Record Lows & Precipitation Spells Disaster for Asphalt

This year’s winter brought record-breaking cold temperatures throughout the United States disrupting flights, businesses, schools and roads and causing power outages and deaths. The National Weather Service said the February storm was “an event of historical proportions.”

American cities and towns have reported record snow and ice. “We have had well below freezing temperatures on pavement all across the country,” said Brian Giles, product manager at Schwarze. “The wet winter weather is wreaking havoc on our roads, and potholes seem to be popping up everywhere. If you’re not careful, it could end up costing you.”

“Plus we have had a lot of rain. That moisture combined with the temperature variations just begins to deteriorate the roadway surfaces, causing the potholes,” adds Jim Adair, the other half of Schwarze’s product manager’s team.

Potholes are caused by the expansion and contraction of ground water after it has entered infiltrated under the pavement. When the water freezes, it expands and takes up more space under the pavement causing the pavement to expand, bend, crack and weaken the roadway material. Then when the ice melts, the pavement contracts and leaves gaps or voids in the surface under the pavement. Cars and trucks passing over the weak spot in the road cause the material to be displaced or broken down from the weight creating the pothole.

Schwarze recommends doing the best you can to plan ahead what lanes and areas you’ll be in. But no matter how careful operators are, potholes are hard to avoid. They’re already doing a number on many sweepers. Repair costs can range from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars.

Many sweeper operators are concerned and affected. Schwarze’s Factory Reconditioning Center is already busy making fixes, and there are still weeks of winter left, meaning things could get worse before they get better.

“We see all sorts of damage in our Reconditioning Center,” Parts and Customer Service Manager Brenda Bell says. “Sometimes parts of the sweeper are not repairable and replacing major truck or sweeper parts is necessary.”

A major problem is that many potholes look like innocent puddles right now because of all the snow melting that create excess water. So, sweeper operators don’t even realize what lies beneath until it’s too late.

Costas Cordonis, warranty and training administrator at Schwarze, provides a remarkably simple tip for business owners for staying on top of parking lot damage. “Simply try to prevent potholes and repair cracks. Failure to identify and stop potential potholing and cracking beforehand means aesthetic damage to your parking lot. So preventing and repairing the surface is critical to long-term upkeep.

“A newly installed parking lot that costs $100,000 requires an investment of just 5 to 10 percent per year in ongoing maintenance in order to keep it in top condition. Engage the services of a reputable paving contractor who can help provide the most economically sensitive, yet efficient, repairs and maintenance for your property or properties.”


The Schwarze® Roadpatcher™

“The Schwarze® Roadpatcher™ is the most efficient, consistent and versatile system available to fix these potholes. It is also the safest way to perform road maintenance because it requires only one operator who works from the driver’s position in the cab,” says Greg Heyer, vice president of sales, marketing, customer service & product management.

“From Houston to Oklahoma City, all the way up to Minnesota DOT and around the country, people are excited about the recent enhancements we’ve made to our Roadpatcher,” says Heyer. “We recently visited Guadalupe County, Texas and they had 12,000 hours on their Roadpatcher! That speaks volumes.”

“The Schwarze Roadpatcher is a chassis-mounted asphalt patcher, and like Greg just mentioned, designed for a one-man patching operation,” says Raymond Massey, regional sales manager at Schwarze. “The patented boom assures for exact placement of patch material and the standard 300-gallon insulated emulsion tank and a 6.5 cubic yard aggregate hopper keep repair crews repairing streets, not traveling back and forth for supplies.”

The patching process is simple, the Schwarze Roadpatcher:

Cleans—Dust and debris is blown from the pothole by a high velocity blower. The operator is located in the cab safe from traffic and reducing the risk of potential personal injury.

Tacks—Asphalt emulsion is prayed to seal the surface and create a binder for the repair. A nozzle tilt allows for more efficient movement of rock when cleaning the repair and reduces rock bounce.

Fills and Compacts—Asphalt emulsion and aggregate are combined to create a quality and durable high-density repair with a 92.8 percent compaction rate based on the Strategic Highway Initiative Testing without the use of compactors.

Dry coats
—The repair is topped off with aggregate to allow immediate traffic on the new surface. It has more consistent flow of aggregate than other systems. The operator can switch between two conveyor speeds for dry coating or skin patches.

Schwarze Spray Patcher Street King™

This trailer-mounted spray patcher holds 300 gallons of emulsion and gets rock from the tow vehicle. The Spray Patcher Street Max also has a unibody construction, is rugged, and designed for long life. The optional vacuum feature allows removal of water and debris from potholes before patching to achieve a longer lasting and more durable repair. Our spray patchers achieve the same 92.8 percent compaction rate without the use of compactors and also allow for immediate traffic flow.
Schwarze Spray Patcher Load King™

This self-contained trailer-mounted spray patcher holds 100 gallons of emulsion and 2 cubic yards of rock, and can be towed by any one-ton or bigger truck. The Spray Patcher Load King unibody enclosure protects the components from the elements but allows easy maintenance access through the large access doors. The optional vacuum feature allows removal of water and debris from potholes before patching to achieve a longer lasting and more durable repair.

“Schwarze Industries has become one of the nation’s leading suppliers of safe, cost-effective road patching and asphalt repair units. All Schwarze® patchers provide unparalleled performance while at the same time offering the best value by minimizing maintenance requirements and total cost of operation,” says Massey. “Schwarze patchers are built with pride in Huntsville, Alabama and are sold, backed by excellent customer service and serviced by a dedicated group of independent factory trained dealers throughout the US and Canada and always give you a superior repair and the most consistent results.”

Story by Jennifer Taylor


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