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Tarmac driveway - advice please
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# 1
Old 01-02-2007, 2:59 PM
MoneySaving Stalwart
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 466
Unhappy Tarmac driveway - advice please

Just over a year ago I had a tarmac driveway laid by a local specialist who was highly recommended to me.

8 months after it was laid I had pits and tyre 'tracks' where I had parked my car and also weeds growing through the tarmac. When the chap eventually came out he said it was something wrong with the tarmac he bought in - so then I had to take another day off work for the manufacturers to come round - of course they could find nothing wrong with the tarmac.

I kept on chasing him - he said it was the hot summer (June I think) where the surface was softened and that is where the pits had come from - those and the weeds he said he would 'spot treat' this summer.

Now this week my car had a slight diesel spil on the tarmac and water would not remove it - he has been out and said all the tarmac in the area needs to be dug up and patched and should be an insurance job.

I've had a tarmac drive before and it seemed to withstand anything I am really disappointed with this.

Now he either thinks I'm stupid or he's right - any help anyone?? :confused:
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# 2
Old 01-02-2007, 3:16 PM
Deliciously Dedicated Diehard MoneySaving Devotee
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Switzerland
Posts: 11,192

I'm not an expert but hopefully someone else with more knowledge will post...however, if you have pits/tracks in the tarmac then foundation was not suitably compacted/hard enough. Basically, imagine putting a layer of tarmac on your lawn. It will break and move as it is not sitting on something hard. He should have used hardcore/gravel, compacted with a roller to form a hard and stable surface.

If weeds are growing up through it then it would suggest the tarmac is just straight on the ground (layed directly onto soil) and so the weeds are growing up from the soil and through your tarmac.

Have a look at this website :

which is a commercial tarmac laying company but about halfway down the page under PROS & CONS they mention about disel spillages, depths of foundations and everything else about driveways and roads. Hope that helps whilst waiting for other posters.
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# 3
Old 01-02-2007, 9:03 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 170

Bitmacs (tar is no longer used) will soften in hot weather. Ideally the grade of bitumen used should have been 100pen or harder. Some contractors buy 200pen as it stays soft/ workable for longer whilst laying the material, but it isn't really up to the job. It softens at lower temps and marks more easily, through pressure. Some rougue contractors will use 'cut back' bitmac, which has an additive preventing it from setting for a period of time. (24hr - 1wk) These materials should be avoided for the purpose of drives etc.

The weeds should not be there if the courses are sufficient and at the correct depth. The ground should also be treated for weeds prior to surfacing.

Diesel/ petrol etc will disolve the bitumen. (garage forcourts are always concrete/ block paving) This is not a manufacturers fault or contractors fault.

Your drive should harden with age. As the material is exposed to the air for longer it will become harder. Especially after its first winter, you will notice the following summer it is more resistant to 'pitting'

Gus x
Live and Let Live!
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