DISTRESS IDENTIFICATION GUIDE
(2) If bleeding is counted, polished aggregate
B-1. User instructions.
is not counted in the same area.
a. Types of distress found in jointed concrete and
(3) Bumps and sags are measured in units of
asphalt-surfaced pavements are listed alphabetically in
this appendix. Each listing includes the name of the
(4) If a crack occurs at the ridge or edge of a
distress, its description, a narrative and photographic
bump, the crack and bump are recorded separately.
description of its severity levels, and its standard
(5) If any distress (including cracking and
measurement or count criteria. Nineteen distress types
potholes) is found in a patched area, is it not recorded;
have been identified for each of the asphalt and jointed
its effect on the patch, however, is considered in
concrete-surfaced pavements; however, only some of
determining the severity level of the patch.
these distress types will be encountered frequently
(6) A significant amount of polished aggregate
during the inspection.
Common distress types for
should be present before it is counted.
asphalt surfaced pavements include alligator cracking,
(7) Potholes are measured by the number of
holes having a certain diameter, not in units of square
longitudinal and transverse cracking, patching, potholes,
rutting, and weathering. Common distress types for
jointed concrete pavements include corner break, divided
b. The above is not intended to be a complete list.
slab, joint seal damage, linear cracking, patching (more
To properly measure each distress type, the inspector
than 5 square feet), scaling, shrinkage cracks, corner
must be familiar with its individual measurement criteria.
spalling, and joint spalling. The rest of the distress types
c. Nineteen distress types for asphalt-surfaced
included in this appendix may not be encountered as
pavement are listed alphabetically following paragraph B-
frequently, except in specific geographic locations. For
example, durability ("D") cracking in concrete pavements
may be encountered frequently in pavements subjected
B-3. Distress in jointed concrete pavements
to a high number of freeze-thaw cycles.
b. It is important that the pavement inspector be
a. Nineteen distress types for jointed concrete
thoroughly familiar with all common distress types and
pavements are listed alphabetically following the asphalt
their levels of severity. When determining the PCI for a
distress types. Distress definitions apply to both plain
pavement, section, it is imperative that the inspector
and reinforced jointed concrete pavements, with the
follow the definitions and criteria described in this manual
exception of linear cracking distress, which is defined
and appendix. The inspector should study this appendix
separately for plain and reinforced jointed concrete.
b. During the field condition surveys and validation
before an inspection and carry a copy for reference
during the inspection.
of the PCI, several questions were often asked regarding
the identification and counting method of some of the
distresses. The answers to these questions are included
B-2. Distress in asphalt pavements
under the section titled "How to Count" for each distress.
a. During the field condition surveys and validation of
For convenience, however, items that are frequently
the PCI, several questions were commonly asked
referenced are listed below:
regarding the identification and measurement of some of
(1) Faulting is counted only at joints. Faulting
the distresses. The answers to these questions are
associated with cracks is not counted separately
included under the section titled "How to Measure" for
each distress. For convenience, however, items that are
frequently referenced are listed below:
(1) If alligator cracking and rutting occur in the
same area, each is recorded separately at its respective