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How To Use An Infrared Heater To Repair A Pothole

by Wade Black

The freeze and thaw cycles of winter can cause severe damage to asphalt. Water can seep down into the cracks in the asphalt where it will expand when it turns to ice. This can cause damage ranging from large potholes to severe cracking of the asphalt that can damage car tires, struts, and alignments. Cold patch, the traditional asphalt mixture used to fill potholes, will typically provide a temporary fix that might last only a few weeks - you will have to return every few weeks to put more cold patch into the pothole. If you are looking for a remedy that will last for a much longer time, you should consider using infrared heater technology to fill and seal the pothole. Here is how to repair a pothole using an infrared heater.

You Will Need:

  • Truck Mounted Infrared Heater
  • Asphalt Lute Rake
  • Push Broom
  • Oil Rejuvenator
  • Fresh Asphalt
  • Vibrating Roller
  • Safety Cones

Close Area to Traffic

Use safety cones to place around the work area to keep vehicle and pedestrian traffic away.

Prepare Pothole/Crack

Remove all the water in the pothole and thoroughly sweep out all the debris with a push broom.

Placing the Infrared Heater

The infrared heater is attached to a platform on the back of a truck that can be lowered up and down. Place the platform over the over the pothole and drop it down into position. Set the temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Let the heater work for 7 to 10 minutes to soften the existing asphalt to make it malleable. Lift the platform back up and move it away from the pothole.

Rake Asphalt

You should be able to spread the heated asphalt around with an asphalt rake. Mix in an asphalt rejuvenator to restore any lost oil – this would be a product made from coal tar mixture containing aromatic solvents and oils. The rejuvenator helps the old asphalt bond with the new asphalt you will be putting in the pothole. Add in the new asphalt and spread it out with a lute rake. Make sure the asphalt fills the hole completely.

Roll the Asphalt

Use the vibrating roller to press down the asphalt into the pothole. You may have to add a little asphalt mix into the pothole if the roller presses the asphalt down into the pothole below grade level.

Opening Repaired Area to Traffic

The asphalt should harden in about twenty minutes. Remove safety cones and reopen the area to traffic.

For more tips or help repairing a pothole, contact a company like Lakeridge Paving Company.