As a business owner with an asphalt parking lot or a homeowner with an asphalt driveway, chances are you have areas in need of repair. Asphalt is an excellent material due to its cost efficiency, durability, flexibility, longevity, and environmentally friendly nature. However, over time and use, problems can arise in asphalt, and you’ll find yourself in need of choosing a repair solution.
What Is Infrared Asphalt Repair?
Infrared Asphalt Repair (IRR) is an economically and environmentally friendly way to repair asphalt damage that employs infrared heating technology. Here’s what the process looks like:
- The repair area is cleaned of all dirt and debris before special equipment is utilized to heat the area to 325 degrees or more using infrared technology.
- Once heated appropriately, the repair area is framed with a clean edge of 3-4 inches around the damaged area then the asphalt is raked to eliminate the problem.
- A thin amount of new or recycled asphalt is applied to bring the repair area to the same grade as its surroundings.
- The site is flattened by both hand and machine to create a driveable surface in less than an hour.
Traditional asphalt cutouts leave edges that can be compromised by the elements, making future repairs highly likely. However, this is not the case with IRR. Because the edge is thermally bonded, there is no possibility of water intrusion, making your repair last through the years to come.
Exploring the Benefits of Choosing Infrared Asphalt Repair
Infrared asphalt repair offers a wide range of benefits to both commercial and residential property owners. Whether this is your first time learning about this technology or you’ve known about it for a while, it’s worthwhile to learn how infrared asphalt repair will enhance your property. Our experts have compiled a few, but not all, of the most significant advantages below:
- It’s a time-saving technique—IRR repairs take less than a day to complete and can be driven on in less than an hour after repairs are finished.
- It’s a cost-efficient solution because it utilizes the asphalt already in place.
- The seamlessness between the repair area and its surroundings means you are less likely to have future repairs in the same place.
- Because it reuses asphalt and allows for the use of recycled materials, it is an environmentally-friendly choice.
- IRR can be used for all-year-round repair. Clouds or sunshine, IRR is for you!
What Pavement Problems Can Be Fixed With IRR?
As durable and flexible as asphalt is, it is constantly exposed to our harsh environment and the weight of vehicles all day, so breakdowns are to be expected. Here are some of the damages that IRR can be the solution for.
1. Cracks or Gouges
There are several different kinds of cracking that can occur in asphalt. Some are caused by temperature and environment, while the weight and movement of vehicles cause others. Cracking in asphalt can appear in many different forms, but IRR is a perfect repair solution for any crack.
A gouge is different from a crack; these look like someone took a small piece of the asphalt out. Plows most often cause them, and while gouges don’t seem like as big of an issue as cracks, if left unfixed, these indentations can cause more extensive damage to the asphalt. Water can settle into a gouge and erode the asphalt, so be sure to make repairs as soon as you notice the damage.
You’ve likely experienced the jarring effect of a pothole while driving. These bowl-shaped holes in asphalt are caused by disintegration and deterioration of the asphalt’s surface. Potholes tend to appear every winter and spring, but be sure to keep an eye out for them all year round.
Often, potholes start small and grow more prominent the longer they are left unrepaired. The sooner you have them fixed, the less damage they will do to your asphalt. Reach out to an asphalt specialist to see how IRR can fix your pothole problems today.
3. Uneven Pavement
Another common problem seen in asphalt is an uneven surface, more commonly known as raveling. Raveling is caused by a breakdown of the particles that make up asphalt from the top down. Besides a rough surface, raveling can also cause loose debris and standing water.
If the damage is not extensive, IRR is an excellent option for repair; however, since IRR is a localized solution, you will have to replace your blacktop entirely if the raveling damage is too extensive. The key to keeping your asphalt in tip-top shape is to address issues as soon as they arise. When you do, you can save money and time with infrared asphalt repair.
4. Utility Repairs
Because underground utilities are often placed below roadways or parking lots, there is a very good chance that you may need to fix the asphalt disrupted by utility installation, replacement, or repair. Unfortunately, when such repairs are necessary, they often patch the asphalt, leading to further damage due to the joints.
IRR is an excellent option to repair the asphalt and avoid future headaches seamlessly. IRR is also beneficial because it can reach small areas that big paving trains cannot. You can use IRR for many utility repair issues like maintenance holes, tricky drainage areas, high spots, grade control, catch basins, or utility joint repairs.
5. Dips or Divots
A dip or divot in asphalt is caused by the surface falling into a crack in a lower level of the asphalt. Dips are typically the start of a pothole. As more pressure is applied to the damaged area, eventually, it will cave in and become a pothole. Divots are also prone to collecting water and become what is called a “birdbath.”
This standing water leads to more erosion, which will then cause more extensive damage over time. Infrared asphalt repair can help stop a dip from becoming a pothole or birdbath by leveling out the surface of the asphalt and alleviating future issues.
Keep Infrared Asphalt Repair In Mind for Your Next Project
Asphalt is a durable and cost-efficient material for your paving needs. But as natural issues arise in your asphalt, it’s crucial to be proactive in finding the right solution for your paving problem. If the circumstances are right, be kind to the earth and your wallet and choose infrared asphalt repair. And remember, finding the right contractor is key to making your IRR repairs cost-efficient and effective.