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Potholes, utility settlements, trip hazards and water puddling have many

communities scratching their heads. These are all problems we are facing on our

communities’ roads as we transition from Winter to Spring. Maintaining such

problems may have gotten a little easier with patching by way of INFRARED


The infrared process may be new to many communities, but in fact this

technology has been being perfected for 15 plus years. Contractors have been

offering this process to communities for many reasons. Infrared offers a seamless

bond to the surrounding asphalt surfaces, so water will not penetrate the edges and

cause premature asphalt failure. This process can also eliminate the need to

reconstruct failing areas. Infrared works on both old and new asphalt surfaces

offering quick and permanent asphalt repairs. In most cases the area can be

re-opened within 15 minutes after completion. Infrared patching is also an effective

way to patch in the winter months when asphalt plants are closed down. One of the

greatest benefits any contractor can offer a community is a process that saves

money. To a community infrared is cost effective simply because less manpower,

equipment, material, debris and working hours equals more savings.


Infrared patching is like a huge heater. The heater is called the chamber which is

either truck mounted or trailer mounted. The chamber is heated by propane,

which is dispersed by blowers to create radiant heat. Radiant heat is an important

factor in this process. This is because it penetrates asphalt without burning the oils

from the existing pavement surface. The heat chamber is 6’x8’ with the option of

using half the chamber if needed 4’x6’. The infrared unit is equipped with a 2-4

ton hot box to either keep new material hot or reclaim old material if needed. Most

units have a waste bin to dispose of all debris accumulated from that days work.

The contractor will also use either a roller or compactor to achieve compaction and

smooth finish.

After the initial meeting with the property manager or homeowner and the areas

have been chosen, typically the infrared can complete an average anywhere

between 800-1,500 square feet of patching per day. Most contractors charge a

daily rate or by the square foot. Temperature and age of asphalt play an important

role in production. The production in the summer on new asphalt obviously the

production would be greater than the winter months on the same asphalt surface.

At the start of the infrared process most contractors will mark out areas using a

chalk line or paint. To achieve maximum penetration with the infrared, the work

area must be thoroughly cleaned of all loose asphalt, dirt, and other debris prior to

work being started. The infrared unit will be positioned 1’ beyond work area to

assure the unique seamless bond infrared offers. The heat time from the start to

finish can range anywhere from 10-15 minutes per heat. So if you had an area 40’

long and each heat was taking 15 minutes this area would take approximately

2 hours to complete. Once again temperature and the age of asphalt play an

important role. When the asphalt surface has been reheated to a workable

temperature the area will be raked (scarified) following a straight line, the asphalt

will either be removed or added as needed. The area will then be finished, raked

and checked with a six foot level to assure water is running properly. After the area

is swept clean of debris outside of the work area, the patch will be compacted to a

smooth finish.

Infrared pavement technology is a great way to tackle most of your pavement

maintenance issues permanently and cost effectively. When comparing infrared

patching to other methods, it’s significantly lower in cost. It saves the cost of a

temporary patch because it can be done in any temperature.

By: Anthony Eosso

Eosso Brothers Paving, Inc.

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