Chip Seal

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As with all paving projects, keeping residents and road users notified and informed of upcoming activities is generally helpful in minimizing confusion, motorist delays, and complaints. Because we don’t want vehicles traveling on the new chip seal until it has cured sufficiently, extra care should be taken to adequately inform the public and other stakeholders regarding this work.  

Notification practices vary from agency to agency and from job to job, but some common forms of notification include one or more of the following:

  • Letters and/or e-mails to all affected parties
  • Hand-delivered notices to properties abutting the project
  • Temporary “No Parking” signs at appropriate intervals on the project
  • Electronic message boards set up in advance of the work taking place
  • Reverse 911 automated telephone messaging to property owners
  • Posting project information on the agency’s website
  • Social media messaging of the upcoming work
  • Conventional media (TV, radio and newspaper) notices

Notification message content also varies, but usually includes the following information to address six basic questions:

  • What? (a brief description of the treatment being applied)
  • Where? (the street names and limits of work for each)
  • When? (the days, dates and hours of work including a proviso for weather or other unforeseen delays)
  • Why? (an explanation that this is a preventive maintenance treatment being installed to cost-effectively extend the life of the pavement and to avoid poor ride conditions)
  • How? (a general sequence of construction events including their potential impacts on travel times and roadway use)
  • Who? (the names of those involved with the project including who to contact with questions)

A thoughtfully conceived and executed notification plan can greatly enhance public satisfaction with pavement preservation projects including chip seals.

General Preparation

The roadway should be prepared before construction begins.  Here are some items that should be reviewed prior to application.

  • All holes and depressions should be removed and patched.
  • All patching should be preferably done 6 months prior to chip sealing construction.
  • Cracks, wider than a 1/4 inch (5mm) should be filled and sealed preferably 3 months prior to chip sealing construction.
  • Any leveling that is needed should be done before construction and remove all excess asphalt on patches and joints.
  • Raised pavement markers should be removed and temporary tabs should be placed before construction.
  • The full width of the roadway should be swept or cleaned of all loose material, vegetation and other objectionable material. 



If patching occurs within 60 days before construction, a fog seal should be placed over the patching to seal it off.  If not sealed, rock loss could occur in the area of the patch due to chip seal emulsion soaking into the patch and not being able to hold the aggregate.