Kane Construction

Tarmac Driveways: The Advantages and Disadvantages

Tarmac driveways, also referred to as tarmacadam driveways, are a popular choice for homeowners in North America and Europe. This paving material is commonly used in the construction of roads and airport runways. If you’re considering paving or repaving your driveway, tarmac is worth considering, particularly if you value fast project completion. To help you make an informed decision about whether a tarmac driveway is suitable for your needs, let’s explore its advantages and disadvantages. 

Advantages of a Tarmac Driveway 

Easy Installation

One of the primary reasons homeowners prefer tarmac installation is because of the ease of the process. Unlike other materials, tarmac can be laid quickly, allowing you to utilise your driveway in a short timeframe. Depending on the size, the entire project can often be completed within a day. Following installation, the surface requires a curing period of two to three days before it’s ready for use. In comparison, concrete driveways typically necessitate a waiting period of at least seven days before they can withstand vehicle traffic. 


Tarmac driveways are known for their affordability. They are priced lower than concrete, brick, and other types of paving slabs. Additionally, the installation cost is relatively inexpensive compared to alternatives such as concrete driveways. The straightforward installation process contributes to the cost-effectiveness of tarmac driveways.


When constructed properly and maintained well, tarmac driveways can have a lifespan of up to 20 years. They exhibit excellent resistance to various weather conditions, including extreme cold, heat, and heavy rainfall. Moreover, tarmac can withstand heavy loads, making it a suitable choice for multiple vehicle owners or areas with high traffic. 

Low Maintenance

Tarmac driveways are a great option of driveway surface due to theirrequire minimal upkeep. They are often considered self-maintaining surfaces. Regular removal of dirt and debris is typically enough to keep the driveway clean and visually appealing. Applying sealant every 4 to 5 years helps prolong its lifespan and preserve its appearance.

Disadvantages of a Tarmac Driveway

UV Damage

Despite its heat resistance, prolonged exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light can cause tarmac degradation. UV rays can make tarmac brittle, leading to the formation of potholes over time. Implementing preventive measures such as seal coating and regular maintenance can help mitigate this issue. 

Vulnerable to Chemicals

Tarmac driveways can be damaged by automotive oils, such as diesel and petrol. These substances can weaken and dissolve the binder in tarmac, resulting in cracks. Prompt cleaning and repair of oil spills are necessary to prevent long-term damage.

Weed Growth

Neglected cracks in tarmac driveways can facilitate weed growth. When cracks are left unattended, weeds can take root and spread, potentially causing further damage. Timely maintenance and repairs are essential to prevent weed growth from becoming a significant issue.

Moss and Algae Growth

Tarmac driveways that do not dry quickly may experience the growth of moss and algae. This can create a slippery surface, posing a safety hazard. Regular cleaning and ensuring proper drainage can help prevent the growth of moss and algae.


Despite the mentioned disadvantages, tarmac driveways continue to be a popular choice among homeowners due to the numerous benefits they offer. Many potential issues can be easily avoided or resolved through regular maintenance and timely repairs. Cracks can be fixed without the need to overhaul the entire driveway, oil spills can be addressed by cutting out and patching the affected area, and regular cleaning can prevent moss and algae growth. By engaging professional driveway installation services and practicing proper maintenance, you can expect a high-quality and long-lasting tarmac driveway that meets your requirements and withstands the test of time.