The Ins & Outs Of Infrared Patching: What’s Hot And What’s Not?

Key Takeaways:

  • Infrared patching utilizes infrared energy to repair asphalt
  • It is cost-effective, efficient, and suitable for the winter season
  • It is not a cure-all but a temporary fix and for minor repairs
  • It will not fix a completely failed asphalt surface

Infrared patching is a popular solution for asphalt maintenance. It has been around for many years and has become increasingly popular. This procedure has its pros and cons, and it’s essential to understand both before deciding whether or not to use this method of repairing asphalt.

In this blog post, we will discuss the ins and outs of this method so that you can make an informed decision about whether or not it’s right for your business!

What is Infrared Patching All About?

This patching technique uses infrared energy to heat up and soften asphalt for repairs. This method is often used for minor repairs, as it doesn’t require the removal of the entire asphalt surface.

You can perform this procedure not only in summer or warm weather but also in winter! Frigid temperatures won’t stop this patching method from getting the job done. This process is also less disruptive than other asphalt repair methods, as removing and replacing the entire surface is no longer necessary. This can save you time and money in the long run.

What Are the Pros?

In addition to the benefits mentioned earlier, there are other advantages that infrared repair brings to the maintenance world.

No. 1: Cost-Effectiveness

This type of patching is often more cost-effective than other methods because it uses little material. You don’t have to remove and replace the entire asphalt surface, saving on labor costs. Any excess equipment for procedures like milling is also unnecessary.

This solution can be an excellent option for property owners and managers who want to save money without sacrificing quality.

No. 2: Flexible Timings

Unlike other repair methods, which require temperature and weather conditions to be just right, infrared patching suits a broader range of temperature and weather conditions. This means the repair takes little time, and you don’t have to wait for ideal weather conditions.

This can be priceless if you need to make repairs urgently or are working on a tight schedule.

No. 3: Fast Fix

This maintenance method is quick and efficient. After the area is ready, the infrared machine can heat the asphalt and repair it in minutes. The no-traffic time is also short and sweet, as infrared patching doesn’t require the asphalt to cure before traffic can resume.

You can usually expect to drive after 20-30 minutes.

What Are the Cons?

While one bad apple doesn’t necessarily spoil the bunch, this patching method has potential drawbacks.

No. 1: Temporary Fix

If your asphalt surface suffers severe damage, infrared repair might not be the best solution. This method is ideal for small to medium-sized cracks and divots but will not fix a colossal pothole or gaping hole.

You’ll need to look into something like asphalt milling or complete resurfacing for more significant problems.

No. 2: Not Universal

This procedure will not work well on asphalt surfaces with certain qualities such as:

  • Coal tar sealing
  • Excessive debris
  • Failing sub-base or base
  • Standing or pooling water

No. 3: Downsizing

As with any method of asphalt maintenance, infrared patching will not fix an entirely failed surface. This method is ideal for minor issues on an asphalt surface, generally in good condition.

Oxidized or raveled asphalt surfaces, where the existing structure won’t bind with new asphalt, are also not good candidates for this procedure. Asphalt Magazine provides excellent insights if you want to know more about infrared asphalt restoration and repair.

How Can I Use It?

Now that we know more about infrared solutions, what applications best suit this method? Here are some of the most common applications:

  1. Overlays: New and existing asphalt surfaces can be infrared fused together. A new layer of asphalt goes on top to create a stronger bond and seamless appearance.
  2. Elevations: Areas around grates and utility holes that have sunken over time can be adjusted and brought level with an infrared repair.
  3. Leveling: Dips and divots in the surface of your asphalt can also use this method for leveling.
  4. Speed bumps: If you’re installing a new speed bump or want to raise an existing one, the infrared method will heat and bind it to the asphalt.
  5. Patterns: For aesthetic purposes or rumble strips on the highway, this method is ideal for creating patterns or lines in asphalt.

What Are the Alternatives?

As you can see, this maintenance method has its advantages. But infrared repair isn’t always the best option, and there are a few alternatives to consider.

Cold Patch:

This method provides a temporary fix that works in cooler weather. It’s not as strong or durable as infrared, but it can buy you some time until the weather is warm enough to do more thorough repairs.

Hot Patch:

This method resembles infrared repair but uses hot asphalt instead of infrared heat. It’s more labor-intensive but can be more effective in some cases. It’s suitable for warm weather, and not very useful in cold weather.


In the unfortunate event that your asphalt maintenance methods prove unsuccessful, repaving is always an option. It’s the most expensive and disruptive option, but it will give you a fresh start. You can look into more environmentally friendly options, such as recycled asphalt pavement.

What Should I Choose?

The best solution for your asphalt maintenance needs solely depends on those needs. If you’re not sure, it’s always best to consult with a professional. They can help you assess the condition of your asphalt and recommend the best course of action.

In the meantime, here are a few points you might want to consider about your asphalt surface:

  • What is the surface’s age?
  • What is the severity of the damage?
  • What is your budget for repairs?
  • What is your timeline for repairs?
  • What are the weather conditions?


Winter is fast approaching Madison, WI, and Doctor Asphalt LLC is getting calls about asphalt repair methods. Many people are unfamiliar with infrared patching, so we thought we would take a moment to discuss the ins and outs. To know more about asphalt repair, check out this article on asphalt maintenance during rising costs.

Our team has several years of experience in paving solutions, and we’re here to answer your questions. Get your free pavement quote now!

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