Cost of Chipseal Vs. Paving

Alane Michaelson

Chipseal and repaving are two options for resurfacing an existing road or driveway. These methods can extend the life of a road or driveway, and avoid the cost of entirely rebuilding the pathway. Paved roads and driveways typically consist of a cement foundation with a layer of asphalt on top.

The condition of the existing road or driveway is an important factor when deciding how to resurface.


Chipseal is a common treatment applied to roads in good condition to smooth the driving surface. To chipseal a road, a construction crew spreads a thin layer of heated asphalt liquid on the road, followed by a thin layer of chips, or stones. A steamroller compacts the layer, and crews sweep away excess stones. This method extends the life of a road and waterproofs the underlying foundation. Chipsealing is generally not recommended for roads with crumbling foundations as it is a superficial repair.

Cost of Chipseal

Chipseal is inexpensive compared to other resurfacing options, costing about 75 cents per square yard in 2011. Chipsealing must be reapplied every five to eight years.


Asphalt is another method to resurface a road or driveway. Asphalt paving is a mixture of crude oil, stone and gravel, and the ratio of these materials impacts the durability and quality of the paving. Other materials, including water, tar and pitch, can be included in the mixture. To repave a surface, crews grind off the road's existing asphalt and apply and compact a new layer. This is not a full rebuild of a road. The material ground away can be recycled for future road projects.

Cost of Paving

Paving costs about $6 to $18 per square yard. Repaving can extend the life of a road by up to 15 years.