There’s no need for reflective cracking next winter

There's no need for reflective cracking next winter

Winter is often the most stressful time for roads and those in charge of maintaining them, with reflective cracking and potholes being two of the greatest challenges to keep on top of. The recent wet winters, record rainfall and severe flooding, have caused unprecedented reflective cracking across the road network. Also, frost damage to road surfaces is often made worse by rain, which attacks any weaknesses and creates defects such as reflective cracking.

The common winter problem of reflective cracking of asphalt road surfaces is caused by ‘freeze-thaw.’ A condition that occurs when rain water freezes and subsequently expands in cracks causing the road surface to break up. It means damaged roads result in serious congestion problems, with road repairs causing lane closures and delays. Not to mention, frustration to the travelling public.

Your budget should cover a lot more than just potholes

Damage to road surfaces is literally a drain on resources.

  • In 2014/15 there were 2.7 million potholes filled in.
  • The average cost of filling a pothole was £56 in England, £65 in Wales and £72 in London.

The problem doesn’t stop there, you also have compensation claims reaching over £40 million from accidents and damage to vehicles.

Often your priority is the urgent repairs, especially on busier routes that need quick fixes. But are you spending too much on short-term repairs? The average proportion of the road maintenance budget spent on reactive maintenance (that’s not planned for at the beginning of the year) varies between 23% and 33% when most agree the ideal figure is around 15%. Wouldn’t it be better to have an effective long-term solution?

Prevention is better than a cure

Focus needs to switch from fixing reflective cracking and potholes to actually fixing the roads. A properly built asphalt road surface should last for at least 10 years. Low cost repairs often need replacing within two years.

Cheap road resurfacing jobs rarely provide a lasting solution and usually end up costing local authorities substantially more, with budget seeping away from the main players to local contractors. In fact, planned preventative maintenance can be up to 20 times less expensive per square metre than reactive work (such as patching and mending cracks and potholes).

The way forward is to have a programme of repairs to address road damages and subsequent defects arising from severe weather conditions, as well as to help seal roads for upcoming bad weather.

How Asphalt Reinforcement Services can be your road to recovery.

Reinforcing your roads at the right times can make a lasting difference. The way to maximizing whole-life value, is the ability to make informed investment decisions. Asphalt Reinforcement Specialists can help you plan ahead and assess your needs. ARCDESO® (Anti-Reflective Cracking Design Software) is user friendly software that helps pavement engineers to make informed choices among a wide range of solutions available to treat reflective cracking – and in various combinations – including  plane out and in/overlay, apply thick asphaltic overlays, also the use of modified and GlasGrid® asphalt reinforcement.