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How permanent is a permanent pothole repair solution?


If a pothole repair is classed as permanent, it should last for as long as the road surface it’s in, right? Well, not necessarily. The definition of a permanent repair seems to depend on the way that the reinstatement is carried out.

Keep reading as we discuss what is meant by a permanent pothole repair solution, and whether this is actually as permanent as it seems.


What is a Permanent Pothole Repair?

Pothole repairs fall into three categories: temporary, semi-permanent and permanent. In simple terms, a temporary repair is simply fill and go, whereas a permanent one involves a way of bonding new and old material followed by compaction, then semi-permanent is somewhere in between.

A temporary repair is required when a road authority, or its contractor, considers the pothole to be a significant hazard and has to take swift action. In such cases, road crews will be targeted to execute a temporary repair within 48 hours or even less, with a more permanent repair then planned as part of an ongoing maintenance and repair regime.

A semi-permanent repair would include the removal of water and debris. Having cut vertical edges outside the failed material for the pothole, the new asphalt (either hot or cold) would be added and compacted. For smaller potholes, the edges may be left as they are, but this can hinder compaction and possibly reduce durability.

Permanent repairs go a step further. Traditionally, after the pothole area has been prepared by cutting vertical edges and cleaning it out, a bond coat is applied to the base and sides of the opening and then hot asphalt (although sometimes cold) is added and compacted.


What Makes Thermal Repair so Effective?

There are several factors that affect the durability of a pothole repair. Among the most important are the way that the pothole is actually prepared, the bond between existing and new material and the make-up of the repair material itself - National Highways’ surface repair standard states that repair material should be compatible and consistent with surrounding materials.

Most repair methods have a weakness: the joint between old and new (the seam). If the bond coat hasn’t been diligently installed and isn’t performing effectively around the entire patch, water will get in and widen the crack, eventually leading to another pothole. How long that will take depends on factors such as the volume and weight of traffic and weather conditions.

Our Thermal Road Repairs system was thus created to completely remove any joints and subsequently any weak points. It involves heating up the existing road material in and around the area of the pothole, adding a small amount of new hot material, mixing the two and finally compacting, which creates a seamless repair with the new and old material becoming one. That means that you really do have a permanent repair solution.


Get in Touch

Here at Thermal Road Repairs, we are a green technology company that supplies systems to improve the quality, cost and time efficiency of road repairs and paving – at a far lower environmental cost than traditional methods.

If you’re looking for high output, low emission and zero waste permanent solutions, then get in touch with us today.

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