Glossary of Terms

Roccie’s Asphalt Paving



The following is a list of terms and definitions as we commonly use

them in our industry,




A.D.A. – Americans with Disabilities Act. A law passed by congress that sets the standard for disability access to buildings, walks, parks, or any publicly accessed area.



Aggregate – Stone, byproducts of stone, or stone based product in various sizes.



Aggregate Base – Crushed stone or stone byproduct that is sized and produced to create a stabile foundation for a driving, walking or building surface.



Apron – The term “Apron” may be used to describe where an area of one type of material ends and another begins. The term may also be used to describe an area at the end of a driveway that connects to the road. You may also see a concrete apron at a garage opening or we will sometimes put an asphalt apron on the end of a gravel driveway. Generally an apron is used to prevent surface distortion where one surface meets another.



Armor Coat – see “oil & stone”



Asphalt – see “Asphalt Pavement”



Asphalt Cement – For all practical purposes, the same as “Asphalt Pavement”.



Asphalt Pavement – A mix of fine and course aggregate with asphaltic concrete binder (A.C.). Some times called bituminous concrete, pavement, macadam, black top, hot mix, HMA, and asphalt.



Asphalt Paver or Paving Machine – Sometimes called simply “paver” this machine is used to install asphalt pavement or graded aggregate base. These machines come in either track type or rubber tire propulsion depending on owner preference or site requirements.



Asphalt Roller – A machine used in the compaction and densification of soils, sub soils, graded or non graded aggregate base and asphalt pavements. These machines may be “vibratory” where the drums vibrate to enhance the ability to compact, or “static” where the weight of the machine alone is used to compress the surface.



Backhoe – Sometimes called “tractor / loader backhoe” or “rubber tired backhoe” these machines are designed with a loader in the front and digger mounted in the rear. They can dig and load with out having to bring a second machine to a job to perform either of the 2 functions.



Bank Run Gravel – Naturally occurring gravel usually found near or in streams beds, lakes, or oceans. It is essentially sand and semi round stones. Depending on where you find it this product can be very stony (course) making it difficult to handle. Most any road or driveway older than 15 years old may have this as a base. Today the most common use for this product is septic systems.



Base – A generic term used in short to convey the product “Aggregate Base”.



Base Course, Asphalt – A lower layer of pavement usually made with large aggregate for added strength intended to be resurfaced with a “top Course” having finer aggregate. This pavement is also sometimes called Binder, Scratch Coat, Base Coat, Leveling Course.



Belgium Block – A pre sized, pre shaped, section of stone usually made from granite which can be used to form a curb or flat driving surface. Sometimes referred to as “cobble stone” it can be readily found in a “new cut” version or it may be obtained in an “antique” version. The “antique” version is normally recycled from road opening jobs in port areas such as Manhattan or Boston. Colored units are also available such as pink, black, or beige.



Black Top – see “Asphalt Pavement”.



Border – Sometimes referred to as “collar” or “ribbon” is essentially the same end product as an apron but usually serves only an aesthetic purpose and is normally set in an elongated row in a 3 to 5 course segment running parallel to the curb line.



B.S.T. – An abbreviation for “Bituminous Surface Treatment” such as chip / seal, oil & stone, seal coat.



Catch Basin – A box type structure commonly made of concrete block or pre cast concrete with a grated steel top installed in a position within a surface area that is designed to capture water run off and direct the water flow into a pipe that may be connected to a dry well or exited at a low point in the land.



Cement – A mix of various chemicals and Portland lime. Obtained usually in 90lb bags. When water is added a chemical reaction called “hydration” begins (which can make the mix somewhat warm to the touch), evaporating the water leaving the dried material hardened.



Chip / Seal – see “oil & stone”



Compaction – A process of compressing and densification of soils or aggregates to remove or reduce air voids for the purpose of making the compacted surface more structurally stabile.



Concrete – A mix of Cement, fine aggregate (Usually silica sand), course aggregate (usually clean crushed stone ranging in size from 3/8″ to 1 1/2″) and water, forming a structural solution that when hardened, is suitable for a driving surface, building walls, bridge decks, and a variety of other applications.



Conduit – A section of pipe normally used to cross under pavement surfaces to carry irrigation or electric for landscape applications. 1″, 2″, 3″ or 4″ inch pipe is most often used for and referred to as “conduit”.



Curb – A berm or dam for controlling water flow along the edge of a pavement or surface. A curb may also be used as a decorative item or it can act as both operational (to control erosion or retain an embankment), and as a decorative item.



