How to Apply Pea Gravel Using Chip Seal

Aurora LaJambre

Chip seal is a treatment of liquid asphalt applied to gravel roads, driveways and other surfaces to hold loose materials in place while preventing water damage. Known for its round shape, pea gravel offers an attractive, but unstable surface.

Pea gravel offers a smooth, textured surface to driveways and patios.

Using chip seal over pea gravel is a simple, affordable way to enhance your yard with the colors and smooth walking surface of pea gravel minus the heavy maintenance.

  1. Rake the gravel base so it gently slopes away from the home and fills in any low areas.

  2. Use a sprayer to apply an even layer of hot liquid asphalt over the gravel base. If you’re working on a large patio or driveway of length, mount the sprayer to the back of a truck.

  3. Pour pea gravel over the hot asphalt and spread the small piles with a rake for even coverage.

  4. Go over the pea gravel with a rubber roller machine 2 to 4 times to press the rocks into the asphalt. Work in the same order that the asphalt was applied so that the gravel is compacted before the asphalt starts to cool.

  5. Wait about 4 hours for the chip seal to harden, and then sweep any loose gravel from the surface with a push broom. Loose rocks can grind off some of the seal under foot or from car traffic. Sweep the surface again after the gravel and seal sets for 2 days, then open up the surface for use.