Looks like 'chip seal' season is in full bloom here in Grand Junction.

What exactly IS chip seal? According to everyone's favorite reference source, this is what Wikipedia website says about it.

  • 'Chipseal (also chip seal) is a pavement surface treatment that combines one or more layer(s) of asphalt with one or more layer(s) of fine aggregate. In the United States, chipseals are typically used on rural roads carrying lower traffic volumes, and the process is often referred to as "asphaltic surface treatment".'

It is a cheaper way to make minor repairs to roads, although it doesn't last as long as other methods.

The plan here in Grand Junction is to chip seal all roads from first to 19th between North Avenue and Patterson Road. So, get used to it.

The process is explained in more detail in the video, but basically to begin, the roads are all swept with a street sweeper. Then, a crew comes through and cleans out all the cracks and fills them with a tar like substance. The road is then smoothly coated with a thin application of that tar like substance. Following that, a layer of what is called 'aggregate', which is made up of tiny crushed up rock, is spread thinly and evenly on the road.  After a few days, a top layer called 'Fogseal' is applied. Fogseal is a thin mixture of asphalt that helps to set the rocks and give the road it's dark color.

Finally, after that settles, the crew comes in and re-stripes the road.

Of course, not everyone is in favor of this process. The mixture of hot tar and tiny rocks can take it's toll on your vehicle. Plus, it is not a long term repair. Wouldn't it be more cost effective, in the long run, to take the time and fix the problems completely instead of just putting a band-aid on it? On top of that, that smell makes me nauseous.