Green Technology for Pothole Repairs

Zeeshan Kaba
October 22, 2012 — 1,360 views  
Become a Bronze Member for monthly eNewsletter, articles, and white papers.

With the passage of time, asphalt road is subject to breakdown from normal wear and tear and inclement weather. The more it rains and snows, the more concrete and asphalt will break down. This is the main reason for potholes formation. Pavement is always under pressure and over time minor cracks become major problems. With continuous stress and water, those cracks grow and small chunks of road surface are pulled out by the vehicles tires. This becomes a pothole which will continue to grow until fixed. When this pothole gets filled with water, it leads to further degradation of the asphalt.

As per the studies, traditional pothole repair methods release enough carbon dioxide that requires 11 trees to absorb and process. With the modern eco friendly pothole repair methods, it only takes 1-2 trees to process the CO2 released by the procedure. This modern method is known as infrared repair of road asphalt. This involves the following step to be carried out:

Cleaning the Repair Area: To begin with an infrared road repair, it is necessary to clean the repairable area from dirt and rubbish. Dirt is an insulator for radiation absorption into the pavement and acts as a pollutant for the repair process.

Heating the Repair Area: The infrared unit is positioned over the asphalt pothole or the area to be repaired. Then it is heated for a few minutes or until the asphalt gets soft up to 3-5 inches deep.

Rejuvenating the Repair Area: After removing the infrared unit the treated area is raked and reshaped. Next an asphalt rejuvenator is applied to the repair area. Asphalt rejuvenator is a manufactured mixture that absorbs and penetrates the existing asphalt and restores the reactive components lost due to oxidation.

Addition of Asphalt and Leveling: Infrared repairs require some new asphalt. This new asphalt is added and leveled. A depth of less than an inch is left on pavement above the surrounding grade. This allows the repaired road to properly settle after the work is done.

Compaction of the Repaired Area: The repaired area is compacted while still hot, creating a seamless thermal bond between old asphalt and the newly repaired area. The compactor which is used for this delivers over 2,500 lbs of pressure on the newly repaired area.

Cooling and cleaning the repaired area: Finally the road is swept and cleaned to shovel away any remains left near the asphalt patch. The repaired pavement can be driven on immediately.


Zeeshan Kaba