The Ins and Outs of Infrared Asphalt Repair

by Connor Pena

Winter weather can take a toll on the quality of your asphalt driveway. The cold temperatures and increased moisture levels of the winter months have a tendency to contribute to the formation of cracks and potholes in paved surfaces, especially asphalt. The deicing chemicals used during winter can also break down the structural integrity of the asphalt.

Replacing a damaged driveway can be very costly, so homeowners are always looking for affordable repair options to address winter damage. Infrared repairs could be the solution you have been searching for.

What is Infrared Repair?

Infrared repair sounds like a high-tech process, but it is actually relatively straightforward.

An experienced paving contractor will utilize an infrared paving machine to heat the surface of your driveway in areas where damage is present. This is a delicate process since the optimal temperature can vary based on ambient air temperature and the thickness of your driveway.

Once the right temperature has been reached, the asphalt will become pliable. This gives contractors the ability to scrape away any damaged asphalt using a rake or shovel. When no cracks or potholes are visible, a hot-mix asphalt will be applied to the area. This new asphalt mixes with the older asphalt and is smoothed with a roller or vibrating plate.

Why Turn to Infrared Repair?

There are a number of reasons why homeowners should consider using infrared repair to restore winter-damaged driveways. The most compelling reason is the efficiency of the repair process.

Once the new hot-mix asphalt has melded with your existing asphalt, the driveway surface will become structurally sound. No structural separation between the repaired section and other sections will exist. This ensures that the repaired area will enjoy the same long lifespan as the rest of your driveway.

Infrared repair also offers a seamless edge that prevents moisture penetration. Since many of the problems that plague asphalt surfaces are caused by water infiltration, preventing this penetration can help you extend the life of your driveway.

You also have the option of having your contractor apply a rejuvenator during the infrared repair process. Rejuvenators are designed to offset the potential damage that oxidation can cause in the future.

If your driveway hasn't weathered the winter months as well as you would like, contact a paving contractor such as Phend & Brown to ask about infrared repairs. This unique repair process will restore the stability and integrity of your driveway while keeping costs low.