Handy Asphalt Paving Glossary For Property Managers

Handy Asphalt Paving Glossary For Property Managers

Hiring a licensed and experienced asphalt contractor proves indispensable when starting a new paving project in Twin Falls, ID (click here to get a free paving estimate from Asphalt Specialties). 

But even with qualified asphalt contractors to supervise your paving project, property managers should be aware of key paving terms to ensure the best outcomes.

So, how well do you know your asphalt?

Continue reading as we explain commonly used asphalt paving terms for property owners and managers. 


A mixture of gravel, crushed rock, and stones combined with binder/cement to produce asphalt pavement. 

Alligator Cracks

Cracks are usually the first signs of damage on an asphalt surface, and alligator cracks are among the most prevalent of these cracks. They are named due to their resemblance to alligator scales. Other common types of asphalt cracks include transverse cracks, reflective cracks, and block cracks.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) 

Passed into law in 1990 and updated in 2010, ADA details guidelines for making properties more accessible for disabled individuals, such as accessible parking spaces, curb ramps, accessible aisles, and signage.  

Asphalt (Bituminous Asphalt)

Also known as ‘blacktop’ or ‘flexible pavement,’ asphalt is a mixture of aggregates and binders placed, compacted, and cooled to produce pavement structures like driveways, roads, and parking lots.


Asphalt pavement comprises several layers. The base is typically the deepest layer of the pavement, placed above the aggregate.  


Also called ‘asphalt cement,’ binder is a near-liquid petroleum byproduct that holds the pavement together.  


Compaction involves compressing asphalt with steel, rubber-tire, or vibratory rollers to achieve the desired thickness and density. Compaction is necessary for the sub-grade, base, and paving layer.

Crack Sealing

Crack sealing involves placing specialized materials inside or above the cracks to prevent moisture from seeping in and damaging the base. Timely sealing of cracks is one of the most cost-effective methods of maintaining your asphalt surfaces’ quality and longevity.

Line Striping

Parking lot striping and pavement markings are essential for ADA compliance and maximizing your parking lot’s curb appeal. Line markings also control the traffic flow, preventing accidents and asphalt damage. 


Also known as ‘patch paving,’ ‘removal & replacement,’ ‘R&R,’ and ‘digouts,’ patching involves replacing damaged pavement with new asphalt. The edges of the damaged patch are cut, the old cement is removed, the base is compacted, and new asphalt is installed. 


Sealcoating for asphalt is applying a sealant to protect the surface from the elements and keep water, oils, chemicals, and small debris from penetrating the base layers. Commonly used sealing materials include asphalt emulsion and coal-tar emulsion. We recommend a gap of 3-5 years for sealcoating a driveway or parking lot.


The subgrade is the lowest level of asphalt pavement, followed by an aggregate layer above it known as the ‘aggregate base’ or ‘subbase.’

That’s all for now. As you can see, learning asphalt jargon can help you manage and supervise paving projects efficiently. If you want to learn more about asphalt paving, get in touch with our experts right away. 

At Asphalt Specialties, we provide high-quality paving and maintenance services in Twin Fall, IDClick here to get a free estimate.