The Contractors’ Crash Course Glossary On Pavement Failure

The Contractors’ Crash Course Glossary On Pavement Failure

A paving contractor does not just look at your pavement and pull a costly solution out of thin air. There is a process of identifying the issue so the repair can be done most economically and permanently using the right resources.

At DG Pavement Solutions, we take great pride in diagnosing the damage correctly and proposing appropriate repairs to pavement failure in cost-effective and reliable ways while keeping up on our knowledge pool.

Here is a glossary of everything bane to asphalt that a savvy contractor will keep in the know.

Pavement Cracks

  1. Block: These interconnected cracks make it seem like the pavement is sectioned into rough rectangular slabs. It is caused by asphalt shrinkage due to fluctuating temperature cycles as the pavement loses flexibility.
  1. Edge: Pavement edges start to spall off due to poor drainage eroding the asphalt edges. Lack of edge support may also cause chunks to fall off.
  1. Alligator: A fatigue failure caused by a combination of poor subgrade course, a thin layer of asphalt, excess vehicle loads, and deteriorated binder. The pavement resembles the said amphibian’s skin.
  1. Transverse: The issue is common in flexible pavement. The crack cuts across the pavement and is caused by excess load applied over a section with a hidden underground crack.
  1. Longitudinal: Common in pavement paved using improperly treated clay soils in the subgrade course. Clay soils drain poorly and become malleable with high moisture content causing cracks along the length of the pavement.
  1. Joint reflection: These cracks look like symmetrical block cracks on the pavement. When concrete slabs are paved over with asphalt, the joints in the concrete exhibit deformation via temperature cycles, and these are seen on the flexible asphalt surface.

Advanced Pavement Failure

  1. Potholes: These are rough eroded depressions in asphalt pavement caused by water intrusion and traffic loads removing the layers of the pavement.
  1. Raveling: Eroded seal coating and weakened asphalt binders cause the top layer to disintegrate and dislodge. It reduces skid resistance and leads to further issues.
  1. Rutting: The issue presents itself as worn-out grooves running the length of the pavement from a combination of vehicle loads and weakened sub-base course.

Asphalt Design Failure

  1. Bleeding: Excess bitumen in the pavement comes up to the asphalt surface to form a slippery film. The process is irreversible and drastically reduces surface traction for vehicles.
  1. Corrugation: The failure exhibits wavy distortions perpendicular to the direction of traffic flow. It is a common pavement failure at traffic intersections where vehicles drastically reduce speeds and cause ripples to form in asphalt. 
  1. Slippage: The failure looks like crescent-shaped cracks and occurs in pavement subject to high shear loads. Pavement that has not adequately bonded with the required tack and prime coats tends to shift and deform with moving vehicle loads.
  1. Upheaval: The failure is caused due to a moisture absorbent, & resultingly, expanding subgrade in asphalt pavement that deforms the surface into bumps and cracks.
  1. Depression: Improper compaction of subgrade causes the material to settle and form depressions that can accumulate water and later develop into potholes.

DG Pavement Solutions likes to keep their clients in the know regarding everything asphalt (and concrete – but we’ll get to that another time!). We offer paving and maintenance services in Naples, FL, and you can try our free quotes on services. Parking lots and HOA maintenance are a specialty, as can be attested by our track record in Florida.

Believe us; you will never see pavement the same way again!