Lets get it clear about Tarmacadam driveways

tarmacadam driveways
A nicely laid tarmacadam driveway

Tarmacadam Driveways

Lets start with a couple of tasters from Tarmacadam Driveways marketing….

We offer a high quality durable range of surfacing to suit all individual requirements including tarmac, asphalt and macadam finishes using a combination of the latest machine technology and traditional hand laying techniques. Bitumen Tar and Gravel, Shingle and various coloured aggregate finishes are also available

An asphalt or tar and chip driveway can offer many advantages over loose coverings, especially in the winter months, and can prove very cost effective in the long run.  With the right specification and maintenance, and with the surfacing experience of our highly professional team you can expect an asphalt / tarmacadam driveway to remain in good condition for 20 years and more.

 

When we think of tarmacadam driveways (more commonly referred in everyday language as tarmac driveways) we think of a fine black driveway surface that is good enough for roads – therefore good enough for any driveway.

See more on the history of tarmacadam here

In a nutshell there was a time (some say a magnificent time) when factories churned out goods and a by product of all that industrial production was Tar

a dark, thick flammable liquid distilled from wood or coal, consisting of a mixture of hydrocarbons, resins, alcohols, and other compounds. It is used in road-making and for coating and preserving timber

Tar production declined but the consumption of goods didn’t. The use of oil left over heaps of a by product known as bitumen (a very high percentage of a barrel of oil is bitumen).

black viscous mixture of hydrocarbons obtained naturally or as a residue from petroleum distillation. It is used for road surfacing and roofing.

This then became the binder of choice for ‘binding’ aggregate together and the rest is history.

Tarmacadam driveways – are still a popular choice

If the space allows the installation of a tarmacadam driveway can provide a functional and we stress here functional driveway surface. It is an ideal choice for larger driveways (especially when framed). Smaller driveways of less than 100 square metres are more suitable to be adorned with other driveway surfacing products such as those below in the alternatives section.

Tarmacadam driveways – alternatives

Pattern imprinted concrete, block paving, gravel or even the new popular ‘kid on the block’ resin bound all offer solid surfacing options and have the extra advantages of subtle blends of colour that add distinction to many driveway installations. That’s not to say that ‘coloured Tarmac’ isn’t available, because it is. But mainly in red, unless bright blue or bright green are required; but these colours are best left in the preserve of sports courts and car parks!

Tarmacadam vs Asphalt

Americans refer to ‘Asphalt driveway surfacing‘ and don’t use the term ‘Tarmac driveway’ or ‘Tarmacadam.’ Europeans are the same and commonly refer to the black stuff as ‘Ashpalt.’

More information on everything Asphalt from the European Asphalt Pavement Association

They tell you all about the different kinds of Asphalt….Hot mixes, warm mixes and cold mixes….you can really let your hair down and have a good read.

Tarmacadam driveways – A Typical job advert (those with soft and delicate fingers need not apply)

Driveway installers wanted:

  • Do you like working with extreme heat?
  • Do you want to push around a hard sticky and heavy pile with a rake?
  • Do you want to breathe in by products from the oil industry?
  • Do you like the sound of loud machinery?

Apply here – No pension, no employee benefits and the world against you (as well as ‘rogue traders’ or whatever they are called on the BBC)

Unfortunately, a few people try to ‘nick a few quid’. This unscrupulous lot tarnish the decent and hard working reputation of the majority of Tarmacadam driveways installers.

But lets be honest here….because we can. There are probably more lawyers and investment advisors that will nick your shirt than there are tarmacadam installers!

To be clear it’s a (sometimes) hard, rotten job.

But all types of driveway installations take a lot of heavy hard work. Yes, that’s true and yes, a lot of plant (machines) have taken out the back breaking part. Nonetheless, credit should be given to those hard working fellas that do the driveway game, day in, day out for their whole lives. Those in the Tarmacadam side of the business get an unfair and often discriminatory bashing.

Lets here a cheer for all the hard work you do and a bacon sandwich and a cup of tea is always good.

 

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