What is tarmac?

Tarmac, short for tarmacadam, is a surface type made when a layer of crushed stone or aggregate is coated and mixed with tar. This mixture then gets laid down and compacted to form a smooth, durable surface. Tarmac is used for many surface purposes, from roads, car parks, playgrounds, and sports surfaces along with the use many people will be familiar with - for driveways. Tarmac is used on drives for a variety of reasons, so we’ve compiled a list of ways that a tarmac drive might just make your life a little easier: 

Easy installation 

When compared to other materials, tarmac is extremely easy to install, and dries quickly, meaning less time parked elsewhere. Tarmac is laid down as a hot liquid; once it is applied it then cools, binding together. This can be done on existing surfaces, so no need to worry about laying down a bedding layer first, as you would with other surface options. 

Easy to maintain 

Choosing a tarmac drive provides you with the benefit of ease of maintenance. As with any material, over time there can be some wear and tear, however, tarmac is an extremely easy material to repair especially when done professionally. A well-laid tarmac drive is also sealed, meaning you do not gain weeds on your drive as you may with other materials that use sand fillers - saving you lots of time and energy.

Neat and tidy 

A tarmac drive is solid, which means no stones get kicked up whilst walking on it, entering your driveway or leaving, meaning the areas around your drive such as grass areas and flowerbeds are free of stones or debris which can happen with other surfacing options. This means less clean-up time in your garden, keeping it neat and tidy - making your day a little easier. 

Long-lasting and durable 

Tarmac is a strong and durable material that is extremely resilient to bad weather conditions, and heavy vehicles which is why it is so commonly used for driveways and roads. If you live in a household with many cars, or there is often a lot of traffic coming in or out of your drive, then a tarmac is a great option as it will not get damaged or crack under the pressure.

Can I restore a tarmac drive?

You can quickly restore and transform your worn-out driveway with a quality tarmac restorer, a roller, and a brush. Tarmac is durable but when exposed to high temperatures over time it can cause it to fade or become more vulnerable to being damaged. Tarmac restorer is an affordable surface coating formulated to protect the surface and make a tired tarmac drive look good as new.  To avoid having to restore your tarmac drive altogether, we recommend that take care of your drive by cleaning it regularly. The best way to do this is to sweep away any debris and apply water at low pressure. If you’re thinking about resurfacing your driveway, whether it’s tarmac or our other available options, speak to a member of our expert team. We’d be happy to help you choose the best surface for your driveway.
Published: July 2022

We’re very happy our new imprinted concrete driveway, the quality of workmanship is second to none and we would not hesitate in recommending Premier Surfacing to all.

Anita Hancock
There are a lot of people who are simply unsure of the best surface to use for their driveway. Tarmac has been a staple of all driveway work for years, as it is the cheapest option. Using the term ‘Tarmac’ is slightly inaccurate as Tarmac is actually the name of the company and tarmacadam is the name of the material used.

When comparing it to the prices of block paving you start to quickly understand why so many of our roads are made from asphalt and bitmac now, because alternatives like block paving costs a lot more per square metre. Secondly block paving also takes a lot more work to lay and also to present and maintain. If you have a cracked block it can throw off the whole appearance of your driveway, so why is it so popular?

What are the advantages of block paving?

The reason that a lot of private driveways are surfaced with block paving is that while the initial investment is comparatively expensive, the blocks will last years, perhaps even decades, without ever being touched. The only way block paving is disturbed is by extreme weather conditions, whereas the cheaper alternatives such as asphalt, tarmacadam or bitumen solution are a lot more likely to be noticeably damaged and stop looking their best after only a few years. This makes block paving a worthwhile investment if you are looking to add long term value to your home. However whichever option you choose, resurfacing your driveway will greatly enhance the overall appearance and kerb appeal of your property.  

