When it comes to pavement installation or maintenance, you could quickly become overwhelmed if you aren’t familiar with some of the basic paving terminologies.

Approaching a paving contractor, communicating your needs and requirements, and sealing the deal – all these steps require a good grip over some technical paving lingo so that you make the most out of your investment and end up with a high-quality parking lot project. 

If you are wondering where to learn the paving terms, you don’t need to look further! In this blog post, we’ll uncover some basic paving terms that will help you communicate with your contractor without hesitation.

1. Aggregate

Construction aggregate, or simply aggregate, is a material such as sand, gravel, and crushed stones mixed with a binding medium (water, lime, bitumen, portland cement, etc.) to form a pavement. Properly selected and graded aggregates are the load-supporting components of quality pavement.

2. Alligatoring

This is asphalt with one or more cracks in the same spot. It resembles the skin texture of an alligator, hence called alligatoring, or alligator cracking. 

3. Asphalt

A natural fluid mixed with sand or gravel and used as a surface agent. It is a composite material commonly used to surface roads, parking lots, driveways, and walkways.

4. Blacktop

The most common word used for describing asphalt is blacktop. However, depending on the project requirements, it may have a particular significance and cannot represent an asphalt pavement.

5. Base

A term referring to the material installed before the asphalt paving is applied. The foundation is either crushed stone or a substance made of asphalt. The base supports the load-bearing capacities of the completed pavement. The right style and amount of the base needs to be determined before the paving project begins. An insufficient base is one of the most common reasons for pavement failure.

6. Base Failure

Base failure occurs when the binder and pavement layers cannot withstand the pressure exerted on them. The reasons behind a base failure could include: too much load, groundwater, inadequate construction, etc. Erosion of the affected material and substitution of bridging stone material will fix this problem.

7. Compaction

Compaction is the process of pulling air out of the foundation before the asphalt coating is added. To construct a solid foundation, sufficient compaction is needed. Compaction is also used in reference to the process of “rolling” or densifying the paved asphalt surface.

8. Concrete

Formed from a blend of cement, gravel, sand, and water, concrete is also known as Portland cement concrete pavement. This type of building material is frequently used to pave curbs, delivery docks, and sidewalks.

9. Crack Filling/Crack Sealing

The crack sealing process is the first line of defense in preventing your pavement’s degradation. Cracks are filled using a hot-applied rubberized joint sealant that syncs with the federal paving specifications. Later, a light aggregate material is added to the hot rubber to improve adhesion. We wrote another blog on why Crack Sealing is the best money you can spend on your parking lot – You can read about it here.

10. Laydown

Laydown is the process of laying the hot asphalt down with a paver.

11. Patching

Patching is the process of removing old, damaged pavement and installing a new section of pavement.

12. Pavers

Pavers are paving pieces in various shapes, sizes, and materials (such as concrete, brick, rubber, stone, and more).

13. Primer

A primer coating is used to seal the subgrade and base materials to enhance the binding of asphalt to the ground. The preceding were some essential terms that you need to know before contacting a paving contractor. Remembering these paving terms could help you communicate well during the project and achieve your desired pavement results.

If you are looking for expert asphalt paving or concrete paving contractors in Pittsburgh, PA, contact us at The Pavement Group. We provide top-notch quality paving results as per our clients’ needs and preference. Get a quote today!