Due to their longevity, durability and aesthetic properties, tarmac and asphalt are amongst the most well-known and commonly used road surfacing materials.
Tarmac – a brief history
Pioneered in the 1820’s, a process known as macadamising was by created by John Loudon McAdam and became tarmac as we know it today completely by chance.
This tarmac material was later patented by Edgar Purnell Hooley in 1901 after he accidentally spilled tar upon a macadamised surface and used crushed gravel in an attempt to cover up his error. The result was a highly durable surface ideal for road surfacing that created far less dust and lasted far longer than other materials available at the time.
Tarmac versus asphalt – what’s the difference?
Although both tarmac and asphalt are both widely used materials for road surfacing, there are differences between the two.
Tarmac is the process of coating layered crushed stone with tar in to create a strong and durable surface. As well as it’s hard-wearing properties, tarmac also boasts water resistant qualities, superior grip and a pleasant finish making it an ideal choice for roads, driveways, playgrounds and a plethora of other areas where durability is key.
Asphalt is another hard-wearing surface that can be cost effective when used over a large area, but can also be less resistant to scuffing from car tyres and expensive if only if a small quantity is required due to the set-up costs of laying the material.
The various uses of tarmac
Drive down any residential street and you’re sure to see dozens of properties sporting smart black tarmac driveways. Many homeowners are opting for tarmac driveways due to their cost effective, low maintenance nature and high quality finished result.
Many pavements, parks, playgrounds and public spaces often utilise tarmac as the material of choice due to its aesthetic qualities, longevity and durability. Many public car parks are finished using tarmac as the material is highly resistant to tyre scuffs and continues to look well maintained for years to come.
Durable and affordable
Being so hard-wearing and cost effective, it comes as no real surprise that tarmac driveways are more popular now than ever before. But a word of caution, if you’re looking for a tarmac drive at your property or commercial premises then it pays to do you research before engaging with a contractor and parting with any cash.
Although tarmac is an affordable solution for driveways and other commercial premises, be wary of any below average quotations. In some instances, some unscrupulous contractors will fail to provide adequate thickness of materials which won’t always be noticeable at first.
Given time, driveways or other surfaces that haven’t been laid to the correct thickness or used a poor-quality material can scuff easily – resulting in a non-uniform finish and a significant reduction of the longevity of the tarmacked surface.
At Ridgewood Contracts, we have an enviable reputation as one of the regions most trusted providers of high quality aggregate and asphalt material for small domestic jobs through to large commercial projects.
Our range of commercial and groundwork services means we also have a wealth of experience tarmacking road surfaces and driveways with excellent levels of customer satisfaction.
Please contact us on 07809 396646 for free, no obligation quotation and to discuss your tarmac needs.