.

Creates an Ideal Surface for Traction

Another reason why you should chip and seal your driveway is that it creates an ideal surface for traction. The tar will secure gravel in place which provides a good traction surface. This is one of the reasons why a chip seal is an ideal option for steep driveways. Aside from that, it is a perfect solution for farm roads because it can provide the traction that heavy trucks need when moving large loads.


Chip seal driveways are also attractive. If you do not want to have the black and common look of asphalt, the chip seal can be customized. You can choose the type of stones that will match the exterior look of your home. Choose from different rocks that include granite, slate, and river rock.

Provides Heat Retention

Chip seal driveways provide less heat retention from the sun. This makes the surrounding areas of your driveway remain cool. It is also durable and can last for a long time.

✅ Video – Chip Sealing: The Basics

ACHD IDAHO shared the video below on YouTube. It discusses the basics of chip sealing. In the video, the process of chip sealing is described. It also talks about why maintenance treatment is important for roadway preservation. Check out the video for more information.

How to Chip Seal a Gravel Driveway

To chip seal a gravel driveway, there are a few steps that you need to take which include choosing the gravel, installing the base, using an asphalt sprayer, dumping the gravel, and rolling the gravel. You need to hire the services of a professional to handle the task. Installing a chip seal driveway can be challenging and needs experience when it comes to handling hot tar and heavy machinery.

Step 1 – Choose the Gravel

The first step that you need to do is to choose the gravel for your driveway. This will be installed at the top layer of the chip surface. You will need about two-and-a-half tons of gravel per 100 square yards of area. You can also check out this article that discusses what the cheapest material for a driveway is. We have shared an in-depth discussion about the topic.

Step 2 – Install the Base

The next step is to install the base. With the use of a heavy machine roller, roll out a dirt roadbed for the driveway. Next, install a thick layer of medium crush gravel into it. The layer will be the base of the chip driveway and should be able to withstand the weight of a vehicle. On the other hand, if there is already an installed driveway surface, there is no need to install an initial layer of gravel.

Step 3 – Use an Asphalt Sprayer

Fill a liquid asphalt sprayer with hot liquid asphalt. The liquid asphalt will be sprayed at about 3/8 inch to 1/4-inch thick over the base. You need to use about 50 gallons of liquid asphalt per 100 square yards.

Step 4 – Dump the Gravel

After the gravel has been sprayed with liquid asphalt, it is time to dump the gravel into it. Make sure to dump the gravel chips while the liquid asphalt is still hot and sticky. Use an industrial to spread the gravel to a one-inch thickness.

Step 5 – Roll the Gravel

Using an industrial roller machine, roll the gravel chips to the tar coating. Make sure that the gravel chips are compacted to the liquid asphalt. Let it sit and dry for about 48 hours before using.

Can You Tar-and-Chip a Gravel Driveway?

You can tar-and-chip over a gravel driveway as long as it is in good shape. A tar-and-chip driveway should be properly installed to make sure that it lasts a long time. You first need to install a gravel base before pouring hot liquid asphalt over it.

What Happens if You Put Driveway Sealer on Gravel?

If you put a driveway sealer on gravel, it will transform the driveway into a sold and compact surface. Gravel will be kept in place so that it does not move around. Moreover, sealing gravel driveways will make them less prone to water damage. We have also shared this article titled, what is the most durable material for a driveway? You can check out the article to learn more about the topic.

Should I Chip Seal My Driveway?

Having your driveway chip sealed can save you money in the long run. It is a more affordable option that you can choose as compared to asphalt. Furthermore, it has a rough texture that provides traction to easily move around when the driveway is wet or covered with snow.

How Long Do Chip and Seal Last?

How long the chip seal will last depends on various factors like the weather and the daily traffic. Usually, it can last for about seven years. With proper maintenance and care, it can last much longer than that.

How Do You Harden a Gravel Driveway?

To harden a gravel driveway, you can use a compacter. This will help bind loose gravel into the surface of the driveway. You can hire the services of a professional to do the job or you can rent a compacter to do the task yourself. You can also check out this article that we have shared that discusses what size of gravel you need for your driveway. We have shared helpful tips that you can refer to.

How Often Should I Seal My Driveway?

It is ideal to seal driveways every 3 years after it is paved. Some companies provide sealing services at reasonable prices. You can also check out this article that discusses what the best material for a driveway is. We have shared helpful tips and ideas that you can refer to.


You have reached the end of this article that discusses if you can chip seal a gravel driveway. We have found out that a gravel driveway can be chip sealed as long as it is in good condition. Moreover, we have shared the benefits that you can get from having a chip seal driveway. If you want to chip seal your gravel driveway, get in touch with the professional in your area and ask for a quote. Thank you for reading!

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