Kane Construction

Are Tarmac Driveways Any Good?

When it comes to choosing the perfect material for your driveway, several options are available, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Tarmac, also known as tarmacadam, has emerged as a popular choice for driveways. Not only is it a staple on airport runways and roads, but tarmac driveways have also become increasingly favoured by homeowners seeking a durable and cost-effective solution. In this article, we’ll dive into the world of tarmac driveways, examining their benefits and potential drawbacks, helping you make an informed decision for your home improvement project.

Advantages of a Tarmac Driveway?

Speedy Installation

One of the most appealing aspects of tarmac driveways is their relatively quick installation process. Unlike other materials that may require longer curing times, tarmac can often be laid and completed within a day. After a brief 2-3 day curing period, you can start using your new driveway, which is significantly faster compared to alternatives like concrete.

Cost-Effective Choice

Tarmac driveways stand out as a budget-friendly option, making them a preferred choice for many homeowners. When compared to materials such as concrete or brick, tarmac is notably more affordable both in terms of materials and installation costs. This cost-effectiveness can make it an attractive option for those looking to enhance their property’s curb appeal without breaking the bank. 

Durability and Weather Resistance

Tarmac driveways are known for their impressive durability. With proper installation and maintenance, their driveways can last up to 20 years or more. They are designed to withstand various weather conditions, including extreme temperatures, heavy rainfall, and even the weight of multiple vehicles. This makes tarmac a reliable choice for those seeking a long-lasting and resilient driveway solution.

Minimal Upkeep

One of the standout advantages of tarmac driveways is their low-maintenance nature. Regular removal of debris and occasional cleaning is usually sufficient to keep the surface looking clean and attractive. Applying a sealant every 4 to 5 years helps maintain the integrity of the driveway, ensuring it continues to stand up to the test of time.

Disadvantages of a Tarmac Driveway

Vulnerability to UV Light and Chemicals

While tarmac driveways excel in various areas, they are not immune to certain challenges. Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light can lead to degradation and brittleness over time, potentially resulting in the development of potholes. Additionally, automotive oils like diesel and petrol can weaken the binder in tarmac, leading to cracks and structural issues. 

Weed Growth and Surface Hazards

Unmaintained cracks in a tarmac driveway can become a breeding ground for weeds, which, if left unchecked, can lead to larger cracks and deterioration. Furthermore, tarmac driveways that don’t dry quickly may become susceptible to moss and algae growth, posing a safety hazard due to increased slipperiness.

Addressing the Disadvantages

It’s important to note that many of the disadvantages associated with tarmac driveways can be mitigated through timely maintenance and professional installation. Regular crack repair, prompt treatment of oil spills, and routine cleaning can help prolong the lifespan of your tarmac driveway and maintain its appearance.


In the grand scheme of driveway options, tarmac holds its own as a practical and cost-effective choice. While it does come with its share of challenges, the benefits of a tarmac driveway, such as swift installation, affordability, durability, and low maintenance, often outweigh the potential drawbacks. By understanding these advantages and disadvantages and taking appropriate measures to address them, you can enjoy a high-quality, hard-wearing tarmac driveway that enhances the overall appeal of your property. When considering a tarmac driveway, partnering with professional paving contractors is key to ensuring a successful installation and a driveway that stands the test of time.