Pothole Repairs

One of the services that we offer here at Black Tar is pothole repairs. There is nothing more frustrating than driving down the street or onto your driveway and hitting huge holes in the ground. It looks unsightly and it can be dangerous - someone walking along is not necessarily going to be looking down and can trip and fall, or worse, they can sprain their ankle.

It is also one of the most damaging things for your vehicle. If you hit a pothole, even one that does not appear to be too deep or at a low speed, you can cause significant damage to your steering alignment, tires and wheels. That is just a car; for motorbikes and pushbikes, hitting a pothole can have some devastating consequences.

It is important, therefore, that potholes are repaired as soon as they possibly can - and Black Tar can do this quickly and efficiently using Infrared repair techniques.

What is an Infrared-and-Patch pothole repair?

Infrared technology allows for a quick and easy repair of potholes and defects in asphalt in as little as 15 minutes per repair. The process of mixing fresh asphalt with infrared heated existing asphalt to produce a joint-free integral patch is known as infrared thermal bond bituminous pavement patching. The machine will heat the current asphalt to a depth of around two inches without oxidizing it or burning it. The facility also includes chambers that can store up to four tonnes of fresh bituminous materials at a constant temperature. This makes the process much quicker and much more cost-effective.

The end result of the infrared technology to carry out a pothole repair is seamless, making it much more cosmetically appealing, which is the finish that everyone wants. Furthermore, having no seams means there are no cracks for water to enter, meaning less damage by the freezing and thawing process.

What is the process for infrared repair technology?

  • The area is swept and dried
  • The infrared heater is placed over the area at 350 degrees, for five to ten minutes. 
  • The heater is then removed and the softened asphalt get lightly raked
  • New asphalt is added to the mix and levelled out to the desired elevation and slope.
  • A vibrating roller or compactor flattens it out and helps it to fuse with the rest of the asphalt

What was used for Pothole Repairs before the introduction of infrared technology?

Before companies such as Black tar started to use infrared technology for pothole repairs, a method known as ‘cut and patch’ was used, and essentially, it was as the name suggests.

The damaged piece of asphalt was cut out of the surface and replaced by the new asphalt. While it worked okay as a short-term fix, in the long term, it was less than effective. For starters, the newer patches were obvious, which is never a good look. However, more important than the aesthetics of it was the fact that moisture could get in between the joints of the old and the new surfaces. When water freezes and thaws out, it warps the cracks even further, and when this happens continuously, it is not going to be long before it needs repairing. It may cost less in the short term, but in the long term, the old way of cutting and patching up the asphalt costs more in time and money.

Not only that, but in terms of sustainability, constant ineffective repairs are less than ideal. It uses more manpower, can be much riskier as more of the repair is done manually, often in the middle of a busy road. It involves multiple road closures or redirections, which causes frustration for motorists and is not going to be helpful towards reducing carbon emissions and noise pollution. 

When you look at the myriad of advantages that infrared technology has over the cut and patch technique, it is easy to see why we have adopted it here at Black Tar.

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Black Tar Construction is an Ottawa-based company that offers Asphalt Paving, Interlocking, and Foundation Repair services.

Black Tar Construction was founded in 2013 with the goal of offering outstanding customer service for our customers, and a great work environment for our employees. The growth of Black Tar has been achieved through exceeding customer expectations year after year. The customer is a priority through every step of the way. Our commitment to quality has allowed us to foster closer relationships with our customers, suppliers, and staff.


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