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Infrared Asphalt Patching-Myths and Facts

Infrared Aspalt Patching

Infrared patching of asphalt pavement, often referred to as cold weather patching or seamless cold weather asphalt repair, is a temporary 
solution to pavement failures and an alternative to cold patch asphalt. The process consists of heating up an area of pavement to make it 
workable, raking the existing asphalt material (sometimes adding some new) to cover any inconsistencies, and rolling to finish. 

Some common uses for Infrared Patching are:

  • A means of repair in a newly installed asphalt overlay where a raveled area can be heated and rolled so as not to create new seams
  • Repair of frost heaves
  • Elevation adjustments around valve covers and manholes
  • Bonding speed bumps to existing asphalt surfaces
  • Creating stamped patterns in existing asphalt for aesthetics.

However, Infrared Patching is NOT a permanent repair and is NOT a recommended solution to most asphalt failures. Asphalt typically fails due to a combination of vehicle/truck loading, the thickness of the pavement section, poor drainage, and/or poor subgrade conditions. In these conditions, removal and replacement of the failed asphalt is the best solution.   

Asphalt Infrared Patching & Repairs

Limitations - Infrared repairs have severely limited success in the following scenarios:

  • Oxidized and raveled pavement – Not enough binder left in surface to “rejuvenate” and hold together without
    post-patch raveling
  • On surfaces that have been sealed or chip sealed with coal tar or other emulsions however there are exceptions
  • Thin asphalt sections (2” or less such as those in Florida) – Since Infrared is a true surface-only repair, a failed pavement meaning failed base cannot benefit from this type of repair. It should be replaced in the areas of failure to avoid future rework
  • Alligator cracked or fatigue cracked asphalt – These failures are structural in nature and must be addressed by a permanent means of removal and replacement
  • Exposed potholes – exposed potholes require removal of the pavement surrounding the pothole, compaction of the existing base material, and import of new asphalt to complete the permanent repair. Anything less will deliver a sub-standard product
  • Areas of heavy loading – Infrared patching adds no new strength and can actually weaken the patch area
  • Areas with gate-loops, areas within 2-ft of wood or metal, parking garages, dumpsters.

 

Make the right choice when selecting the proper repair type for your asphalt pavement. Make the choice that works. Choose a permanent solution in cases of base failure.