Chip Seal

What is Chip Seal?

Chip sealing is one of the oldest methods and most successful of road surfacing. In many countries it is used for high volume roads. In USA it is used for pavement preservation and rehabilitation.

A chip seal is an application of a binder in the form of an emulsion or hot spray or sometimes cutback and an application of an aggregate as close to single size as possible.


The aggregate is the running surface of road so factors of shape, grading, stone embedment and amount of binder are critical. As are application conditions and stone cleanliness.

What is it used for?
Chip Seals are used for restoring skid resistance , protecting a surface from aging, restoring a running surface, eliminating dust, sealing gravel pavements. Special binder types can be used to treat reflection cracking. (See Asphalt Rubber and Fabric Seals).

Are there different types?
Different stone sizes give different surface textures and are use for different traffic situations these may range from sand, 7mm(1/4 inch), 10mm ( about ½ inch), 14mm ( about ½ inch) 20mm ( about 4/5 inch) and 25mm ( 1 inch).

They are used for different applications.

Binders are selected for the type of job. Binders may be emulsified asphalt or other material, emulsified polymer asphalt, latex modified emulsified asphalt, rejuvenating oil modified asphalt emulsions or hot applied binders with asphalt rubber or polymers.

Seal types include, sand seals for low traffic roads and paths, reseals for existing pavements, modified seals for cracked pavements, multiple coat seals for heavy traffic areas or where a smoother surface is required.

VSS will advise on the type of seal that is suitable.

How is Chip Sealing done?

Chip Sealing is a three stage process, after the surface has been prepared by patching, crack filling ( if required) a spray of binder is applied via a computer controlled calibrated spray unit.



Then a layer of chippings is applied using a computer controlled and calibrated self propelled chip spreader.


The final operation is several passes from a mulityred roller.

The road is usually opened to traffic after sweeping or may be opened to slow moving traffic almost immediately.

What does it do?
Chip Seals protect and preserve, and extend pavement life. This results in a pavement that is better to drive on, look at and will cost less in the long run.

What does it cost?
Chip Sealing is a thin layer it is economic and will provide a lower cost than a hot mix overlay for the same purpose. A VSS estimator will be pleased to measure your job and give you an exact price.


P.O. Box 981330
West Sacramento, CA 95798, USA
Telephone: (916) 373-1500
Toll Free in the U.S.: (800) 748-6551
Fax: (916) 373-1438
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