Chip Seal

Seal coats, also known as chip seals, are simple, relatively inexpensive pavement surfaces that are highly effective if adequate care is taken in the planning and execution of the work.

A seal coat is a surface treatment where a sticky, black, semi-solid liquid, known as a bituminous surface or asphalt binder, is applied to an existing roadway. The asphalt binder is then covered with a layer of loose gravel, or aggregate. Over time as vehicles drive on the seal-coated road surface, the loose gravel is pushed into the asphalt binder creating the desired surface texture. 

This process seals and protects the base and provides strength at the road surface so that the base can resist the abrasive and disruptive forces of traffic.

When applied to a bituminous pavement surface, a seal coat provides a durable all-weather surfacing that:

  • protects an existing road surface against the intrusion of air and water
  • enriches an existing dry or crumbled surface
  • stops the deterioration of a surface showing signs of distress
  • provides a skid-resistant surface
  • provides the desired surface texture
  • improves light-reflecting characteristics where these are required (by use of light-colored stone)
  • enables paved shoulders or other geometric features to be set apart by providing a different texture or color
  • provides a uniform-appearing surface.

Q: If I have to leave my house during the paving operations, what should I do?

A: Contact the onsite City of Longview Inspector who’s phone number is provided on the Work Notice posted before work begins.

Q: How long until I can drive on the road?

A: You may drive on the road as soon as the crew vacate the street. Please use caution until the gravel adequately sets into the asphalt binder. This may take 1 to 2 weeks.

Q: Why is there loose gravel all over the road?

A: Loose gravel will be present until the gravel sets into the asphalt binder. The contractor will return to the street a few days after application to sweep up any loose gravel.

Q: Why is there paper on my curbs?

A: The contractor applies paper to curbs to act as a barrier to prevent the asphalt binder from sticking to the curb. The contractor will return to pick up the paper at the end of the day when the asphalt has cooled to the touch.

Q: Why are you chip sealing the road and not paving with asphalt?

A: The City of Longview treats their roads based on the recommendations provided by our Pavement Management Program. Each street is scanned every three years and is given a grade at which point the program develops a list of street sections to be treated each year. The program also provides treatment type recommendations to preserve the streets most efficiently and cost effectively.

Q: What date will you be chip sealing my road?

A: An exact date cannot be provided due to asphalt availability as well as the potential for equipment failures which are not uncommon with this type of application.