Block paving has the added advantage of customisability with the only limits being the range provided by your chosen supplier. So if you’re a fan of everything custom they could be the perfect avenue for you to explore. Tarmacadam on the other hand is fairly standard across the board,  it can be combined with block paving edging stones for a more designer feel if that's something you would like to try. For a minimalist and sleek design tarmacadam and bitmac are hard to beat. There are hundreds of driveways which look absolutely stunning with a properly prepared bitmac or tarmac finish. It is very popular in rural areas where the driveways stretch for many metres at a time, and when it’s done correctly it can give the perfect finishing effect.

Which paving method is the best for me?

For less expansive driveways, especially in suburban areas, block paving can be a great, stylish addition. On our site you can see a few examples of this, including larger houses with block paving which simply looks spectacular. You can check out a few examples here, and if it’s something you’re interested in then get in touch with us. Our case studies are examples of completed jobs with a distinctive and unique finish on every property.

There are many different providers of blocks who we work with and source our materials from, allowing you to have a driveway that is truly your own. Tarmac and bitmac, whilst very popular for domestic driveways, can also be used for industrial and commercial settings. This is naturally because they are cheaper but also very hard wearing. In fact most of the bitmac and tarmacadam sourced now is of a higher quality which means that not only is it more reinforced for the weather, but is also covered for pressure and damage. You can check out our tarmac and bitmac driveways here.

Get in touch with Premier Surfacing to pave your driveways

If you need any extra information about driveways or just paving roads and paths in general check out our blog and main pages which have all the news you could possibly ever need. If you’re simply a fan of designs then have a look through our case studies to see the differences for yourself. Each of our pages has images which you can browse through in order to decide for yourself which driveway style suits your individual style.
Published: February 2022

Thank you for the work you carried out on our driveway, it has totally transformed the appearance of our property. I certainly would not hesitate in recommending premier Surface.

Mr Palmer
Admaston, Telford
Learning how to restore a tarmac driveway doesn’t have to be an expensive or lengthy task. In fact, you can quickly transform your worn-out driveway with a quality tarmac restorer, a roller, and a brush. Tarmac might be durable, but exposure to high temperatures over many summers can cause it to fade, soften, and become more vulnerable to damage, so it’s a good idea to know how to repair a tarmac driveway in advance.  Here’s everything you need to know on getting your tarmac driveway looking as good as new. 

How do you restore a tarmac driveway?

If the surface of your tarmac driveway is in relatively good condition (without severe cracks), you’ll be able to restore it back to a more attractive and consistent colour. Restoring a domestic tarmac driveway usually involves: 
  • Thoroughly cleaning the driveway and treating it with a Fungicidal Wash to remove any moss, weeds, and algae.
  • Sealing all cracks in the tarmac with bitumen paint. 
  • Applying a tarmac restorer with a roller. 

What does tarmac restorer do?

Tarmac restorer is an affordable surface coating specially formulated to make tired tarmac look just like new. It provides a durable, low sheen finish that protects the tarmac driveway from weathering, oil and petrol spills, and weed growth.  Not only does it protect your surface, the authentic results from a tarmac restorer will have your neighbours and visitors believing you’ve had a brand new driveway.

What type of roller should I use for a tarmac restorer?

When applying tarmac restorer, you’ll find a long pile roller will give the best results. And if any areas of your tarmac driveway are particularly rough, you could try using a masonry brush. This type of brush is also great to do the cutting in before you start with the roller.

Can you resurface a tarmac driveway?

Depending on the condition of your driveway, tarmac restorers don't always work. It therefore might be a good investment to have your tarmac driveway resurfaced or replaced by a professional, especially if you’ve moved into your forever home. This is something Premier Surfacing can help with. 

Does oil come out of tarmac?

Tarmac oil spills are really difficult to clean with the standard products you have around the house. Your best option is to look into purchasing a tarmac and asphalt oil stain remover and if this doesn’t work, contact a professional cleaning company. 

What is the best way to clean a tarmac driveway?

To avoid having to restore your tarmac driveway altogether, regular cleaning is essential. The best way to clean a tarmac driveway is to sweep off any debris and apply water at a low pressure. This is because using a jet washer can sometimes cause additional damage by removing loose stone chippings. For more advice on maintaining your tarmac driveway, please visit our hints and tips page. And if you’re interested in having a tarmac driveway installed, contact our team today. They are fully trained in the technique of handling and laying tarmac materials, quickly supplying the right driveway for you.
Published: August 2021

We’re very happy our new imprinted concrete driveway, the quality of workmanship is second to none and we would not hesitate in recommending Premier Surfacing to all.

