A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z


ADA – The Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA, is a federal civil rights law enacted in 1990 prohibiting discrimination on the basis of disability in employment, programs, services and activities of state and local government agencies, and goods, services, facilities, advantages, privileges in places of public accommodation.  This law also outlines specific requirements for parking lot and building access in order to prevent discrimination.  At U.S. Pavement Services, we make every effort to bring your property up to ADA code.Parking Lot Glossary

Aggregate – Broadly, aggregate is a class of minerals and materials used in construction.  The exact aggregate used varies greatly between types of construction jobs, but it often consists of sand, gravel, stone, recycled concrete and sometimes lighter materials like clay and pumice.  Aggregate is a major component of asphalt concrete (used to pave roads, driveways and parking lots) and concrete (used to pave sidewalks and make curbs, barriers and other structures).

Alligatoring – Dense cracks that form very close together and in high prevalence, so-called because of their resemblance to alligator scales.  Usually caused by inadequate strength and compaction of the base and subgrade, or inadequate drainage.  This problem may be too serious for repair with crack sealant or fill.

Asphalt Concrete – Commonly referred to simply as “asphalt” or “blacktop,” asphalt concrete is a mix, consisting of a mineral aggregate and an asphalt binder (also known as bitumen), used to make parking lots and roadways.


Backhoe – Large piece of digging equipment used for digging trenches and excavating job sites.  Composed of a two-part, large shovel arm and usually attached to a tractor vehicle body.

Base – Pavement is composed of layers: beginning with the subgrade at the lowest level, then often some aggregate right above it, and finishing with many layers of asphalt on top.  When the term “base” is used, it usually refers to the deepest layer of asphalt, right above the aggregate. Sometimes “base” refers to the aggregate layer, also known as the “aggregate base” or “subbase.”

Backer Rod – A polyethylene or foam material used to partially fill cracks, joints, or gaps to increase the effectiveness of polyurethane or epoxy crack sealants.

Berm – A raised asphalt barrier often used to replace or repair curbs.

Bitumen – See Asphalt concrete.

Block Cracking – Cracking that forms small blocks of pavement, developing from prevalent transverse or longitudinal cracking.  Although similar patterns to alligatoring may develop, block cracks differ in that they are much larger.

Bollard – A vertical post meant to control pedestrian and vehicle traffic.  Often placed next to each other near alleyways or entrances to indicate a no-car zone or an authorized vehicles only zone.


Car Stop – Short bar of rubber or concrete placed at the ends of parking stalls to indicate the farthest a car should be parked.

Catch Basin – Type of curb inlet covered by a grate that allows water, sediment and debris to flow off of the parking surface during a rainstorm.  The sediment and debris are caught in the catch basin sump while the water flows thru the storm drain system.

Cold Patch – Asphalt mixture used to repair cracks and potholes on less-trafficked roads, so-called “cold” because it bonds following evaporation or compaction without needing to be heated up first.

Concrete Composite material made up of a mineral aggregate and a cement binder (though the exact makeup of the aggregate and cement can change from concrete to concrete).  Commonly used for sidewalks, curbs, road barriers and other structures.

Contraction – As the seasons change from summer to winter and the temperature grows colder, the base, subgrade or overlay can contract, causing major cracking.

Crackfilling/Crack Sealing – The crack sealing process is the first line of defense in preventing the degradation of your pavement.  Cracks are filled using a hot-applied rubberized joint sealant that exceeds Federal specifications.  Afterwards, a light aggregate material is added to the hot rubber to improve adhesion.

Crack Sealing Deficiency – Problem that occurs when the sealant or fill used to repair cracks is no longer effective or sufficient.  Can develop due to improper installation of sealant or fill as well as more serious underlying base or subgrade issues.

Curb Appeal – The aesthetic quality or attractiveness of a property’s exterior.  Curb appeal is a main draw for customers and tenants alike, reeling them in and keeping them satisfied.  At U.S. Pavement, whether for commercial, municipal or residential properties, heightening your curb appeal is one of our top priorities.

Curbing – Structure installed to form a perimeter to the parking area.  Also used to control the flow of water from the parking area to the storm drain system.  Types of curbing include asphalt berm, poured-in-place concrete, and pre-cast concrete.


Deterioration – Any break-down in the pavement or concrete surface that allows serious problems, such as raveling, to occur.

Drainage Accounting for drainage is a vital factor when paving any road.  If water and sediment pools up, it can be dangerous for vehicles and pedestrians and cause significant roadway damage.  Building road surfaces at the proper slope near a suitable catch basin helps to alleviate any flooding dangers.


