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Permeable block pavings play an important part in an integrated water management policy, which aims at minimizing flooding risks by keeping water in place for as long a time as possible. Using a concept of full-depth permeability from the surface to the subgrade, rainwater is buffered (preferably) in the subbase layer, and allowed to infiltrate into the subgrade soil if possible. Permeable block pavings are used as buffering and infiltration systems for parking areas, squares, low-volume roads, cycling tracks, etc.
Resistance to freeze-thaw cycles is an important property for the durability of a concrete road or structure in an outdoor environment. In the case of roads and their surrounding infrastructure an additional part is played by the presence of de-icing salt.
Old roads with a concrete slab pavement that has been in service for several decades are often subject to step faulting, which may result in vibrations. This distress can originate in the lack of a base layer or in the lack of stability of that layer, which is often associated with poor drainage or a weak subgrade. In old roads, this is an “ageing phenomenon” which can often be ascribed to open joints or to very old age with consequent long-term traffic loading. In younger roads, the cause of step faulting and slab rocking needs to be investigated before making repairs.