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Section 2: Repairs and Patching

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Any repair work that the pavement needs should be done well ahead of seal coat work, ideally in the previous summer or fall. Certain repairs may involve a strip/spot seal coat or fog seal, reducing the amount of the future seal coat binder that is absorbed into the repair. Repairs are usually accomplished by TxDOT maintenance forces.

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There is no absolute time frame during which repair work must be accomplished. It is generally preferred that all repair work be done as far as eight months prior to applying the seal coat. This is particularly true when repairs are performed using cold-laid asphalt mixes. This allows plenty of time for the materials to cure adequately prior to sealing. However, this means doing the repairs during the fall of the previous year. This may be practical in some regions of the state and not others.

If a fog seal is to be placed on a repaired area, the materials in the repaired area should be completely cured before a fog seal is applied. Fog sealing on pavement repairs can be placed anytime after the repair has cured and prior to seal coat work.

Repairs should be coordinated with the responsible maintenance personnel as far in advance as possible. This will enable them to plan schedules and needed materials accordingly.

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Types of Repairs

Many different types of repairs may be required as described below.

Milling or Planing. High spots in the existing surface may be planed smooth with either a heater planer or, more commonly, a cold planer. This will help to smooth out a rough riding surface.

Level-Up. Depressions may require leveling up with either a hot- or cold-laid asphalt mix. The sizes of this type of patch will vary, of course, but may range from the size of a wheel path only a few feet in length to a full two-lanes wide and 50 feet or more in length.

Pothole Repair. All potholes must be repaired in a permanent manner before the seal coat is applied.

Base Repair. All base failures must be repaired before seal coat work. This may require an in-place repair or removal and replacement with suitable material.

Edge Repair. Raveled edges and edge drop-offs must be repaired. If vegetation and soil has built-up at the pavement edge, it must be removed and the pavement edge restored.

Crack Sealing. Large cracks must be sealed with a crack sealant. If they are excessively large, it may be necessary to cut them out and apply a hot or cold mix patch. Cracks this large, however, are not common in Texas, unless there has been a failure or distress in the base or subbase. In this event, the whole section must be removed, including the base or subbase, and completely rebuilt.

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