Emulsion – An emulsion is a blend of asphalt and chemicals like water or petroleum, used to help asphalt and concrete mix at a lower temperature.  At U.S. Pavement, we use it as a sealer when patching asphalt.  Meanwhile, a similar coal tar emulsion is used to help sealcoat residential driveways.

Excavator – Any large construction vehicle generally consisting of a rotating body, a backhoe and a scoop attached. Used for demolition, handling heavy materials, like asphalt, and digging trenches.

Expansion – As the seasons change from winter to summer and the temperature grows warmer, the base, subgrade or overlay can expand, causing major cracking.

Expansion Joint – A tool connecting two pieces of concrete, designed to absorb vibrations, expansion and contraction.  Commonly found wherever concrete and pavement movement is most prevalent, including sidewalks, buildings or bridges.


Failure – Broad term for most physical issues with pavement.  Failure can include everything from cracking to potholes.

Faulting – A downward step between panels or segments of concrete that usually occurs in the direction of traffic along transverse cracks.  This is caused by settlement of soft base and subgrade, warping of slabs due to temperature changes, or the effect of moisture on the base or subgrade.

Frost Heave – Used to describe the swelling of soil due to ice building from underneath the ground up to the surface.  Frost heaving can cause cracks and potholes during the winter and spring.


Gravel – A collection of small rocks and rock fragments, varying in composition and size from gravel to gravel.  It is a major component of aggregate.


Hairline Cracking – Very narrow cracks usually less than ¼” wide.


Infrared Repair In the paving world, an infrared repair is the process of heating up existing asphalt to a workable temperature (300° F), then removing the deteriorated pavement 3” to 4” deep.  New replacement asphalt is raked in and compacted with a vibratory roller.  Infrared repairs are the most cost-effective type of asphalt repair: The finished product has the same or better life expectancy as the surrounding asphalt, and it costs far less than getting the pavement removed wholesale.


Jackhammering – Method of cutting pavement for cutting and patching repairs that involves using a jack hammer to provide a toothed edge where new pavement fits together.


Leveling – see Regrading.

Line Painting The process of painting pavement markings that control vehicle and pedestrian traffic, including crosswalks, arrows, disabled parking symbols, and parking stalls.  This is a specialty of U.S. Pavement’s, using only the best painting supplies to improve your property’s curb appeal and get it up to the ADA code.

Loam – Soil composed of roughly 40% sand, 40% silt and 20% clay, though varieties of loam with a slightly different makeup and consistency exist too.

Longitudinal Cracking – Cracks that form down the center of the pavement surface or roadway, parallel to the road.


Markings – Markings on the pavement to control vehicle and pedestrian traffic and parking.

Membranes – U.S. Pavement doesn’t just pave and sealcoat roads and sidewalks—we also provide specialty membranes to waterproof and maintain your property.  Our membranes are waterproof, weather-resistant, slip-resistant polyurethane coatings designed to give you the best protection, whether indoors or out.

Milling The process of using a milling machine to remove a section of pavement.  While patching and repair always should be considered first, sometimes pavement conditions decline so much that removal is the best option.  Milling is often used to recycle a road surface, the removed pavement then ground up as aggregate for fresh concrete.


Overlay – The process of paving or “overlaying” another layer of asphalt over existing pavement.  This is one of the most common resurfacing techniques, used to add strength to existing roads and surfaces without having to repave or reclaim, which can be more costly and extreme.  Milling may or may not be required before overlaying, depending on the condition of the road.

Overspray ­– Sealcoat that overshoots the pavement and touches your lawn or property.  Our sealcoat crews make every effort to prevent sealcoat overspray, using shields and traps to protect your property.

Oxidation – In the paving world, oxidation refers to the process that begins when asphalt is exposed to oxygen.  Asphalt concrete steadily becomes more stiff and brittle as the asphalt’s molecules begin to rearrange themselves and strengthen their bonds to one another.  Oxidation is one of the root causes of pavement failure.


Patching Repaving and reclamation aren’t always necessary.  Much of the time, repairing failed pavement with asphalt patching is the way to go.  Excavating the problem areas and raking in fresh asphalt to replace them is far more cost-effective, even for areas that need a large amount of patching.

Paving The act of installing pavement, most often asphalt or concrete.  U.S. Pavement’s primary scope—it’s right there in our name!—we pride ourselves on providing the finest and widest array of paving services available.  From parking lots to sidewalks, from patching to overlay, we got you covered!

Potholes Bowl-shaped openings up to 10 inches deep, which are created when moisture seeps into the pavement and contracts or expands.  As traffic drives over these weakened areas, it eventually crumbles and breaks away.