Anita Hancock
One of the most widely used and popular driveway surface options out there is tarmac. A tarmac driveway can be suitable for most residential driveways, especially those that have a lot of vehicle traffic.   Our operatives are fully trained in the technique of handling and laying tarmac materials, and we have the experience to know that a professionally installed tarmac driveway can be both aesthetically pleasing, very practical and cost-effective. However, it must be maintained correctly and appropriately, and we’re going to give you a few top tips so you can do just that.

Allow the surface to dry before usage

If you’ve only just had your driveway resurfaced, it’s vital that you let it dry appropriately before usage. This means keeping footfall to a minimum and not driving on the surface for at least 3 days, as this will help to keep it in the very best condition. Allowing the driveway time to properly dry will let it solidify fully, and avoid any damage occurring due to the surface still being soft for the first few days. 

Clean spillages straight away

Spillages of chemicals can cause damage to a tarmac surface, which can go beyond just a stain, and can lead to costly clean-ups. It’s important that you clean up spillages immediately to avoid this damage. Keep in mind that oily substances must be soaked in completely before you attempt to clean them up, preferably with materials such as sand and sawdust. When it comes to cleaning general spillages, simply using water should suffice. 

Keep the elements in mind

It’s good to have a decent understanding of how the weather can influence the surface of your driveway. Tarmac is very durable but it can still be affected by certain weather conditions, such as the heat from the sun causing the surface to soften. This can cause the surface to be more vulnerable to damage from heavy vehicles at times. So, it can be a good idea to spray cool water over the driveway during hot days, in order to keep it protected. 

Apply restorer for the tarmac surface

A good tarmac restorer can work really well for keeping the driveway looking at it’s best. It can also keep it fully protected too, as it helps to form a tough and durable layer on top of your current driveway surface.

Clean the driveway the right way

Simply cleaning your driveway surface on a regular basis will ensure that it continues to look brand new. However, when it comes to tarmac, make sure that you take the correct cleaning approach, otherwise you can potentially damage the surface and base layer. Stick to sweeping off debris, and apply water at low pressure. We’ll be more than happy to offer you our advice and/or ideas and work with you to plan and design the perfect surface for your driveway. Our friendly experts can visit your property and provide you with a free quotation - feel free to contact us with your requirements on 01952 840 838 or [email protected].  
Published: January 2021

We’re very happy our new imprinted concrete driveway, the quality of workmanship is second to none and we would not hesitate in recommending Premier Surfacing to all.

Anita Hancock
Resin bound and tarmac paving are two hugely popular choices of driveway surface material, and are commonly used in car parks and private driveways. Despite their equal popularity the two surface options are actually quite different. If you’re currently deciding between the two, we wanted to go through these differences so that you can make the most informed decision.

What is a resin bound surface?

This is a really unique type of surface material, which essentially acts as a glue or adhesive, that works to bind itself together, in order to create a smooth and perfectly even driveway surface. As opposed to a tarmac surface, which is a specific type of material in and of itself, resin can actually be customised. You can tailor resin to have different colour combinations and materials. A resin bound driveway surface is usually created from a combination of gravel, stone, marble and other various rock types. Resin can also be manipulated to craft various designs, such as logos, which makes it ideal for both a personal driveway surface and for a company car park. The surface allows water to drain away easily, it’s also incredibly long lasting and highly durable. It’s easy to adhere to any existing surface as well, which means vehicles are able to easily and frequently drive across it. 

What is a tarmac surface?

This type of driveway surface material is actually made up of a combination of tar and stone. It’s very durable and is able to endure extensive amounts of pressure on a frequent basis, which is just one reason why it’s such a popular choice for private driveways and car parks. The fact that this surface material is a combination of small broken stone and tar pieces makes it incredibly easy and quick to lay. When laid by experienced driveway surface professionals, tarmac can be the perfect flat surface for vehicles to frequently drive over.  It’s also one of the most malleable choices of surface material around, and it can be laid on its own or on top of other materials, such as concrete. This can be very beneficial when you want to create an even more long lasting flat surface that’s ideal for footfall and vehicles. 

