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Old 04-21-2014, 12:13 PM   #1
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is this RCA - Asphalt Driveway Installation


Hi, new member here. I feel like I am being taken for a ride by my contractors.
They are installing a new driveway, and after they put down what they call "RCA" I began to get suspicious.

imgur.com/kY9Cw5s,FtsG79S

It looks nothing like what comes up in google searches, and more like dirt with bits of rock and brick.

Is this the right stuff? They said to drive on it for a week or so, and they will re-grade and compact it after the masons put in the Belgian Block.

Also, some parts of the ground are soft, like a sponge. Is this going to settle okay?

Some expert insight is appreciated.

Thanks!

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Old 04-21-2014, 02:47 PM   #2
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is this RCA - Asphalt Driveway Installation


RCA=Recycled Concrete Aggragate and there's different grades, some is DOT approved, but some isn't.

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Old 04-21-2014, 04:06 PM   #3
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is this RCA - Asphalt Driveway Installation


If it were mine they wouldn't be doing any paving on spongy ground.
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Old 04-21-2014, 04:10 PM   #4
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They said to give it time to let the moisture evaporate out and it will no longer be spongy.

My concern is, what if it rains down the line? Won't it get spongy again?
They assure me that it won't happen...
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Old 04-21-2014, 04:51 PM   #5
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is this RCA - Asphalt Driveway Installation


It is difficult to tell from photo. If there are chunks of concrete in it, it is probably RCA. It looks like it is very fine(small granules). I have never seen it get spongy but it might be the ground underneath that is spongy. The RCA makes a good base after it is compacted.
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Old 04-21-2014, 04:53 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robpo View Post
It is difficult to tell from photo. If there are chunks of concrete in it, it is probably RCA. It looks like it is very fine(small granules). I have never seen it get spongy but it might be the ground underneath that is spongy. The RCA makes a good base after it is compacted.
Thanks for the info.

As you suggested, the ground beneath it is what I believe is the culprit.

But do they need to:

A. Dig deeper to get to solid ground

or

B. Just wait until it firms up?
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Old 04-21-2014, 05:13 PM   #7
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is this RCA - Asphalt Driveway Installation


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Originally Posted by chairmanme0w View Post
Thanks for the info.

As you suggested, the ground beneath it is what I believe is the culprit.

But do they need to:

A. Dig deeper to get to solid ground

or

B. Just wait until it firms up?
Either way. I have seen times when digging deeper didn't help(about 3' deeper). It is probably better to wait.
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Old 04-21-2014, 09:30 PM   #8
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is this RCA - Asphalt Driveway Installation


The 1st thing I would do is ask them where they got the RCA in what grade it is. I'm betting that they will kind of sputter and not give you a straight answer! That certainly looks a lot more like dirt than it does RCA. RCA is normally about the color of concrete and is the consistency of fine gravel in most cases. The spongy spot will most likely have to be excavated deeper, filled with #3's (large stone gravel) compacted and then top with finer stone.
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Old 04-22-2014, 09:51 AM   #9
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Have the contractor place geotextile fabric in the bottom of the excavation prior to placing the fill. Have them use a 6 oz or 8 oz fabric. If they don't know what you are talking about get another contractor. We used 12 0z fabric under the roads at the landfill i worked at. We then placed 12" of oversized stone on top of the fabric and were able to drive 50 ton loads of garbage over the roads without road failure. Once the base material is placed over the fabric and thoroughly compacted, you won't have any problems with settlement. Also if possible add some sort of drainage away from the base material.
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Old 04-22-2014, 10:08 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by landfillwizard View Post
Have the contractor place geotextile fabric in the bottom of the excavation prior to placing the fill. Have them use a 6 oz or 8 oz fabric. If they don't know what you are talking about get another contractor. We used 12 0z fabric under the roads at the landfill i worked at. We then placed 12" of oversized stone on top of the fabric and were able to drive 50 ton loads of garbage over the roads without road failure. Once the base material is placed over the fabric and thoroughly compacted, you won't have any problems with settlement. Also if possible add some sort of drainage away from the base material.
That is what I was going to suggest but it might be over kill for a driveway or maybe not.
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Old 04-22-2014, 04:07 PM   #11
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I don't think so. If there is a problem with the underlying area being unstable, the geotextile fabric will greatly stabilize the subgrade base interface.
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Old 04-22-2014, 04:22 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by landfillwizard View Post
I don't think so. If there is a problem with the underlying area being unstable, the geotextile fabric will greatly stabilize the subgrade base interface.
I have only seen it used once. I was working in a new home development and we were getting ready to pave the roads. The base was down but there was this one mushy spot. They dug it deeper and put 3inch rocks and it was still mushy dug it deeper and put more rocks and still mushy. Finally dug it out and put the fabric down and back filled and it was fine.
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Old 04-22-2014, 05:16 PM   #13
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I have seen it used hundreds of times. I was the instigator for putting under the roads of the landfill. There was always pieces of geotextile or liner material left over from projects used to build our liner construction. We began using it under the roadways on top of the landfill under our road building material. It was unbelievable how the road ways held up. Before using the geotextile our roads would disappear into the garbage. After we began to use fabric we could actually remove the road building material and use it in other roads.

After i retired I went to work as a construction inspector. When there was an unstable area in construction of roads or parking lots, I would tell the contractor of my experiences with geotextile and have him explain it to the client that it would be less expensive to pay for the geotextile than over excavating unstable areas and add more gravel. I have been back to these areas since and found them to have held up very well!
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Old 05-06-2014, 09:38 PM   #14
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Thanks for the info, guys.

Well, the guys are coming back out for a third time tomorrow for their last shot at fixing the soft RCA.

If this doesn't fix it, I'll suggest the geotxtile fabric, but I doubt these guys will know what that is based on the experience thus far. I've already communicated that I will be asking for my deposit back if tomorrow doesn't work out.

it's been 15 days since I posted that video, and the ground is still soft.
It's beyond ridiculous.
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Old 05-06-2014, 09:41 PM   #15
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BTW, I've posted a video on youtube of how soft the RCA is...


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