Angie's LIST Guide to
Glossary: Garages and Driveways

A collection of terms and definitions relating to the installation, construction and maintenance of garages and driveways.

Asphalt - Compaction

Asphalt: Asphalt is a paving material created from aggregate minerals that are cemented together with asphalt cement. This type of material can be placed over crushed stone, slag, grave, brick, paving blocks or Portland cement concrete.

This will allow for the asphalt to bond to the pre-existing surface for more desired results and a longer life for the paved area.

Cement: Not to be confused with concrete, cement is a mixture which is created using various different chemicals and Portland lime. This material usually purchased in a dry form and mixed with water.

When the cement is spread out and allowed to dry it creates a hard material which has a strong density level.

Compaction: The process by which soil and paving materials are compressed to reduce or remove air voids. This process creates a more structurally stable surface when it has been compacted and aids in preventing premature damage to the completed paved surface.

Compaction is often completed by using large industrial equipment which has the ability to place great amounts of pressure for the release of trapped air voids

Concrete - Prime coat

Concrete: Concrete is a paving and construction material which is created by mixing cement, sand and crushed stone with water. When hardened the concrete is a very solid material that will not break down under the pressures of driving or walking over the surface.

Curing: Curing is the chemical process that takes place when allowing materials used to pave a specific area to dry out for desired results. This process requires individuals to use water to prevent the materials from drying out too quickly as this can result in cracking and crumbling of the paving materials to occur.

Proper curing often takes between 24 to 48 hours to complete depending on factors such as the paving material used, the thickness of the paved surface and the climate conditions in the area that has been paved. It is important not to drive or wall on areas while they are curing to prevent indentations or scarring to the surface of the paved surface from occurring.

Prime coat: A prime coat is an application of low viscosity asphalt or mixed in application of emulsified asphalt which is placed over an untreated paving base. This process is completed prior to placing the asphalt pavement on the area which is to be paved.

Applying a prime coat allows for a smoother and more solid surface space to work with. Individuals will notice more desired results and visual appearances when a prime coat is applied.

Reflective cracking - Sealing

Reflective cracking: Reflective cracking occurs when the base layer of pavement is not properly treated or proper methods are not taken to prevent cracking when pavement expands and contracts due to temperature changes and ground freezing that can take place.

The stress placed on the bottom layer of asphalt will cause cracking which will spread to the top layer of paving materials. These cracks allow moisture to build up and create further damage to occur.

Resurfacing: Resurfacing is the process of improving the look and function of a currently paved surface area. This process involves using paving materials such as asphalt and concrete to provide an improved look for surfaces which are cracked, crumbling, broken or have sustained other visible signs of damage.

Homeowners can resurface their driveways, walkways and other paved surfaces to improve safety for those who walk on them.

Sealing: Sealing is the process of placing a thin asphalt surface treatment over an asphalt wearing surface to provide waterproofing and to improve the texture of the asphalt surface.

Depending on the type of sealer used and its purpose, the sealer may or may not be able to be covered with aggregate.

Slurry - Tack coat

Slurry: A pavement sealer which is created using a thin mixture of insoluble substances such as cement, clay or coal which has been mixed with a liquid such as water or oil. This sealer material can be used to fill in cracks, chips or holes which occur in a paved surface to prevent continued damage from occurring.

Tack coat: A tack coat is a light application of asphalt which is layered over a pre-existing asphalt or concrete surface. This process is used to ensure that a bond will be created between the surface that is to be paved and the overlaying materials course together.

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