Tarmac driveways are produced out of tarmacadam mixture. Tarmacadam, also known as bituminous macadam or “bitmac” or “tarmac” for brevity, is a combination of tar or bitumen and broken stone. Bitumen, which is a term used interchangeably with asphalt, is a thick and sticky material that is a residue of oil and petroleum products. These materials undergo mixing, shaping, and compressing processes, known as macadam. The end product is what is evenly laid and left to dry and harden into tarmac pavement or tarmac driveways.
There are two basic kinds of tarmac driveway surfacing, classified according to the means used and method applied for paving ideas. These types are Hand Laid Bitmac and Machine Laid Bitmac.
Hand Laid Bitmac is used for smaller and narrower tarmac driveways, such as walkpaths and footpaths. This is also advantageous for use in minor repairs of roads and walkways. This type uses slow curing bitmac and involves open graded macadam, which are great for extended paving work and work done on low temperatures.
On the other hand, Machine Laid Bitmac is used for bigger and wider roads and tarmac driveways, which can only be effectively accomplished by a steam roller, paving machine, or other equipment of the same sort. The machine is responsible for the fast curing bitmac. This type uses dense or close graded macadam, which is composed of finer and impermeable material that gives a smooth compact finish.
At any rate, tarmac driveway contractors make sure that before paving tarmac driveways, the surface must be clean and smooth. Moreover, the base must be rid of cracks and loose materials. Otherwise, the cracks could spread to the new filling, which could eventually make the tarmac driveways weak and uneven. Projects that do not take these necessary precautions are the ones that to not last long.
It must be mentioned that the primary reason why many people resort to tarmac driveways, is that for big paving projects, the entire cost could come out to be very cheap. Moreover, there are several attractive tarmac driveway ideas that people just adore. As to the quality of tarmac driveways, while they generally do not last as long as concrete driveways do, they could still last for quite a long period of time.
However, because of the composition of the materials of tarmac driveways, they are very much prone to ordinary wear and tear. Their deterioration may even be aggravated when frequently exposed to hard weather conditions. To illustrate this, when tarmac driveways constantly get too much rain or sunlight, their color might fade or their materials may loosen up. Soon, as the materials grow weaker, cracks and holes will form. Also, tarmac driveways that are always damp lead to moss and algae growth making them slippery and unsafe for drivers as well as pedestrians.