Paving Terms You Should Know

July, 27, 2020 By CASSIDY PAVING 3 min read

If you are an asphalt customer, there are some terms you should be familiar with. Cassidy Paving wants to educate you on the various concepts and words you may hear when you work with a paving contractor. The more you know, the better off you will be when the time comes to start your paving project. With this handy list of paving terms, you will be ready to ask the important questions and understand the jargon used by professionals. These definitions have been gathered from Asphalt Magazine and The Asphalt Institute.

Paving Terms to Know

The Basics

Asphalt - Sometimes referred to as blacktop; a mixture of aggregates, binders, and fillers used for constructing and maintaining roads.

Aggregate - A hard mixture of mineral structure such as sand, gravel, slag, or crushed stone, used in pavement applications either by itself or for mixing with asphalt binder.

Base - The layer placed after the subgrade and before the asphalt. Provides a foundation for your asphalt pavement.

Cold Mix Asphalt - A mixture of emulsified or cutback asphalt and aggregate manufactured in a plant mix or mixed at the roadside and can be produced and stored for usage at a later date.

Hot Mix Asphalt or HMA - A hot mixture of asphalt binder and well-graded, high-quality aggregate, which can be compacted for roadways.

Sealcoating - A thin surface treatment used to improve the surface texture and protect an asphalt surface. Cassidy Paving highlights the importance of sealcoating in Three Tips to Prevent Water Damage From Cracked Asphalt

Subgrade - The bed of soil that is prepared prior to any layer of pavement added. Every pavement project must have the appropriate subgrade completed first.

Deterioration Terms

Block Cracking - Series of extensive (typically of one foot or more), rectangular cracks on an asphalt surface. It also covers large areas and even those without traffic.

Fatigue Cracking (also known as Alligator Cracking) - Asphalt that has multiple cracks in a single area, generally resembling the skin of an alligator.

Pothole - Common in asphalt paving and are bowl-shaped openings in the pavement resulting from localized disintegration. Cassidy Paving covers this at length in Potholes: What They Are and How to Avoid Them

Rutting - A linear, surface depression in the wheel path of pavement. It is frequently caused by insufficient pavement depth, lack of compaction, and inadequate asphalt mixtures. Becomes worse when the pavement is not sufficient for load bearing.

Transverse Cracking - Cracks that occur roughly perpendicular to the centerline of the pavement and are not related to weight-bearing.

You can read more about cracks and uneven surfaces in the Cassidy Paving post Cracks and Uneven Surfaces: Hazards at School

Want to Learn More?

This short overview of terms is only the beginning of what you can learn about asphalt pavement from the professionals at Cassidy Paving. We have proudly served the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for many years and have a combined 108 years of experience on our team. Our work speaks for itself and we want to talk to you about your next asphalt pavement or repair. Give us a call today at 866-978-9788 for a free estimate.

Filed Under: Asphalt

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Cassidy Asphalt Paving

Based in Haverhill, MA, Cassidy Paving is a commercial paving company serving southern NH and Massachusetts.

Cassidy Paving

Mission Statement: Delivering commercial and industrial paving services with courteous service, clear communication, and consistent results.

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