How to resurface tarmac driveway?

Ireland, with its picturesque landscapes and charming countryside, is a place where the beauty of nature seamlessly blends with the warmth of home. One crucial aspect of enhancing the aesthetics of your Irish abode is maintaining the exterior, and a well-kept driveway plays a pivotal role. Tarmac driveways, popular for their durability and sleek appearance, may require occasional resurfacing to restore their pristine condition. In this article, we will explore the step-by-step process of resurfacing a tarmac driveway, ensuring that your home’s entrance maintains its appeal for years to come.

Understanding the Need for Resurfacing:

Before delving into the resurfacing process, it’s essential to recognize when your tarmac driveway requires attention. Common signs include cracks, potholes, fading color, and general wear and tear. The harsh Irish weather, characterized by rain and fluctuating temperatures, can accelerate the deterioration of tarmac surfaces. Resurfacing not only enhances the visual appeal but also strengthens the driveway, ensuring it withstands the elements.

Step 1: Assessing the Condition:

Begin by thoroughly inspecting the driveway to identify areas that require resurfacing. Note any cracks, potholes, or uneven surfaces. This assessment will guide the subsequent steps in the resurfacing process. For larger driveways, consider dividing the area into sections to manage the project effectively.

Step 2: Cleaning and Preparation:

A clean surface is crucial for the success of the resurfacing project. Use a pressure washer to remove dirt, moss, and any loose debris from the tarmac. Pay close attention to corners and edges, ensuring all surfaces are free of contaminants. For oil stains, use a degreaser to break down the residue before rinsing thoroughly.

Once the driveway is clean, inspect for any vegetation growth between the cracks. Remove weeds and grass, and consider applying a weed killer to prevent regrowth.

Step 3: Repairing Cracks and Potholes:

Addressing cracks and potholes is a crucial step in the resurfacing process. Begin by cleaning out the damaged areas, removing loose debris and ensuring a clean surface. For small cracks, use a tarmac repair compound, applying it evenly and smoothing the surface with a trowel. Larger cracks and potholes may require a bit more effort.

For substantial damage, consider a cold lay macadam or a hot tar and chipping repair method. Cold lay macadam is a ready-to-use asphalt mix that can be applied directly to the damaged area. Alternatively, hot tar and chipping involve heating a binder and spreading a layer of chippings on top, providing a durable and visually appealing finish.

Step 4: Filling and Leveling:

After repairing cracks and potholes, it’s time to address any uneven surfaces. Use a tarmac screed to fill low spots and ensure a smooth and level finish. Pay attention to the gradient, ensuring proper drainage to prevent water pooling, a common cause of tarmac deterioration.

Step 5: Applying a Tack Coat:

Before the final resurfacing layer, apply a tack coat to enhance adhesion. The tack coat is a thin layer of bitumen that helps the new tarmac adhere securely to the existing surface. Use a sprayer to apply the tack coat evenly across the driveway.

Step 6: Resurfacing with Asphalt:

Now comes the primary resurfacing step – applying the new layer of asphalt. Choose a high-quality tarmac mix suitable for driveways. Use a mechanical paver or hand tools to spread the asphalt evenly across the surface. Ensure a consistent thickness to achieve a smooth and uniform finish.

Once the asphalt is in place, use a roller to compact and smooth the surface. This step is crucial for eliminating air pockets and creating a dense, durable surface.

Step 7: Finishing Touches:

After the resurfacing is complete, pay attention to the edges and borders of the driveway. Use a trowel to create clean, defined edges, enhancing the overall appearance of the resurfaced area. Allow the asphalt to cure according to the manufacturer’s recommendations before using the driveway.


Resurfacing a tarmac driveway is a rewarding endeavor that not only improves the visual appeal of your home but also extends the life of the driveway. In Ireland, where weather conditions can be challenging, a well-maintained driveway is a testament to your commitment to preserving the beauty of your property. By following these steps, you can embark on a successful resurfacing project, ensuring that your tarmac driveway remains a welcoming entrance for years to come.

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