Which of these surfaces is right for you?

In truth, both of these driveway surface options are great choices, which can make choosing between them very difficult. It’s important to carefully assess your specific requirements, as both options are highly durable and simple to lay. Tarmac may be ideal if you’re looking for a surface option that’s more budget friendly, whereas resin bound can be great if you’re looking for something you can really customise with different colour and design options.  For more information, our experts at Premier Surfacing can provide you with all you need to know when it comes to driveway surface options. If you don’t know where to start with resin bound, tarmac or any other surface option, simply get in touch We’ll be more than happy to offer you our advice and/or ideas and work with you to plan and design the perfect surface for your property. We’ll be happy to visit your property and provide you with a free quotation.
Published: November 2020

We’re very happy our new imprinted concrete driveway, the quality of workmanship is second to none and we would not hesitate in recommending Premier Surfacing to all.

Anita Hancock
Asphalt and tarmac driveways are a popular choice for many reasons. They’re low maintenance, ideal for any size or shape driveway, are flexible and durable and are extremely cost-effective for larger areas. Despite them being low maintenance and durable, asphalt and tarmac do get hot during increased temperatures for a couple of reasons. First of all because they are black in colour they absorb more heat and asphalt actually stores the heat as well. And secondly, because they’re oil based, when the oil products heat up, their good thermal abilities mean they stay hot for longer periods of time. If you want to protect your driveway during the summer months here are some tips for taking care of it when the weather heats up!

Remember your sealant

One thing to note about hot weather is that it’s the ideal time to seal your asphalt driveway as the heat allows the sealer to bond better to the surface. Additionally, because the sealant runs thinner when it’s hotter, it allows it to get deeper into the small cracks and bond much better. There are a few different types of sealant you can use to protect your driveway against the elements. Seal coat is an anti-oxidation solution which prevents the surfaces from looking worn and can slow the ageing process. Slurry seal is similar, except it contains aggregate.

Get out the hose

It’s a good idea to periodically cool down your asphalt or tarmac driveway with your hose. Cool water will reduce the temperature of your driveway and it’s also handy to help you identify any problems with your driveway such as pooling water due to an uneven surface.

Be mindful of indentations

During hot weather tarmac and asphalt driveways can become susceptible to damage from objects that apply pressure in one uneven area, causing indentations. For example, trailer jockey wheels, ladders and vehicle jacks. Take extra precautions when using these on your driveway and avoid using them during the hottest parts of the day. At Premier Surfacing we’re experts in laying professional tarmac & asphalt driveways for both residential and commercial properties. For more information about driveway care or to enquire about getting a new driveway contact us today.
Published: May 2020

We’re very happy our new imprinted concrete driveway, the quality of workmanship is second to none and we would not hesitate in recommending Premier Surfacing to all.

Anita Hancock
As you probably know, tarmac is a material used for a plethora of different surfaces, from roads, to playgrounds, to sports playing surfaces and it’s also one of the most popular choices for those wanting a new driveway. This is with good reason, a tarmac driveway brings with it a plethora of benefits both for your house and your bank account. And we’ve delved into them, here:

They’re highly resistant

Tarmac is highly resistant and can handle pretty much anything that’s thrown at it, from hail, snow to thunderstorms. It’s also able to handle large vehicles when they’re being parked up as the smooth finish of the material provides excellent skid resistance. Another advantage of this is when it rains or snows it’s less likely to accumulate as much on your drive.

They’re great value for money

By having a tarmac driveway you can ensure you get an attractive surface, without having to break the bank to pay for it. For the most part, tarmac is cheaper than most surfaces and has the ability to last just as long.

They’re easy to install

Compared to other materials, tarmac is incredibly easy to install as it dries quickly meaning you don’t have to park outside your house for longer than necessary. In addition, tarmac can be laid directly onto any surface, something that can’t be done with a lot of other materials.

