We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Tack Coat?

Malcolm Tatum
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Tack coats are thin layers of asphalt product that are used in the construction or refacing of roads and highways. This type of product is used to help the layers of asphalt laid down as part of the road building process to bond together with more efficiency. As a result, the highway or road is able to hold up under constant use for longer periods of time, making it easier to maintain the road properly.

Also known as bitumen, the tack coat itself is composed of asphalt by-products. The bitumen is sticky, an attribute that makes it ideal for use as an adhesive between layers of asphalt. Without the presence of this coat, a new layer of asphalt laid upon an existing road would deteriorate much more quickly, often creating potholes and various conditions that decrease the safety of the road.

In order to achieve the highest degree of efficiency with a tack coat, it is important to prepare the section of road properly. This means that the layer of asphalt that is already present should be dry and relatively free of dirt and other contaminants. This will help to make it easier to apply a uniform layer of the product and help the tack coat provide a greater bond with the asphalt that is applied over the adhesive.

Along with making sure the road is clean and dry, it is also necessary to address issues such as existing cracks and potholes. By filling in these defects in the road surface, the process of applying a uniform tack coat is made much easier. Some road builders even use a small amount of bitumen in the cracks and potholes before filling them with new asphalt, thus helping the plugs to bond more effectively with the bottom layer of asphalt.

The rate or pace of application is also important to the success of a tack coat. In order to achieve the desired uniformity to the coating, it is necessary to apply the bitumen at a consistent pace that ensures enough of the bonding agent is deposited, but not so slow that some areas receive more of the coat than others. Uneven distribution will often undermine the bond between the top and bottom layers of asphalt, causing the roadway to deteriorate much faster than normal.

Once the tack coat is in position, the top layer of asphalt must also be applied with care. Making sure the layer is applied evenly to the tack coat helps to increase the chances of a solid bond, effectively creating a solid road area that can hold up to heavy vehicles with relative ease. Applying the top layer of asphalt properly also helps minimize the chances of the development of more cracks and potholes, since the underlying bitumen is holding the asphalt in position, and not allowing the top layer to shift.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Malcolm Tatum
By Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing to become a full-time freelance writer. He has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including WiseGeek, and his work has also been featured in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and newspapers. When not writing, Malcolm enjoys collecting vinyl records, following minor league baseball, and cycling.
Discussion Comments
By anon317350 — On Feb 01, 2013

I wouldn't recommend it, anon67403. Typically, asphalt binder is utilized at about 4-6 percent, depending on aggregate content and the design conditions. By spreading it around on top of your grinds, you are going to lack uniform coating and create cohesion voids. Plus if the binder your using is soft, it will continually be sticky, and then you'll be getting new tires. Asphalt is blown/sprayed on aggregate in massive mixing chambers for this reason.

By anon120640 — On Oct 21, 2010

I have a shop floor that is asphalt. when it gets hot, the asphalt will get soft and my stand tools leave marks or holes. is there anything i can put as a sealer that's tough and hardens the floor?

By anon67403 — On Feb 24, 2010

Could you put a layer of bitumen on a driveway that has just been spread out with re-grind from a roadway? it's been spread and rolled, but I was wondering if the bitumen would bind it together like a new pavement?

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing...
Learn more
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.