For example, to carry out repairs to a single pothole in a car park will still require a large amount of working space to cut out and repair the damaged area. Repairs also require several hours before the surface is ready for use. A further challenge is the relatively high

cost of carrying out smaller incremental repairs, particularly as tarmac is generally sold in tonne batches. As a result, small pothole repairs are often fitted in by contractors after a larger job to use up remaining materials. This use of less fresh tarmac also results in lower quality repairs that are more likely to fail. If this lack of quality seems surprising, it is worth considering that the more professional contractors in the industry are predominantly focused on roads and highways. There are therefore few services that are well suited to commercial properties (even though these landlords account for millions of square feet of highly trafficked hard standing tarmac areas).

Infrared repairs are making smaller repairs easier to tackle

Ultimately, waiting longer to replace a larger area can seem a more pragmatic solution, especially when resurfacing the entire section of road or a car park is a better way to prevent recurring potholes. However, in the meantime, the liabilities arising from personal injury and vehicle damage remain unaddressed. Due to the lack of effective solutions for smaller scale repairs, even the most responsible property owners and FMs have struggled with this particular dilemma and remain stuck in a “fix rather than maintain” mindset. This is where the latest techniques for

infrared repairs are starting to make a real difference as infrared technology enables a cost-effective service, which makes smaller, ongoing repairs a more viable option. Unlike traditional repairs that require

bulky and noisy equipment to cut away and replace old tarmac, infrared repairs work by heating the existing surface with no need to dispose of old tarmac waste. A compact heater is placed over a crack or pothole that

uses infrared waves to penetrate the surface and raise the temperature of the tarmac to a workable temperature. Additional tarmac is added, but only a small amount is needed and this is brought on site in hot boxes so there’s no waste involved. The entire area is also reconditioned with rejuvenating chemicals. It is then compacted and sealed resulting in a permanent seamless repair, which is fused with the existing material in an ‘as new’ surface that has no cold joints and no points of weakness. Compact infrared repair equipment

ensures that permanent repairs can be done quickly and efficiently, using half the manpower and half the weight of equipment and vehicles compared to conventional repair methods (with estimates suggesting a 90% lower carbon footprint when accounting for waste and equipment). It’s less disruptive too: The process used means that a smaller area around the repair needs to be cordoned off and the time to complete a pothole repair is reduced to under an hour and the surface can be back in use within 20 minutes after the work has finished (a conventional repair would typically require over an hour). The efficiency of this technique means

that single pothole repairs can be offered to businesses in a far more simple and flexible manner and work can be quickly scheduled for the most convenient times. In other words, the service can be offered on a “just in time” basis that conforms to the customer’s needs and preferred procurement methods rather than dictated by the limitations of traditional approaches. By making smaller repairs more effective and affordable it also possible to start taking a more proactive, preventative approach to maintenance that prevents small issues becoming major costs at a later date. This reduces the cost of ongoing repairs – for example preventative repairs can be around 40% cheaper. With pothole repairs becoming a more customer friendly service property managers no longer have to wait to save up enough potholes to justify the hassle of ‘small works’ orders and the ‘inconvenience and interruptions’ to the business while repairs are carried out. A modest budget will need to be allocated to ongoing repairs but, when considered against the potential costs of major resurfacing work or personal injury claims, this isn’t really a tough argument to make. Prevention really is better than cure.

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