THE INFRARED PROCESS
An efficient, cost-effective, permanent and environmentally sound approach to repairing damaged asphalt in parking lots, driveways and walkways.
Duramax has been using technology to more permanently fix potholes and damaged asphalt surfaces. It relies on a high-tech infrared curing system.
Potholes… Everyone hates them!
But what can be done about them? It’s the same old problem every year. There are really only two seasons here up north; winter and road repair season. That’s funny but the problem is no joke. Other than remove the entire roadway and replace it, what can be done? The patch jobs just don’t cut it anymore.
We’ve even overheard roadway workers joke about how many hours (not months or years) their pothole repairs will last—the old “throw some fill in and tamp it down” simply doesn’t work. Even the preferred method of cutting a section out and replacing it isn’t much better. It still leaves a vulnerable seam for moisture to enter and break up the patch.
Step by step how the process works…
Heat the asphalt until soft
After removing any water or debris from the area with powerful blowers, the infrared panel is lowered to a position just above the pavement.
The specialized truck unit heats the asphalt in the area to be repaired to over 350°F, very close to the temperature that the asphalt manufacturing plant used when it created the original asphalt material. The heated area (approx. 6×8′) is larger than the area to be repaired 5×7′. We do this so there are no cold spots and no seams.
This process takes only a few minutes due to the extremely efficient infrared heating elements contained in this unit.
Picture frame and rake area to be repaired
Once softened (8-12 minutes) we use the back of a rake to “picture frame” the area to be repaired. We do this several inches inside of the cold edge of the repair, this is to allow a seamless edge and a real thermal bond between the repair and the original asphalt surface. Instead of charging you to excavate and haul the old asphalt away, we recycle it right where it is.
Traditional methods of adding hot asphalt to a cold pothole do not create a seamless bond and eventually allow moisture to slip between the old and new asphalt and a failure will occur, sometimes in a matter of days or weeks.
Add rejuvenating oils and bonding agent
Part of the process includes replacing the original oils (maltenes and asphaltenes) that keep the asphalt structure flexible and bonded together. These oils were present when the asphalt was first made and over time has eroded away due to the sun’s UV rays and natural effects of weathering.
We add these oils and then rake the area thoroughly before adding new asphalt. This step bonds the repair and helps protect it against the elements. Without this step, the asphalt in the repair will become brittle and likely fail in a much shorter period of time. Rejuvenator is one of the most expensive materials we use, but it is what makes the process last years rather than months.
Hot, fresh new asphalt is added
Unlike dump trucks that carry (cooling) asphalt to the job site, our truck is equipped with a “hot box” designed to keep up to 4 tons of freshly manufactured asphalt at working temperature and ready to use all day long.
Hot asphalt allows for better compaction which is critical to the process being successful. This fresh asphalt (usually only manufactured a few hours ago) is added to the repair area to bolster the quality of the rejuvenated asphalt and to also bring the repair up to proper grade. Without this, there would be a low spot and a puddle will form which is definitely undesirable.
Proper grading by hand and mechanical compaction
The asphalt is carefully raked smooth and leveled to the surrounding area. This process takes a steady and experienced hand. Knowing how much asphalt to add and then raking to get the proper height above the existing grade is something that only a craftsman can accomplish.
Once the new asphalt is raked and level, the repair is ready for compaction. Before rolling the large area, we “pinch” the outer 3-5″ of the perimeter with the full weight of a high-quality commercial roller unit. This is the “secret sauce” that gives us a seamless repair. Once the “pinch” is completed, we vibratory roll the entire area in both directions.
A thermal-bonded repair is now finished
In less than 30 minutes your pothole has been replaced with a long-lasting newly paved surface. In most cases this process can be done without closing down your entire parking lot, allowing customers and employees the ability to come and go as needed without an inconvenience. The repair can be opened up to traffic within an hour or so depending on the weather conditions.
A traditional repair that uses a cut-out, remove and replace process is not your friend. Water and ice will find a way to undermine your efforts. Choose Duramax and relax – we got this!
Consider sealcoating to protect and beautify
Sealcoating asphalt is an excellent way to protect and preserve the work that we just did on your property. Not only does it protect, but it will give your property a consistent even appearance like when the surface was first installed. It also will provide better definition and contrast for traffic control markings and paint lines.
Sealcoating acts like paint on a wooden siding – it keeps the damaging effects of the sun’s UV rays and the constant assault of weather from drying out the oils that keep an asphalt surface flexible and bonded together. Sealcoating, when applied properly, should provide several years of protection for pennies per square foot and can save you from having to replace the surface entirely, an expensive and time-consuming undertaking.
Ask us for more information, this is what we do best, help you make the best possible decisions for what is likely the second-largest asset on your property.
Ready to find out more?