Patching is a crucial element in pavement repairs that involves using hot or cold mix asphalt as fillers for cracks, ruts, and potholes, etc. Property owners usually err big by perceiving paving as a one-time expense. Asphalt is the most common choice due to its durability, yet it is not entirely impervious to damage by external elements such as pedestrians, vehicles, and weather.
Asphalt patching is relatively straightforward but needs to be done correctly; otherwise, it tends to crack and deteriorate quickly. Here are some killer tricks in paving repairs that you should know when signing up for a patching project.
1. Follow Up on Cold Patches
Cold asphalt repairs, as the name implies, are just direct applications of asphalt mix to the damaged spot without heating. It’s ideal to apply in seasonal temperatures between -5°F to 105°F. It is a temporary and cheap solution that uses cold temperatures to set hard, so in summers the pavement might be prone to heating up and deforming under the weight of passing vehicles. So, keep an eye out for any repairs done in the winters and follow up on them with the more permanent hot asphalt patching come summers.
2. Hydrate Your Pavement
Hot asphalt patching involves using an asphalt mix that is heated before applying on the cracks or holes that need repair. Although it cools quickly at application temperatures above 140° Fahrenheit and is almost immediately traffic-ready, it is wise to hydrate it lightly in the dry season to avoid distressing the asphalt.
3. Compaction Before Patching
An excellent tip is to grade the cracks or potholes before patching. Square the damaged hole; using a hammer and chisel is fine for small areas, but a bulldozer can grade rectangular sections for larger ones. Compaction of the exposed soil is allowed via rollers or plates then the hot asphalt can be applied to depths of 1.5 to 2 inches. You can use a trowel or broom to blend the patch into the surrounding material for a nice patching finish.
4. Schedule Repairs in Dry Weather
In a coastal state like Maryland, anticipating dry weather is next to impossible. And often times contractors forget to factor in the humidity content of the raw patch surface, the repairs of which can affect the seal coating of the asphalt. The clever thing is to wait for a sunny day and then deploy the hot asphalt patchwork. Avoid repairs during the chilly winter months unless you plan to apply the first tip we gave.
5. First Patch, Then Seal
Sometimes, contractors do patch up a job well, only to slacken on the seal coating where needed. Commercial and residential areas require skid-proof seal coatings after asphalt repairs for public safety. The trick is to patch the surface, ensure surface abrasiveness and grading. Any small cracks should be sealed with poly-oil, and then blotted with sand, and then sealcoated with a slurry seal. For small patches, hand squeegees are sufficient for spreading, while larger patches need trucks mounted with the slurry coating dispensing machines.
If you think a couple of cracks and potholes might be creeping up your residential area in Pocomoke City, MD, you might be in dire need of patching done with all the bases covered. At Surface Solutions, we actually do cover all the bases, so feel confident to schedule a free estimate and have a look at our extensive asphalt and concrete solutions.