Can you make your tarmac driveway look new again?

Isn’t it awful when you’ve invested in that stunning tarmac driveway only to find a year or so after having it laid it’s worn and grubby looking! We have been getting many calls about whether we can make your tarmac driveway new again… so our fantastic team of patio technicians have researched it and found a way we can help our customers and others. 

Before we go any further, I shall start with these:

Before cleaning our customers driveway:

After cleaning our customers driveway:

Can you make the tarmac look new again? I think the above pictures speak volumes, but now I will explain how our amazing Brandon made this customer’s gorgeous driveway back to black!

Hasn’t he done a fantastic job? I think the customer’s driveway looks amazing against its beautiful surroundings. Brandon’s professional knowledge has made this homeowner’s investment worth much more. 

Want to learn the secret, but you’re a bit busy to read all? Just pick which issue matches your driveway and the solution we try is there too!

What issues we see with your tarmac and how we would get it back to looking new again:

I will write about them both and explain what I have learnt we do, and you can do it if you want. 

Issue 1 – Dirty tarmac:

Dirty tarmac is a typical problem. Like the above, the tarmac has lost its colour and looks tired. 

What we do:

  • Wash time: 

Wash down with a cold washer. We have to be gentle and not blast the tarmac with high pressure. We use a ratio of 15-21 litres per minute and give the whole tarmac an even clean.

It is essential not to use hot on the tarmac as it can melt at high temperatures. 

  • Smartseal tarmac restorer application:

Ensure the tarmac is completely dry, then proceed by applying two coats, if not 3 of the restorers. You need to roll this product evenly but be cautious if it’s a scorching day; the product will dry too quickly, affecting the finish. 

Issue 2 – Very dirty tarmac – weeds and moss growing:

The very dirty tarmac is a little worse than the above. Usually, the weeds and moss haven’t damaged the tarmac yet, but if left any longer, it would require more work.

What we do:

  • Wash time

Pressure wash as above, but this time you will treat with sodium hypochlorite to kill the weeds. Sodium hypochlorite is found in most patio cleaners. Well-grown weeds in more may need treatment with weed killer a few weeks before the cleaning. 

You then pressure wash again to eliminate any weeds or product residue.

  • Smartseal tarmac restorer application:

Once you have ensured this is completely dry, you will repeat the same as above. 

Issue 3. Badly neglected tarmac – cracked and overgrown:

The tarmac is in terrible condition and will require a lot more work. Weeds grow rapidly and can be lethal if forgotton. 

What we do:

  • Treatment:

The first thing to do is treat the whole area with a potent weed killer. The weeds need good soaking and to be done at least 4 – 6 weeks before the clean.

  • Wash time:

Wash down the area the same way you did in the second situation, with sodium hypochlorite. Wash this thoroughly with just water and ensure you wash away all residue. 

  • Smartseal Cold repair tarmac compound application:

Before applying the restorer, you will use the repair compound for all cracks that need filling. You will need to leave the mixture for two hours before the next step.

  • Smartseal tarmac restorer application:

Smatseal is applied in the same way as before. Three coats, all rolled on. 

So, as you can see from the pictures above and below, it looks fantastic when a professional does it. You could try it yourself, but we found a few limitations with the restorer before you try. 

  • If the driveway has heavy traffic, it can wear away very quickly.
  • If applied over chewing gum, it wears off the chewing gum very rapidly and then is unsightly.
  • You cannot use it on a hot day as it ruins the finish.

I think our customer’s new-looking tarmac driveway looks beautiful! It sets off stunning flower beds around it.

If you would like to see where you can get the Smartseal tarmac restorer and the cold repair compound, click here.

That is everything I have learnt, hope I’ve educated us both. I have also added a few articles below that I think you may find helpful too!

To help you find a company in your area, I have added the below:

Patio and Driveway Cleaning Services in Cambridgeshire?

To help you find out how much it costs:

How much does it cost to clean your patio or driveway?

Just in case you want to see some reviews, not just ours, I have linked others in the blog:

Reviews about patio and driveway cleaning.


Written & edited by Tracey Gilbey, Marketing and Admin Coordinator at Art of Clean.

For further advice or information on our Carpet and Soft Furnishing care, please do not hesitate to contact the Art of Clean team on 01223 901551 in Cambridge. Our services include Carpet Cleaning, Upholstery Cleaning, oriental and area Rug Cleaning, Curtain Cleaning, Patio, and Driveway Pressure washing, Leather Cleaning, Stone and Tile Floor Cleaning, and Wood Floor Sanding and Restoration. We also supply new flooring and carpets through our sister company Art of Flooring. Our Dry-Cleaning service is provided by Farthings Cambridge