How would you feel if Metallica rocked up outside your house and started playing? Aside from the metal fans among you, the likelihood is that you would feel quite annoyed. It’s difficult to concentrate – or conduct online meetings – with that level of noise in close proximity.
Yet the noise level of a loud rock concert – 125 decibels (dB) – is equivalent to that of a roadbreaker. So, if there’s a gang removing asphalt around a pothole to make a repair, everyone nearby will know about it.
There are other noisy activities involved in repairs too – using a saw to cut the asphalt, vehicles to bring in new material and take the waste away – all of which exceed the 85dB safe limit, above which hearing can be damaged. And although the loud noises will be intermittent, rather than continuous, it is likely to go on for at least as long as a rock concert if there are several repairs to make. (See our infographic relating to noise levels)
According to the World Health Organisation, noise can “disturb sleep, cause cardiovascular and psychophysiological effects, reduce performance and provoke annoyance responses and changes in social behaviour”. Children can be particularly susceptible to noise, with studies showing that kids exposed to traffic noise at home suffer problems of hyperactivity, poor attention levels or anxiety.
Businesses can suffer due to noise pollution too. The productivity of employees may be impaired or customers may be deterred from visiting, for example if a shop or restaurant is near to noisy roadworks.
Road owners might assume that creating noise in order to repair roads is a necessary evil. But that doesn’t have to be the case.
Because Thermal Road Repairs’ system re-uses the failed and failing asphalt around a pothole, by heating it and mixing it with a small amount of new material, there’s no noisy tools needed and no trucks. All the new materials is carried in a hot box in one vehicle which holds all the kit and the three-person gang. The loudest process is the compaction with a roller which produces around 80dB, equivalent to a vacuum cleaner.
One parent of a six-month-old baby in Manchester was delighted when she realised that there were no noise coming from our gang who were fixing potholes outside her house. “I only noticed you were here because I saw the flashing lights,” she told them. So, instead of taking her baby out for a walk to get it off to sleep, she was able to put it for a sleep in its cot as normal.
Because our process is so much quieter than traditional ones, and doesn’t require multiple vehicle movements, some local authorities are electing to carry out city-centre repairs at night. The added benefit of this approach is that disruption to road users is minimised. It also means that those repairing the roads do not risk damage to their hearing if they forget to put on ear defenders or warn colleagues that noisy activities are about to take place.
Thermal Road Repairs is a green technology company which supplies systems to improve the quality, cost and time efficiency of road repairs and paving – at a far lower environmental cost than traditional methods. We invest significantly in R&D, to create new technologies and to continuously improve our existing ones.
High output. Low emission. Permanent solution.