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www.trentonpaving.com | Frequently Asked Questions > Aggregate & Geo-Textile Fabric

Geo-Textile Fabrics are a relatively new development used as a barrier to combat inferior sub-soils containing clay.  Even when driveways are excavated to 8 and 10 inches, if clay is present in the sub-soil, it will slowly infiltrate the new aggregate base.  Once the clay has infiltrated the aggregate base, the ability of the aggregate to drain water is compromised.  The clay-impregnated aggregate now holds water, freezing and expanding in winter while shrinking and swelling in summer as water tables vary.  The presence of water in the clay results in premature cracking and damage.   The photo to the right is typical of the resulting premature asphalt damage--alligator cracks with rutted and heaved areas.

Geo-textile fabric is a heavy duty synthetic non-woven fabric costing about $1.00 per square meter.  It provides a cost effective barrier to clay infiltration.  The synthetic fiber will not rot in the soil and provides years of functionality.  The non-woven fabric 'filters', allowing water to drain downwards and preventing clay particles from migrating upwards into the aggregate foundation, thereby protecting the asphalt from heaving and collapsing. 

Geo-textile fabric is placed at the bottom of the excavation, then back-filled with aggregate in the traditional manner, layer upon layer with rounds of compaction, followed by final grading and laying of the asphalt mat.  Its presence prevents infiltration by damaging clay particles.

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