Potholes are a problem that cities and homeowners across the country have experienced on both streets and driveways. Pothole repair is something that municipalities budget money toward every year, and it seems like potholes develop even on paved streets that don’t have much traffic. What causes potholes, exactly?
How Potholes Are Formed
New potholes usually start to show up on streets right around the start of springtime. How potholes are formed has a lot to do with weather and how roads are constructed.
Most streets are layered, with the bottom layer consisting of gravel and packed dirt to allow snow and rain to drain properly. The bottom layers of a street are usually covered with asphalt, which is able to repel water and re-direct it to the side of the road or into drains. But asphalt repairs are a consistent requirement for every city, since weather and traffic put a constant strain on streets.
Potholes are caused by a constant hot-cold-hot-cold temperature change and regular stress on asphalt streets from traffic flow. These combine to create small cracks in the asphalt, which lets dirt and water from rain and snow to get into the gravel and dirt underneath.
This water then freezes, and we all know what happens to water when it’s frozen: it expands. The expanding ice leaves a hole when it melts, and the asphalt overhead collapses into the hole (which is made worse by continued traffic).
How to Repair Potholes With UNIQUE
UNIQUE Paving Materials is proud to supply municipalities and homeowners with the best pothole repair material available: UPM® Cold Mix. UNIQUE’s proprietary cold asphalt additives and stringent quality control procedures ensure that you get a pavement repair solution that outlasts the surrounding pavement over 90% of the time.
As long as we have roads and driveways, we’re going to have potholes. But with UNIQUE’s products, pothole repair is less time-consuming, more permanent, and more effective.
FAQs – What Causes Potholes, Prevention Methods, and More
We understand that potholes are frustrating to deal with, so we are here to answer questions you might have on how potholes are formed, how to prevent them, and what tips and tricks you should be aware of.
What are the factors that cause a pothole to form?
When learning about potholes, it is essential to know that there are multiple factors in how potholes are caused. These are the most common reasons for a pothole forming on an asphalt road:
- Freezing and thawing cycles from weather changes
- Heavy rain
- Poor drainage in the road system
- High traffic volume
All of these factors combined can leave a road with many potholes that will only continue to get worse with time.
How to prevent potholes from forming
It’s important to know how to prevent potholes from forming, or else you’ll be stuck with a costly problem. Here are various ways you can keep your driveway or road pothole-free:
- Seal cracks – When a crack begins to form, seal it off while you can. Once the weather turns from rain to freezing temperatures, a small crack can lead to a pothole and ongoing issues.
- Maintain road drainage – Stopping water from pooling in a street is key to preventing potholes. Keep street gutters clear from debris so water can drain properly.
- Resurface your pavement regularly – Resurfacing your road will protect it from water and moisture getting into any cracks. This will not only make your asphalt surface look brand new, but you will feel confident that potholes won’t be forming anytime soon.
What are some tips for repairing a pothole?
Ensure you’re repairing a pothole the right way with UNIQUE’s tips.
- Before filling the pothole, make sure to sweep the area of debris and loose dirt
- When filling a pothole, make sure it is fully compacted and filled to the top of the hole
- Smooth the surface of the pothole by using a hand tamper roller or a plate compacter
What are the dangers of potholes?
Potholes can create a dangerous situation for anyone on the road. Potholes increase the likelihood of the following:
- Damage to car tires, shock absorbers, steering components, exhaust systems, and more
- Car repairs with high costs
- Accidents with other cars
- Injuries if you are a motorcyclist or a cyclist
Reach Out to UNIQUE Paving Materials Today
When it comes to learning what causes potholes and how to repair them, UNIQUE Paving Materials is here to help. Contact us today for answers to any questions or assistance.