Dry Well – A dry well is a sub surface water disposal system where water is channeled into and is essentially a cavity in the ground, usually surrounded by stone and filter fabric. In theory the water should pass through the wall of the dry well, which has holes in the wall, go past the stone and fabric and get absorbed by the surrounding soils. The reality though sometimes doesn’t work as well as the theory. If the native soil of the site is hard and impenetrable (non – permeable), or if the system is already in a wet area, the system usually fails. A way of creating some insurance for this situation is to design in a high level water overflow so if the system simply fills with water, excess fluid will have an exit and not back water up to the catch basin.



Excavator – A machine made expressly to “excavate” the earth. The most notable characteristic of an “excavator” is the ability to swing 360 degrees to load trucks. Excavators come in tracked versions or rubber tired for easy road transportation applications.



Fieldstone – Most often used in our area for wall building, its most notably recognized by its brownish blend of typical New England colors. Fieldstone can be obtained in a “veneer” version or it can also be purchased in split or round version when a full thickness wall is desired.



Fill – A term used to describe a variety of soils or mixed soils and stone of no certain quality.



Flagstone – Sometimes referred to as “bluestone”, this product is used extensively in the construction of patios and walks. Coming in a variety of colors called “full range” or a single color called “select blue”, this product is sometimes set on a bed of concrete or stone dust depending on the application. It can also be found in various thicknesses depending on the project requirements.



Full Depth Asphalt – A pavement system consisting of multiple layers of asphalt pavements, using various aggregate sizes, totaling a thickness of 4 inches or more sometimes placed over native sub soils or aggregate base.



Gallery – a series of small dry wells used in either septic or drainage systems. The units may be made of concrete or plastic. Plastic units are sometimes referred to in their manufacturer’s nomenclature such as “recharger’ or “infiltrator’s”



Infiltrator – see “Gallery”



Interlocking Pavers – A man made pre formed concrete unit used as a driving and parking surface. Most commonly seen in assorted colors with interlocking shapes for added strength. This system is normally installed on a processed gravel base and a setting bed of sand or stone dust. These units are sometimes referred to simply as “pavers”.



Millings – Also called “cold millings” these are the particles of an old asphalt road surface planed off by a “milling machine” to allow a new layer of asphalt to be installed with out raising the existing finish grade.



Mortar – A mix of cement, lime,water and sand. Used to fill small joints in the masonry process.



Oil and Stone – Sometimes referred to as “chip seal”. A surface treatment process of applying asphalt based oil to a suitable surface and casting clean stone to the oil. The stone is set into the oil by using a light roller or rubber wheeled roller. The finished product will have the appearance of a gravel and stone driveway with less maintenance.



Petromat Fabric – A non woven nylon fiber used to bridge cracks aiding in prevention of transference cracking. Crack filling must be done prior to use to fill deviations and tack emulsion must be applied prior to installation for adhesion of the fabric to the surface. Usualy manufactured in 8, 10, and 12 foot wide rolls.



Petrotack Fabric – A non woven nylon fiber soaked in tack emulsion used to bridge cracks aiding in prevention of transference cracking. Manufactured in 12, 18, 24, and 36 inch wide rolls.



Pipe – A hollow cylindrical tube made from various materials, depending on application, used to facilitate water flow for drainage applications. “Pipe” comes in varying sizes from 1/2 inch to 60 inch diameter or larger, usually available in lengths from 10 feet to 20 feet and longer. Pipe can come in a variety of materials but for our applications it’s normally made of reinforced concrete (RCP) or a plastic (PVC), and when we use a plastic pipe we would normally use ASTM 3035 grade pipe. ASTM 3035 (schedule35) has wall strength that resists crushing from concentrated wheel loads when its installed at least 12 inches below grade and covered with select material (processed gravel / item 4).



Plate Compactor – A vibratory compacting device where all the components are mounted to a steel plate. An engine drives an eccentric that provides the vibration as well as forward or rearward motion.



Processed Gravel ( fine) – Mixed fine and course crushed stone product usually not exceeding 1 1/2 inch in the largest size incorporated stone. In our area you may hear this product referred to as “Item 4”. This is actually a New York State term intermixed in our border area. We prefer to use this material in as small as size as possible such as 3/4 inch. We will normally refer to this product simply as “processed”. But at times you may need to distinguish the type of processed gravel by referring to it as “Virgin Processed” because it comes from crushed stone only and no recycled product is in it. Or a recycled product may be acceptable which is made from a combination of crushed asphalt, concrete and stone, bricks, block, or any aggregate based mineral product.



