Top Paving Terms & Jargon Every Property Owner Should Know About

Whether you are thinking of installing new pavement or planning to repair the existing surface, it’s essential to get familiar with the paving terminologies and jargon. Otherwise, there’d be a communication gap between you and your paving contractor, delaying the entire paving process altogether.

Therefore, referring to these technical terms will ensure you and the contractor are on the same page and help you get done with the pavement project efficiently.

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This blog includes the list of the topmost commonly used terminologies in the pavement line of work that you should be familiar with. Although not all-inclusive, you won’t be taken by surprise when your contractor starts talking in typical pavement lingo.

ADA – The Americans with Disability Act

ADA is a federal civil rights law against discrimination based on disability in employment, services, programs, and activities of any local or state government agencies, facilities, advantages, and privileges in public accommodation areas. This also includes building and installing parking lot and property entrance access according to the ADA to prevent discrimination.


During the pavement installation process, the materials used, such as sand, rock, crushed stone, or gravel, are known as aggregate. These materials can vary in size and composition when mixed with a binding agent to produce cement concrete or asphalt.

Aggregate Base

A layer meant to provide support and foundation for an aggregate subbase is called an aggregate base. It consists of recycled asphalt concrete or quarried rock.

Alligator Cracks

Alligator cracks are formed due to structural breaks in the pavement. They are a series of interconnected crevices in the surface that later damage the foundation of the pavement.


Asphalt is a generic term for asphalt concrete and is obtained through petroleum processing.


Blacktop is another term used for asphalt concrete.

Chip Seal

Chip sealing is done to enhance performance and improve surface friction. It is a two-step process that combines the aggregate layer with a seal coat. Chip seal is generally used on low-volume roads.

Core Testing

Core test measures the thickness of the existing surface for reconstruction. It also determines moisture content, native soil characteristics, and composition.

Crack Sealing

Crack sealing is done on areas where the surface requires repairing. It prevents the water from seeping under the surface and damaging the foundation.

Flexible Pavement

Although made up of asphalt concrete, flexible pavement is more robust and efficient as they distribute the vehicle load to the subgrade layers.

HMA – Hot Mix Asphalt

It is a hot mixture of asphalt binder and aggregate compacted into a uniform, dense mass to form a pavement.

Mill and Fill

A mill means removing the surface layer and filling it with a new layer. It is a repairing process.


One of the signs of pavement deterioration, potholes are bowl-shaped holes caused by water damage.


Profilograph is a device used to measure a pavement’s roughness.

Rigid Pavement

A rigid pavement is made of concrete slabs resting on a granular subgrade made from coarse materials. Vehicle load transfer depends on the flexibility of the slabs.


Sealcoating is done to repair minor damages and cracks in the pavement surface.

Service Life

Service life is the approximate period until the surface requires repairing and maintenance.

Traffic Index

The total vehicle load a surface can bear is called the traffic index.


Weathering is also known as raveling. It is the gradual deterioration of the HMA layer where the surface becomes rough after the asphalt concrete oxidizes.

So, are you ready to put your pavement plans into action? Hire Doctor Asphalt’s professional concrete and asphalt paving contractors to lay top-quality pavement anywhere in Dallas, TX! Click here to get a quote today!

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