They’re easy to maintain

Just like any material, after a few years, there may be some wear and tear to the surface. Luckily, tarmac is extremely easy to repair and can be done easily by a professional or by yourself with the right materials. If, for some reason, there’s serious damage to the surface a new layer can be applied easily over the old material. If you’re interested in a new driveway and tarmac material sounds like something you’d be interested in, get in touch with our expert team today!
Published: August 2019

We’re very happy our new imprinted concrete driveway, the quality of workmanship is second to none and we would not hesitate in recommending Premier Surfacing to all.

Anita Hancock
Professional tarmac and asphalt driveways are one of the most popular, reliable and long lasting driveway surfaces available for residential properties. However, the heat of summer can eventually take its toll on these driveway surfaces, because they can be more susceptible to higher temperatures. Tarmac and asphalt’s darker colour means they end up absorbing much more heat. Plus, the oils that are used to make these surface materials, have strong thermal retention qualities as well. This means that when proper maintenance isn’t carried out, hot temperatures can soften and further weaken them. Here's how to make sure these driveway surfaces don’t suffer damage during summer...

Do mechanic work in the morning

If you like to carry out your own mechanic work, and you frequently do this on your driveway, then try to only do this during the coolest parts of the day, such as the mornings. If you try and do things such as brake jobs or oil changes during the peak of the afternoon, not only will you be more uncomfortable because of the heat, your driveway will suffer too. This is because in order to carry out work like this on your car, you’ll need to use a car jack. Although tarmac and asphalt can support several vehicles quite easily, the metal edges of a car jack can dig into driveways when it's hot outside, due to the surface becoming softer. The weight of the whole vehicle will be bearing down on just a few small points, which usually have narrow metal edges. Meaning a stronger force will be exerted on a small area of the driveway. Stick to mechanic work in the morning, or even the evenings, just unsure it’s during the cooler parts of the day.

Cool things down with water

As temperatures soar and the days get longer, it can be difficult to keep the surface of your driveway cool. Whenever you find yourself at home on a sizzling summer day, it’s a good idea to run some water over your tarmac or asphalt driveway. Preferably you should use cool water from your garden hose, as this will be the most effective for dispersing any soaked up heat from your driveway. However, even warm water will be able to absorb heat from the surface. Whenever you run water over your driveway be sure to check for local water restrictions first. You can also help matters by washing your car on your driveway or even letting the little ones play in a paddling pool for example.

Get some greenery growing

Your driveway may have some greenery near it, such as trees or shrubs. If so, consider not trimming them back until after the summer season. These added bits of greenery can help to provide some much needed shade for the surface of your driveway, keeping it cooler. Once the colder days come back, you can then trim them back as normal.

Make sure you seal your driveway

While the weather is nice, it's a really good idea to make sure your driveway is properly sealed. Correct maintenance is essential to making sure the surface of your driveway stays fully protected. Sealing cracks in an asphalt or tarmac driveway is the most effective way to take care of it. Watch the weather forecast and get your driveway sealed when there’s going to be a few dry days in a row, with little to no rainfall, as this will ensure the sealing process works best. There are a few types of sealant you can use such as seal coat, which is made up of an anti-oxidation solution that protects tarmac and asphalt against the elements. It prevents the surfaces from looking worn and can slow the ageing process. Slurry seal is similar, except it contains aggregate. There’s also TRMSS, a more comprehensive, rubber modified surface sealer. This helps to reintroduce much-needed surface oils to the driveway, which may have been lost over time. The oils can help to seal any loose aggregates. Despite their effectiveness, sealants won’t last forever, so it’s still important to carry out regular maintenance to check the surface of your driveway is nice and healthy. Sealants usually need to be re-applied once every few years in order to keep your surface well maintained. At Premier Surfacing, we offer a range of services that can help you to get your ideal driveway. Call us today on 01952840838.
Published: July 2019

We’re very happy our new imprinted concrete driveway, the quality of workmanship is second to none and we would not hesitate in recommending Premier Surfacing to all.

Anita Hancock