What are the aggregates found on Quebec roads?

Quebec, a province renowned for its vast and diverse road network, relies heavily on a variety of aggregates to construct, maintain, and upgrade its roads. These aggregates play a pivotal role in ensuring the safety, durability, and functionality of Quebec’s extensive transportation infrastructure. In this comprehensive exploration, we explain the different types of aggregates used on Quebec roads, their material properties, and their significance in construction projects for municipal roads, highways, and other transportation arteries.

Types of Aggregates Used in Quebec

In the diverse landscape of Quebec, a wide array of aggregates are instrumental in shaping the province’s roads, buildings, and infrastructure. From the rugged basalt aggregates used to withstand freeze-thaw cycles to the versatile recycled aggregates contributing to sustainability, the types of aggregates found in Quebec’s construction industry play a pivotal role in its development and resilience.


Gravel is one of the most commonly used aggregates in road construction across Quebec. It is a granular material typically composed of small stones, rocks, and sand. Gravel is sourced from gravel pits and used for various purposes, including road surfacing and construction projects.

Recycled Aggregate

Recycled aggregates are materials derived from the processing of reclaimed concrete, asphalt, or other recycled materials. These materials, often obtained from demolition sites, are processed to meet the technical specifications required for road construction, offering an environmentally friendly alternative.

Basalt Aggregates

Basalt aggregates, known for their exceptional properties, are used in road construction, especially in areas prone to freeze-thaw cycles. The unique properties of basalt aggregates, such as high freeze-thaw durability, make them a suitable choice for road construction in Quebec’s challenging climate.


Concrete aggregates are essential components in the construction industry, serving as the foundation for durable and robust structures. These aggregates typically consist of various aggregate materials, such as crushed stone, sand, and gravel. In the context of asphalt concrete, they play a vital role in providing the necessary strength, stability, and durability to road surfaces. 

Importance of Aggregates in Quebec Road Construction

Road Network Development

Aggregates are the fundamental building blocks of Quebec’s extensive road network. Whether it’s the construction of municipal roads, arterial roadways, or highways, the quality and availability of aggregates are essential in the planning stages of civil engineering projects. Municipalities in Quebec rely on aggregates for constructing and maintaining their road networks. Aggregates are used in various ways, from surfacing gravel roads to providing the foundation for paved municipal streets.

Highway Construction

Quebec’s highway system, which spans thousands of kilometers, requires vast quantities of aggregates for construction, maintenance, and rehabilitation. Highways are vital arteries for transportation and the economy, making the quality and durability of aggregates paramount.

Industrial Purposes

Aggregates have applications beyond road construction. They are used for industrial purposes, such as in building construction and concrete production. The versatility of aggregates makes them indispensable in a wide range of civil engineering and on the construction market.

Maintenance and Reconstruction

Aggregates are crucial not only for the initial construction of roads but also for their ongoing maintenance and the reconstruction of road surface. The water intake of Quebec roads is high due to the volatile climate, which leads to quicker road degradation, so the addition of new aggregates becomes necessary to ensure the safety and functionality of the transportation infrastructure.

How Do Aggregates Affect Vehicles?

Aggregates on road surfaces can potentially damage vehicles in several ways:

  • Potholes: Potholes are depressions or holes in the road surface caused by the wear and tear of the road, often exacerbated by freeze-thaw cycles. Aggregates can become dislodged from the road surface, leaving gaps that can lead to the formation of potholes. Driving over potholes can cause significant damage to a vehicle’s tires, suspension, and even the vehicle’s frame or body.
  • Loose Gravel: Loose gravel, commonly found on gravel roads or construction sites, can be kicked up by vehicles, leading to damage. Gravel impacts can chip or crack windshields, damage paint, and cause dents to the vehicle’s body.
  • Abrasion: Over time, the friction between a vehicle’s tires and the road surface can cause abrasive wear. This wear can affect tire treads, reducing their lifespan and traction. It can also wear down other vehicle components, such as brake pads and suspension parts, more quickly.
  • Reduced Visibility: Aggregates, such as dust or debris, can reduce visibility on the road, especially during construction projects or in areas with loose gravel. Reduced visibility can increase the risk of accidents and vehicle damage.

How to Protect Your Car From Aggregates

Protecting your vehicle from damage caused by aggregates and road debris is crucial to maintaining its appearance and value. Here are some effective ways to shield your vehicle:

  • XPEL Paint Protection Film (PPF): XPEL PPF is a high-quality, clear film designed to protect your vehicle’s paint from chips, scratches, and other damage caused by road debris and aggregates. It is a self-healing material that can repair minor scratches and swirl marks over time. Installing PPF on high-impact areas like the front bumper, hood, fenders, and side mirrors can help maintain your car’s pristine appearance.
  • Regular Car Wash and Wax: Keeping your vehicle clean and waxed can provide a protective barrier against dirt and debris. Regular washing and waxing can also make it easier to remove any accumulated road grime.
  • Safe Following Distance: Maintain a safe following distance when driving behind other vehicles, especially on gravel or unpaved roads. This gives you more time to react to debris kicked up by the vehicle in front of you and minimizes the chance of chips or cracks in your windshield.

Invest in Paint Protection Film for Your Vehicle

If you want to protect your vehicle from the harsh Quebec roads, Protex Canada is here to help. We provide a state-of-the-art paint protection film solution, known as XPEL PPF, that is designed to protect your car surface from debris and dirt. With a commitment to durability, aesthetics, and environmental sustainability, we deliver innovative protective solutions that enhance and safeguard a multitude of assets and surfaces, ensuring longevity and performance.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Aggregates used in asphalt mixes come in various grain sizes, typically ranging from fine sand to coarse gravel. The selection of the appropriate grain size depends on the specific asphalt mix design and project requirements, such as road type and expected traffic loads.

Asphalt shingles, when recycled, provide a sustainable source of aggregates. These shingles are processed to create recycled aggregates, reducing the need for newly mined materials and promoting environmental responsibility in construction projects.

Aggregates are crucial components of asphalt mixes, enhancing their durability and performance. The selection of high-quality aggregates, based on factors like grain size and material properties, helps create asphalt mixes that can withstand the stresses of traffic, weather, and other environmental factors.