POSTED ON: July 23rd, 2013


West Contracting is one of the few Asphalt Paving companies in St Louis who reputably installs chip seal asphalt. Chip Seal, also called “asphalt surface treatment,” is a cost-effective way to provide a new driving surface that will perform for several years with minimum maintenance costs. The finished product will provide an all-weather, skid-resistant surface that produces a water-resistant layer. Chip seal also only adds 3/8” in height to a roadway it’s also a great way not to lose curb or cobblestone edging height! This type of surface treatment is typically used on roadways with a lower volume of traffic.

Many St Louis subdivisions and driveway owners have used the chip seal process time and time again. There are two common types of chip seal aggregate used in the St. Louis area. Trap rock (grayish in color) and torpedo gravel (orange in color).

Torpedo Gravel Chip Seal     Trap Rock Chip Seal

The chip seal process is completed by a distributor truck spraying oil over the surface at an even rate followed by our chip spreader (which is attached to a dump truck bringing in the rock) evenly distributing the rock over the oil. Lastly a rubber tired roller is used to seat the aggregate into the oil. Excess rock is swept up usually 2 weeks afters the process is completed.

Chip Seal Process   Rubber Tired Roller

Chip seal can be completed over existing gravel surfaces, chip sealed surfaces, or unsealed asphalt. Existing asphalt that has been sealed cannot be chip sealed because the slick sealed surface will not allow the oil to “seep” into the pours of the asphalt and hold. Oil will sit on top of the sealed surface and slide never adhering to the existing surface.

The condition of the surface must be in decent shape for chip seal to be performed. Remember Chip seal is only adding 3/8” of an inch to the existing surface. If the rock or pavement underneath has ruts or cracks these will reflect through the new surface. Rock roadways and driveways may need to be graded and re compacted creating a smooth surface with a crown in the center. Asphalt surfaces if there are ruts or “spider” cracking may need to be patched prior to the chip seal process.

Chip seal is a great cost efficient process however a surface is only as good as what is underneath! Make sure the surface below is adequate before spending money chip sealing over it!

The chip seal process is not a process that anyone can perform. Performing the task correctly takes the correct equipment. West Contracting’s equipment fleet includes a computerized, self-propelled chip spreader that applies the aggregate at a uniform rate over the prepared surface. We also have several computerized distributors that evenly and effectively spray the chip seal oil at a rate we specify the spray bars to apply the oil.

Computerized Distributor   Computerized Chip Spreader

West Contracting knows the importance of details. We chip seal many subdivisions and driveways in St. Louis each summer. Many of these private trusteeships and driveways have cobblestone edging, and stamped concrete or stone entrances. Our chip seal crew takes pride in the fact that their attention to detail leaves the concrete stamped entrances and cobblestone edging looking the same as before they arrived.

Protecting Cobblestone Edging

If you would like more information on Chip Seal surface treatments, contact us today and one of our project managers will be glad to talk to you about your specific needs.