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Highway Services         

RESURFACING WITH CHIP SEAL

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What purpose does chip seal serve?

A. chip seal is an economical resurfacing method that will fill in slight imperfections and give your street a uniform color and texture.  Most importantly it seals the street, thus preventing the infiltration of water, which is the most frequent cause of pavement failure. There may be some loose stones and dust afterward. However, the roads will be swept of loose stones 3-4 days after resurfacing and a water truck will treat the roads for dust as needed.


Q. How is chip seal applied?

A. The chip seal process involves spraying a layer of liquid asphalt (tar) on the road surface, then immediately spreading a layer of stone chips (aggregate) over it, using a special machine. The surface is then rolled to press the aggregate into the liquid asphalt. After a 3-4 day curing period the excess chips will be swept up.


 Q. How long will chip seal last on my streets?

A. The life expectancy of chip seal is seven to ten years


Q. What is the chip seal material?

A.  chip seal is made of liquid asphalt, and stone chips. It is applied in a 3/8 to 1/2 inch mat over the complete road surface.


Q. Can Montgomery County resurface my driveway with chip seal?

A. No. The contractor is not allowed to resurface any private driveways. The equipment is extremely heavy and could damage most driveways.


Q. When will my neighborhood be resurfaced?

A. Your neighborhood streets will be resurfaced on the dates listed on the "NO PARKING" signs posted along the side of the streets. A range of dates allows for delays due to weather or equipment problems.


Q. Where can I park my vehicle when resurfacing begins?

A. You can park your vehicle in your driveway or yard. You can also park in the County green space between the road and sidewalk, as long as you don't block the sidewalk.


Q. May I leave my house when I need to when resurfacing is done on my side of the street?

A. Yes, you may leave your home at any time as long as you are very careful not to turn sharply or quickly on the fresh material. Doing so will damage the material and your car.


Q. Will driving over freshly laid chip seal damage my vehicle or the road surface?

A. Damage will occur if you drive over the new surface within the first fifteen minutes. We would prefer you to wait forty-five minutes to an hour to do this. In emergency situations, feel free to leave whenever you need.


Q. If my side of the street is finished, may I park on the opposite side of the street?

A. No. If you park your car on the unfinished side of the street, you force other cars to drive on the new surface, which will damage it. The other side of the street needs to be resurfaced as well, so it must be clear of vehicles at all times.


Q. When may I park my vehicle back on the street?

A. When all of the "NO PARKING" signs are removed from along the roadside you are free to park on the street.


Q. What do I do if I have chip seal on my car or on my driveway?

A. We have found that "GOJO" hand cleaner, which you can find at your local hardware or automotive store, is an excellent cleaner for this purpose.

 

Highway Services · Montgomery County Department of Transportation · 240-777-7623 · Fax: 240-777-7670 · 100 Edison Park Dr · 4th Floor · Gaithersburg, Maryland 20878 · mcdot.highway@montgomerycountymd.gov
For any MCDOT service requests, call 311. Outside the county, call 240-777-0311 or submit via the website.   For website issues, broken links or comments, please email us(does not handle service requests).
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