Infrared Pothole Repair: A Permanent Fix

Potholes are a hazard that all drivers can’t stand. This being the case, when a pothole appears on your commercial property, they are addressed fairly quickly, often times using only temporary repair methods.

The current and most common method of pothole repair is more of a toss-and-go approach. A shovel-full (or two) of cold patch is tossed into the hole. It’s smoothed with the back of a shovel and finally it is compacted as a trailing truck runs over it with its tires. While temporary repairs are valued for their speed and simplicity, they are just that: temporary. These methods typically end up being more costly in the long run as more permanent fixes are often needed down the road. Among other reasons, this method does not remove the loosened chunks of asphalt, and the resulting patch is subsequently full of seams and cracks that allow further water seepage. As an alternative, infrared pothole repair is one method that could offer a more durable solution.

An important aspect in treating potholes is understanding the factors that cause them. While potholes are easily identifiable by sight, it is the activity below the surface that initiates this failure in asphalt.

Moisture, such as rain and snow, has a tendency to seep into the cracks of pavement, causing the supporting soil below to weaken. As temperatures decrease, the water beneath the surface freezes, which causes the ground to expand and the pavement to rise. When the temperature increases, the ground returns to its original position but the pavement tends to stay in its raised state.

In addition to the fatigue from this freeze-thaw cycle, the pavement continues to wear with the pressure from traffic passing over the area. Chunks of asphalt gradually become loose, which leads to the formation of a pothole.

Infrared pothole repair uses rigs that use infrared heating panels to pre-heat the pothole being fixed. The surrounding area is also heated. Warmed asphalt is tossed in the hole, the entire area is raked, and a roller flattens it out. This method means there is no cold joint. The road and existing pavement are heated, and a thermal bond is created. Without a seam present, water will not be able to seep underneath and recreate the pothole.

One of the biggest advantages of the infrared heating method is that it recycles asphalt. By reworking the existing asphalt into a workable state, this process is more cost-effective and allows for faster repairs than the traditional route of having to cut out and replace asphalt. The use of recycled materials also makes this a more environmentally friendly repair option.

When it comes to road repairs, efficiency in both time and cost is key. In comparison to its traditional counterparts, infrared pothole repair allows for a faster rate of completion. If your commercial property is in need of pothole repair or other commercial construction services, contact Team Cam at 888-322-9691.

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