It’s the middle of summer – no better time to plan for ole man winter when asphalt paving maintenance basically grinds to a halt – except for the infrared asphalt contractors who can continue to work even when pavements are frozen solid!
Infrared asphalt repair is an under-rated, poorly understood process that revolutionizes pothole repair and paving projects in all seasons. Innovative equipment uses infrared heat to soften the surface to be workable in ambient temperatures down to zero degrees. Basically the principle is to use an infrared heating unit to safely, fumelessly heat in-place asphalt to soften it to a workable state, then add new asphalt that fuses seamlessly to the old.
A big advantage to an infrared pavement restoration vs. the conventional remove-and-replace of potholes is that infrared eliminates the cold seam. The deadly cold seam, of course, refers to the cold edges created when existing pavement is saw cut and removed. The walls of the cut create a cold seam between the existing pavement and the new asphalt. Such seams are deadly for asphalt pavement because they provide an entryway for water. Water is a nemesis to the life of the repair especially when the freeze/thaw cycle kicks in. In the infrared process, the repaired area is fused to the heated, but untouched, existing pavement. This eliminates the seam.
The infrared process is versatile, enabling contractors to subtly control drainage, eliminate birdbaths, install speed bumps, eliminate oil spots, level trip hazards, place thermoplastic markings and install decorative pavements.
The biggest advantage of infrared asphalt technology is that it enables contractors to offer new services to clients over a significantly longer paving season.