For years infrared technology has demonstrated its reoccurring effectiveness when it comes to repairing asphalt defects. Large businesses in cities, states, and local markets are choosing infrared asphalt repair more frequently as it provides many aesthetic and functional benefits. While the overall process appears to be simple, it’s surprisingly incredibly complicated and technologically driven. Infrared asphalt repair focuses on the quality of paving materials and products utilized in your asphalt repair, creating a lasting result that all property owners will be proud of.
What Is Infrared Asphalt Repair?
Infrared is defined as rays of light that are just below red in the color spectrum. While the rays cannot be seen physically, they produce heat deep inside an object. The penetration of infrared rays allows the infrared asphalt heaters to heat the existing asphalt without burning it, unlike an open flame. This method blends hot-mix asphalt with existing, damaged asphalt creating minimal waste and a smooth, seamless finish. Infrared Asphalt Repair is an excellent solution for many critical repairs.
Why Is Infrared Asphalt Repair the Best Method?
As previously mentioned, the use of infrared rays allows for deep penetration asphalt repair and reclaiming without causing scaling, burning, or separation of the asphalt from the aggregate. While there are many benefits that this commercial paving method brings to the table, there are a few major ones that play a substantial role in why many believe infrared asphalt repair to be the best method.
Useful existing asphalt isn’t wasted throughout the repair process as the old asphalt is recycled and reused, allowing for a smoother finish than other repair methods. Property owners consider infrared asphalt repair to be cost-efficient, timesaving, and long-lasting as fewer raw or new materials are required as well as less equipment and manpower. Additionally, this method also provides more water-resistance as there are no joints where the patch meets the asphalt, and there are fewer traffic interruptions as the completed patch can be driven on almost right away.
What Is the Infrared Asphalt Repair Process?
- With assistance from powerful blowers, water and other debris are removed from the area. Upon clearing, the asphalt is heated until it’s soft, so there are no cold spots or seams. The heated area (6×8) is larger than the area requiring repair (5×7).
- Asphalt takes about 8 to 12 minutes to soften, and once this is accomplished, the back of a rake is used to “frame” the repair area. The rake is then utilized to scarify the asphalt as deep as possible within the framed area. Traditional methods add hot asphalt to a cold pothole, and while this fills the hole, the repair is not seamless causing failure in the future. Richfield Blacktop recycles the old asphalt right where it is instead of charging you to excavate and haul it away.
- The original oils that were present when the asphalt was new are replaced by adding oils to the raked area before adding new asphalt. This action bonds the repair and helps protect your new asphalt from the elements.
- New asphalt is added to bring the repair up to grade before compaction. Richfield Blacktop’s infrared equipment has built-in heaters that allow up to 4 tons of asphalt to stay hot all day, which allows for better compaction – a critical step to proper asphalt repair.
- Before compaction, the new asphalt is raked level. Prior to rolling the large area, the outer 3 inches of the perimeter are “pinched” with the full weight of the roller. Once the “pinch” is complete, the entire area is vibratory rolled in both directions.
- You will have a long-lasting newly paved surface in less than 30 minutes as the thermal-bonded repair is completed after these steps.
Environmental Factors and Your Asphalt Repair Methodology
The weather elements are always a threat to asphalt as the sun’s harsh rays can damage asphalt along with heavy rain and sleet. Shifts in temperature, such as freezing or thawing can also have significant effects on asphalt. Asphalt must have the ability to drain to prevent moisture damage and infrared asphalt repair compacts with the preexisting materials creating a smooth, long-lasting surface suited for adequate drainage.
Pavement damage is also possible when the temperature rises and falls as shifts in temperature can cause pavement expansion and contraction, resulting in cracks and other damages over time. Infrared asphalt repair creates a thermal bond that resists water and ice and prevents further effects from the elements due to the durable, reliable surface that is created. Temperature changes and moisture damage aren’t the only environmental factors to be cautious of.
- Surface Temperature
- Wind Conditions
- Solar Radiation
- Layer Thickness
Choosing the Right Commercial Partner for Your Asphalt Repair
First and foremost, it’s highly encouraged to select a contractor that utilizes the infrared repair methodology as it creates a result that is cost-saving, environmentally friendly, and long-lasting. Laying asphalt, regardless of the area, is a complex task that requires extensive knowledge and expertise. If the wrong contractor is chosen, your property will likely require extensive maintenance and replacements. While there are many factors to consider when selecting the right commercial partner for your asphalt repair, a few should be given more focus, ensuring the proper selection is made for your project.
- Years of Experience
- Project History
- Licensed and Insured
Infrared asphalt repair is a method that provides many benefits to commercial property owners dealing with critical repairs. The use of infrared rays eliminates scaling, burning, or separation of the asphalt. It produces a smooth, seamless finish that withstands temperature changes and elemental effects more effectively than other asphalt repair methods. Property owners that have selected infrared asphalt repair have noticed an improvement in many areas such as cost differences, time savings, and a durable, long-lasting result. Choosing the correct commercial partner to help you with your asphalt repair is crucial as a job done correctly requires extensive knowledge and expertise.