Major Techniques Applied In Pothole Repair

By Anna Anderson


Cracks usually develop on pavements and roads due to various factors such as age, unfavorable weather and traffic which apply force beyond the breaking point. Areas affected by too much freezing and thawing have more damaged pavements due to the fact that openings are created to allow water to accumulate. If no measures are taken to correct the problem, then the cracks develop into potholes which continue to grow deep and wide. This, however, is risky since it causes damage to tires and wheels of vehicles. Others are deep enough to cause accidents. Fixing this problem can either be temporary or semi permanent depending on the methods being applied. Below is a description of the different techniques that can be used in pothole repair.

First of all, it is important to understand the materials used in the process of making and repairing pavements. The materials used are asphalt in nature and are made up of binder and aggregate. The mixture can either be a hot mix or cold mix. The mixture is mostly produced by asphalt plants following certain specifications.

The first technique is known as throw and roll. This is a temporary method that is usually applied when the placement of materials becomes hard to control. This is for example during winter when there are unfavorable water and temperature conditions. When the pothole is dry, this technique brings about better and lasting results.

Edge and seal are another method which follows some of the procedures used in throw and roll. The difference, in this case, is that, once the mixture is placed in the hole, a truck passes over it to bring about compaction. The mixture is then let to dry for a certain period of time and then sand is used to cover the area until it is completely restored.

The semi permanent method is one of the best techniques which involve removing debris and water from the pothole. Clean cuts are then made on the sides of the area and then the cold or hot mix material is placed. This procedure requires a lot of manpower and use of complex equipment such as vibratory roller in order to make the mixture compact.

Another procedure that requires highly specialized equipment is known as the spray injection. Here, the water and debris is blown off from the pothole and then a tack coat is sprayed at the bottom of the hole. The area is then covered with a layer of asphalt and aggregate. However, in this technique, no compaction is required after the covering layer is placed.

With daily advancements in technology, the field of such repair has not been left behind. An advanced and permanent solution can now be achieved by the application of the infrared technology. The infrared rays are passed on top of the affected section so as to heat and make the asphalt mixture soft. The resulting hot mixture is recyclable and more is added for compaction.

It is important to have pavements and roads with potholes repaired to avoid further disintegration and deterioration which may be more expensive to repair. Frequent checks and monitoring should be done in order to apply the best methods.




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