Surface Dressing in Sittingbourne and the Wider Kent Region

At First Highways Ltd, we offer a specialist surface dressing service for clients in Kent. With over 100 years of combined experience, our team has the expertise to carry out this cost-effective surface maintenance solution for local authorities, commercial businesses and domestic customers across the region. Associated with Kent County Council and Kent Highways Agency, we are proud of our reputation as trusted paving contractors.


Whether serving clients in Sittingbourne, Canterbury, Gravesend, Maidstone or elsewhere in the Kent region, our surface dressing service is tailored to suit each assigned task. We can use it for a number of different applications, including on public roads and private estates.

Paving Contractors in Maidstone

Surface Dressing Explained


Surface dressing is an efficient and affordable way to restore the surface of a road that needs maintenance. Known also as “tar and chipping”, the treatment involves coating the existing surface with hot polymer-modified bitumen emulsion (PMB), covering it with stone chippings and compacting the chippings with a surface roller. We use high-preforming modern PMB products with excellent adhesion and waterproofing qualities, to increase the lifespan of roads in Sittingbourne and other areas of Kent.


Not only does surface dressing improve skidding resistance to make roads safer, it also seals the existing road surface to protect it against harmful moisture ingress and frost heave.


Advantages of surface dressing:


  • Economical maintenance solution
  • Improved skid-resistance and grip
  • Seals surface against water ingress
  • Reduces harmful effects of UV rays
  • Speedy process - reduces disruption



The Application Process


To apply surface dressing, our paving experts must first prepare the road surface to make sure it’s swept clear of waste and debris. The process we then use for roads in Canterbury, Gravesend, Maidstone, Sittingbourne and the rest of the Kent region, includes the following:


  • Once the road surface has been prepared for dressing, a spray tanker machine is used to slowly spread a hot coat of bitumen emulsion evenly across the surface
  • This is immediately followed by adding a spread of loose chippings, which are usually 6mm or 10mm in size, over the layer of bitumen to cover it completely
  • Depending on the type of surface dressing and expected traffic demands of the road, more than one layer of bitumen or/and chippings may be applied
  • Following the even spread of these layers, we use a power roller to embed the chippings into the bitumen to create a compacted and strong road surface
  • There will be some loose stones which will need to be swept and removed in stages, with the first usually taking place 24 to 48 hours after the dressing application
  • Upon completion, the road can be opened and a temporary advisory speed limit put in place to help continue the embedment process


As well as public and private roads, First Highways Ltd use surface dressing to rejuvenate driveways, pathways, car parks, forecourts and other tarmac or concrete surfaces. Take a look at our website Gallery Page for examples of some of our previously completed work. From brown or grey gravel to ice blue or pink granite, we offer a variety of stone chippings.

Need surface dressing in Canterbury, Gravesend, Maidstone, Sittingbourne or elsewhere in the Kent region? Call First Highways Ltd today on 01795 471001.

Tarmac Driveway in Canterbury
Paving Contractors in Maidstone
Tarmac Driveway in Canterbury
Paving Contractors in Maidstone
Tarmac Driveway in Canterbury
Paving Contractors in Maidstone