- Potholes form when water seeps into small cracks in the pavement, and freeze/thaw cycles cause the cracks to expand.
- Asphalt age, heavy traffic, poor drainage, and extreme temperatures can exacerbate pothole formation.
- Potholes can cause damage to vehicles and injuries to pedestrians, so it is essential to fill them as soon as possible.
- DIY pothole patching is possible but can be challenging and less effective. The best way to solve the problem is by contacting a professional paver.
Asphalt is the most common material for paving roads, parking lots, and driveways. According to reports, 94% of roads in the US have asphalt paving done on them. It is due to various benefits that make it an excellent option for these areas. Asphalt is durable, so it can withstand heavy traffic and is resistant to weathering and cracks. Additionally, asphalt is cost-effective and easy to maintain.
Professional pavers say that asphalt driveways have a 15-30 year lifespan. But due to external factors, the lifespan can reduce, resulting in various defects, including potholes. Potholes are a nuisance for drivers and pedestrians; they can be patched relatively quickly, but a few problems tend to pop up when doing so.
Paradise Asphalt Maintenance looks at some of the most significant issues with patching potholes and offers some solutions. Keep reading to learn more!
How Potholes Form on Asphalt Surfaces?
While driving, have you ever hit a pothole and immediately felt your car jolt? Potholes are an all-too-common sight on roads and can cause severe damage to vehicles. Reports suggest that potholes result in $3 billion worth of damage to drivers in the US annually.
Potholes begin to form when water seeps into cracks in the asphalt. Although you might think water is harmless, it is one of the leading causes of damage to asphalt. It can cause the soil underneath the asphalt to erode, resulting in a hole or void forming under the surface. When vehicles drive over them, the surface collapses, creating a pothole.
Potholes can also form due to the freeze-thaw cycle. During winter, when water seeps into cracks and freezes, it expands and puts pressure on the surrounding pavement. It can cause the pavement to crack and eventually result in a pothole.
Potholes are more likely to form in areas that experience high traffic volume or have heavy vehicles driving over them regularly. The weight of these vehicles puts additional stress on the already weakened pavement, causing it to crumble and form a pothole.
What Are The Major Factors for Pothole Formation?
Several factors contribute to potholes forming on asphalt surfaces. Some of the most common include:
1. Age of the Asphalt Surface
Over time, asphalt surfaces will degrade and become more susceptible to pothole formation. It is due to a variety of factors, including exposure to sunlight, rain, and snow. As the asphalt surface begins to break down, it becomes harder to withstand the weight of vehicles driving over it.
2. Heavy Vehicular Traffic
Areas that experience high volumes of vehicle traffic are more likely to develop potholes. The constant weight of vehicles driving over the same spot can eventually cause the pavement to weaken and collapse.
3. Changes in the Weather
Potholes are also more likely to form during periods of extreme weather. Extreme heat can cause the asphalt to soften and become more pliable. It makes it more susceptible to damage from heavy traffic. Similarly, cold weather can cause the ground beneath the pavement to freeze and contract. It can cause cracks to form in the pavement, which can eventually turn into potholes.
4. Poor Drainage
If an area doesn’t have proper drainage, it is more likely to develop potholes. When rain or melting snow seeps into the ground beneath the pavement, it can soften the soil and make it unstable. This instability can cause the pavement to crack and crumble.
Patching: The Solution for Potholes
if you’ve found a pothole in your asphalt driveway or parking lot, you might wonder what to do. The best solution is to patch the pothole. But what does that entail?
Asphalt patching is filling a pothole or crack to prevent water from eroding the asphalt and causing further damage. It’s a quick repair that can often be done without replacing the entire driveway or parking lot. You can work on pothole patching yourself, but it’s highly recommended that you call in a professional paver.
DIT Pothole Patching Issues
Although DIY is an option for patching potholes, it’s not always the best solution. There are a few reasons for this:
1. The Pothole is Large
Suppose the pothole is more than a few inches wide or deep. You might be dealing with a high-severity pothole. They are complex and should be left for professional pavers to handle the pothole patching.
They’ll have the right tools and equipment to do the job quickly and efficiently.
2. The Pothole is in a Dangerous Location
Suppose the pothole is located in a high-traffic area, such as a commercial parking lot. In that case, it’s best to leave it to the professionals. They have the experience and know how to properly patch a pothole safely without causing any danger to the public.
3. The Surrounding Area isn’t Levelled
If the area around the pothole isn’t leveled, it’s best to call in a professional. An uneven surface means the hot asphalt will not lay correctly and could cost you more money in the long run.
The proper fix now would be to get asphalt paving done on your driveway or parking lot instead of pothole patching. Although paving would be expensive compared to patching, you would eliminate two problems through one solution. Consider it a win-win.
4. The pothole has Water Pooled inside it
Another problem you may face is if the pothole has water pooled inside of it. This water will make the patching process more complex and less effective. The best way to solve the problem is by using a wet/dry vacuum to suck out all the water before you start patching.
Potholes are a big problem that can cause damage to your car, and they can be expensive to fix. Avoid these four problems when patching potholes to save time and money. It’s best to call in a professional when dealing with a pothole to get the most effective and long-lasting results.
Professional Pavers in Lawrence, KS
Pothole Patching can be a hassle, so why not let Paradise Asphalt Maintenance do it for you? We are experts in the field and can fix your potholes quickly. Other than patching, we also deal with other paving solutions, including asphalt paving, seal coating, and crack filling.