Want the best results from your surface dressing? It's all about preparation

Trevor Thompson, Business Manager from Roadtechs, discusses why giving more attention to pre-surface dressing will help yield good results from your asset management programmes.
Surface dressings have been used as a maintenance technique on all classes of road, since the late nineteenth century. Approximately 80 million square metres of surface dressing are installed on the UK highway network each year, primarily on the secondary network.
It remains a cost-effective way of maintaining a road. It restores skid resistance and seals the road surface to prevent water ingress, but preparation of the road before the process starts, is just as important as the dressing itself.
You may have your programme of works and sites selected for the year, your surveys complete, your contractor briefed and ready to go, but is the surface of the road ready for the surface dressing to start?
As with all highway maintenance operations, the end result will be determined by the quality of the planning at the beginning and pre-surface dressing work is an essential part of this to ensure the surface dressing works effectively over
the longer-term.
Often sections of the network require some maintenance to bring it up to the required condition before surface dressing starts. This enables the local authority to maximise the value from the surface dressing activities and to help support the contractor in delivering effective works. If damage isn’t repaired and dressing is applied the issues underneath the surface will still cause problems, sooner rather than later.
Effective pre-surface dressing removes the need to revisit sections once the dressing has been applied—saving time on remedials, traffic management and disruption for the travelling public.
Roadtechs offer a survey to installation service to ensure that local authorities get the best possible results. The company’s material Techscreed, which is a hot-applied BBA HAPAS approved repair, is an important part of the pre-surface dressing preparation. It is also environmentally friendly, helping councils cut the amount of carbon associated with their highway maintenance works.
Techscreed is a bituminous fill and over band crack repair system for the repairing of 5mm to 40mm cracks. It is particularly suitable for sealing cracks on existing pavements that are to be overlaid by asphalt, thereby helping to alleviate reflective cracking, and as a consequence, prolonging the serviceable life of the surface. In addition, Techscreed can be used to repair both asphalt and concrete surfaces and provides excellent anti-skid properties.
In its molten state, it has excellent flow properties ensuring total penetration of the crack without voids or air pockets. Following cooling it sets to a tough, resilient repair which maintains its flexibility through a wide range of temperatures.
Techscreed can be used for pothole repair and patching and is ideal to help solve problems with surface ravelling, rutting, chipping loss, stress cracking and lane joints.
The process is quick which means traffic management costs are much lower. Only a small crew is needed to apply it and the road can be opened just 30 mins after application which also means it can be surface dressed within a week after treatment. It also very versatile and can be applied to 100mm wide to full lane widths.
Techscreed helps provide a solution for excellent pre-surface dressing because it doesn’t bleed through the surface. As part of the process, the edges are sealed so no overbanding or compaction is required. Typically, it is applied at a depth of 8mm to 10mm so there is no need to adjust ironworks.
The quick process means repairs can be made as the maintenance vehicle moves along the road.
Techscreed has been successfully used for pre-surface dressing in Gloucestershire, Hampshire, Oxfordshire, Kent, East Sussex, Wales and many other locations.


Helping local authorities to reduce their carbon footprint.


Roadtechs manufacture this and many other materials.

Using Techscreed brings the following benefits:

  • Edges are sealed – no overbanding required.
  • No compaction required.
  • Excellent adhesion.
  • Typically, Techscreed applied at a depth of 5mm to 10mm so no need to adjust ironworks.
  • Reduction in noise pollution as no material is broken out.

We have only touched on one of the ways that Techscreed can assist with maintaining your local network.

If you are not sure how to get your pre surface dressing patching completed in time or want to improve on how it is currently done. Please call the team at Roadtechs on 01508 536360 or email to talk through your requirements and find out how Roadtechs can help and Techscreed can be used in different situations.

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