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Potholes in Asphalt Streets and Driveways: What Causes Them?

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potholePotholes 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?

New potholes usually start to show up on streets right around the start of springtime.  The reasons why potholes form have 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).

Unique Paving Materials is proud to supply municipalities and homeowners with the best pothole repair material available: UPM® Cold Mix.  UPM’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 Paving Materials products, pothole repair is less time-consuming, more permanent, and more effective.