R.A.P. – An abbreviation for “recycled asphalt pavement”.



Rebar – Rebar is an abbreviation for “reinforcement bar”. Used as reinforcement for concrete in a variety of manors to include vertical and horizontal.



Recharger – see “Gallery”



Recycled Processed – Commonly known simply as “recycled” but, because of its abundance in supply and use in our area, is now also commonly referred to as “Processed”. This product is a cousin to “Processed Gravel” except its produced from recycling concrete, asphalt, stone, bricks, block, or any aggregate based mineral product. Other locally used terms are “recycled”, “recycled material”, “reprocessed”, and “sure pack”



Sand – Fine mineral particles used in various construction or industrial applications. This product in its natural state (silica based) is usually found at stream beds, oceans and lakes. It can also be man made or “manufactured”.



Seal Coat – A protective application of slurry placed over a pavement to protect from oil or gas spills and to retard the aging process. Can also be used as an aesthetic covering to make aged pavement look new.



Segmented Retaining Wall – sometimes referred to as “SRW” these wall systems are made from concrete and each unit interlocks with another. The blocks are usually pre colored and will sometimes have textured faces to resemble stone.



Septic System – An on property sub surface sewage treatment and disposal system consisting of a holding area for solid wastes and leaching fields for the fluids.



Silt Fence – This product is recognizable on almost any job site today by its black semi solid nylon net, approximately 3 feet tall and pre mounted on wooden stakes. It’s used to prevent eroding soils from getting into wet lands or drainage systems.





Skid Steer – A small loader type machine that can be used in a multitude of applications for a variety of use. The term “skid steer” comes from the machines method of steering where one track or wheel (depending on version of machine propulsion) is locked and the other track or wheel skids across the surface to turn the machine.



Stone – This product has no fines mixed in. It may be used in drainage applications where it is sometimes termed “trap rock” (though the term “trap rock” is a local area term). “Stone” has a multitude of applications ranging from driveway and road surfaces to drainage, soil stabilization, or soil and erosion control. Its sizes and use vary greatly but for our use normally it’s as a driveway topping or a drainage product. If used as a driveway topping its usually 3/8 of an inch to 3/4 inch size stone applied from 1/2 inch thick up to 1 1/2 inch thick. Stone may also be applied to hot oil resulting in a surface known as “oil and stone” or “chip seal”.



Stone Dust – Crushed stone product smaller than 1/4 inch down to and including particles of dust size. Normally used as a setting bed for masonry products such as flag stone (blue stone).



Tack Emulsion – A chemically altered emulsion of asphalt and water applied cold to aid in adhesion of an overlay of a new asphalt pavement to a lower surface. This is generally done in municipal road applications where shoving (separation and movement) of the two surfaces is possible.



Three (3) inch minus – Similar to “processed” but with larger stone up to 3 inches. Its normally used to build up road or driveway beds where deep thickness is needed along with stabilizing properties. Most of the time you would top this product with a finer product such as “processed”. This product is available in virgin or recycled blends as well.



Top Soil – An organic soil containing minerals and nutrients that would be conducive to lawn or garden growth. Usually dark in color and plastic in texture this is usually the upper most layer of soil as found in a natural formation.



Trench Drain – The trench drain performs the same function as a catch basin. Its sole purpose is to capture water allowing this run off to be channeled away. The difference between a trench drain and a catch basin is the shape. While a catch basin is normally square, round, or rectangular in shape, a trench drain is elongated to have a surface presence of 6 or 12 inches wide by 10, 20, and 30 feet long or longer. These are normally found in front of garage doors when there is no other alternative to channel water flow.



Tandem Axle Dump Truck – A dump truck with 2 rear axles.



Triaxle Dump Truck – A dump truck that has 3 rear axels for weight handling.





Value Engineering – When an estimator provides the best solution to a prospect serving their individual needs. In other words, if a prospect is putting a house on the market, will patching and seal coating make do instead of a new driveway? If so, that’s “value engineering”.



Wheel Stop – A pre fabricated curb section made to be installed in any particular point of requirement to prevent a vehicle from passing a given position. Usually made from concrete or high density plastic, they can be positioned and mounted in place then later removed if desired.



Wire Mesh – Wire mesh is a welded grid of steel, found in varying strengths or grades, used for reinforcement in concrete slabs.