Concrete Joints

Longitudinal and transverse joints are an important feature of concrete roadways which allow for the expansion, contraction and movement of road surfaces due to changing humidity and temperature. Joints effectively act as a controlled crack thus reducing the likelihood for cracks to occur in unplanned locations.

When inspecting concrete surfaces, it is important that joints are detected separately from actual cracks and reported as such.

As well, overtime, concrete joints deteriorate and can present a number of unique deficiencies including faulting, joint seal failure, spalling and corner breaks which must also be reported.

Faulting is a condition that is characterized as a difference in height between two abutting slabs. Joint sealant is used to form a water barrier but over time sealant can lose adhesion and be ejected. Joint spalling and corner breaks are produced when cracking near the edge of the joint is stressed through repeated traffic loadings allowing for small portions of concrete to break free.

Pavemetrics® Laser Crack Measurement System (LCMS®-2) helps to automate the concrete joint inspection process by automatically detecting joints, measuring faulting value, reporting sealant failure and quantities of spalling as well as corner breaks.

The position, length, perimeters and faulting value of each joint are reported along with length and depth of poor sealant and quantities of both spalling and corner cracking in output XML data. Additionally, a variety of images may be output showing the detected joint, positions used for faulting measurement, locations of sealant failure and both spalling and corner breaks.


PP68; Can collect images of pavement surfaces
R36-17; Evaluate Faulting of Concrete Pavements


D5340; Can be used for airport condition index surveys
D6433; Can be used for Roads and parking lot pavement condition index surveys


Distress Indentification Manual for the Long-Term Pavement Performance Program
(joint seal damage, joint spalling, joint faulting, crack faulting)

Related Articles

Feasibility Study of Measuring Concrete Joint Faulting Using 3D continuous Pavement Profile Data
Authors: Yichang James Tsai, Yiching Wu and Chengbo Ai (Georgia Institute of Technology)