Primer – Oil spot primer is used to eliminate oil stains on your driveway.  We apply a primer by brushing onto the stain to prevent it from eating through the new layer of sealcoat.  Unfortunately, not all stains can be completely removed, but this primer usually eliminates normal oil stains.

Puddling – Water that collects in an area of pavement that does not have sufficient drainage due to base and subgrade shifts or slope and grade changes.

Pulverizing – The process of grinding existing asphalt and recycling it with new asphalt mix, emulsion and underlying material to produce a quality base layer.  Pulverizing requires the use of a large construction vehicle called a road reclaimer, which moves along the road slowly, pulverizing and recycling at the same time. In many cases, pulverizing is less labor-intensive and more economical than repaving.


Raveling – Loss of pavement or concrete material caused by deterioration, ultraviolet exposure, traffic frequency, weather conditions, material mix design or compact during construction or installation.

Reclamation Refers to a process that includes full-depth pulverization of asphalt and laying a fresh layer of asphalt over the recycled pavement base.  Requires a large construction vehicle known as a road reclaimer.  Usually, reclamation is more economical than repaving.

Reflective Cracking – Cracks that show through overlayed areas because of improper crack repairs in the original pavement surface.

Regrading – The process of raising or lowering levels of land.  It’s often performed to flatten and smooth out an existing surface, which is why it is frequently known as leveling.

Repaving – The process of paving an area again, likely by removing the existing asphalt or concrete completely and starting anew.  Repaving is generally a last resort method of pavement repair, because patching, infrared repair, overlay and reclamation are all far less time-consuming and much more cost-effective.

Rubberized Joint Sealant – Hot-applied rubberized joint sealant is the material U.S. Pavement uses to seal and fill pavement cracks.  After we do this, a light aggregate material is added to the hot sealant to improve adhesion.

Rutting – Vertical groove created in the wheel paths of traffic, caused by unstable or insufficient compaction.


Scope – Refers to any of the categories of service U.S. Pavement provides (i.e. paving, line painting and sealcoating are all scopes).

Sealant/Sealer – Material used to fill and seal cracks in a concrete surface to prevent further damage from moisture seeping into the base and subgrade.

Sealcoat/Sealcoating A protective coating applied to pavement that’s invulnerable to destructive elements including weather conditions and ultraviolet rays.  A primary service of U.S. Pavement’s, sealcoating is a proven way to protect your property and prevent further damage and costs down the line.

Settling – A significant height difference between panels or segments of concrete that usually occurs along longitudinal cracks.  This is caused by settlement of soft base and subgrade, warping of slabs due to temperature changes, or the effect of moisture on the base, subgrade or the slab.

Sinkholes – Depressions formed by dissolving subgrade caused by the water circulating through the stone.  As the aggregate dissolves, cavernous spaces form below the pavement, and the surface collapses once the space is too large to support the surface weight.

Skid Steer – A small construction vehicle equipped with arms used to combine with a variety of attachments, such as a bucket to help lift construction materials.

Spalling – An advanced problem formed in constructed joints or concrete cracks in which fragments chip off or break away from the edges of the concrete.

Sports Surfaces Think U.S. Pavement only sealcoats roads, lots and driveways?  Think again.  On top of those services, we also offer athletic and sport surfacing options to maintain your tennis court, playground, track or whatever else you need.  Any and all layouts, colors and markings are all designed in-house to accommodate whatever you have in mind.

Spray – Method used to apply sealcoat. Sealcoat is evenly sprayed using a truck onto the surface.  The spray approach allows for more control over how much sealcoat is spread.  Because it helps to cover up any blotches squeegee marks can leave behind, spraying is often used after squeegeed sealcoat has been applied.

Squeegee – Method used to apply sealcoat. Sealcoat is applied to the surface and spread using the squeegee.  This can help force sealcoat into cracks and voids that spraying can’t reach. This approach is often used prior to the spray approach.

Storm Drain System A system that controls the flow of rain, melting snow, and other liquid from the parking surface into catch basins and onto their ultimate destination (i.e., a retention pond).

Subgrade – The lowest layer of pavement, consisting of existing compacted soil underneath the road.


Transverse Cracking – Cracks that cut across the pavement surface roughly perpendicular to the pavement’s center.

Truncated Domes – Textures surfaces installed near stairs, railroad platforms and curbs used to warn blind and visually impaired persons about a potentially hazardous walking area.


Vibratory Roller – Tool used to compact a new asphalt patch job during infrared repair.


Yard – For most uses in the paving world, “yard” refers to a cubic yard (3 ft. x 3 ft. x 3 ft.) rather than the standard 3ft. length measurement.