Potholes aren’t exactly pariahs – especially not in New England. On the contrary, anyone who drives is bound to see or run over at least a couple potholes whenever they go anywhere. Because these deep, bowl-shaped depressions are so common, you might think that they’re nearly impossible to prevent and difficult to repair. However, as pervasive and annoying as potholes may be, they’re not always inevitable. And the more you know about potholes, the more you can avoid them and their worst effects.
So, here’s what you should know about potholes and asphalt pothole repair.
What to Know About Potholes and Asphalt Pothole Repair
Water, Temperature, and Pressure are the Key Ingredients for Pothole Formation
Potholes don’t appear out of nowhere. Rather, these holes result from the ongoing interplay of various environmental pressures, namely moisture, temperature fluctuations, and pressure from regular traffic. Groundwater intrusion is the primary culprit here, seeping into the asphalt’s substrate and expanding and contracting as temperatures warm up and cool down. Traffic from above only weakens the asphalt further, resulting in depressions that deepen and widen into more severe potholes over time.
Winter Only Makes Potholes Worse
Once you understand how potholes show up in the first place, it only makes sense that so many of these problems occur throughout the winter months. When temperatures get cold enough to freeze groundwater, any moisture that’s present within pavement hardens and expands – meanwhile, pavement becomes more rigid and brittle in its own right. When combined, these effects exacerbate existing potholes and cause new ones to form. As such, it’s imperative to tackle any and all pothole repairs before winter sets in. Doing so will fortify your asphalt in preparation for winter (note that commercial paving can’t resume until springtime, so this preparation is vital).
The Sooner You Fix Potholes, the Better
While winter is the worst offender when it comes to pothole formation, these damages will get worse and worse over time when neglected, no matter the season. Knowing this, it’s important to invest in pothole repair projects early on, while said holes are relatively narrow and shallow. The smallest potholes can be filled like large cracks, whereas slightly larger potholes can be cut around and patched. Either way, these tasks are far less costly and time-consuming than milling or resurfacing large stretches of your pavement due to widespread pothole formation, so don’t wait too long to address these concerns.
Preventative Maintenance Is Paramount for Pothole Prevention
Ultimately, the best way to deal with potholes is to avoid them altogether. After all, pavement repair comes at a price, so it’s better to keep these projects to a minimum. Of course, there’s no way to prevent 100% of potholes in your pavement. That said, conducting periodic inspections and keeping up with proper maintenance will mitigate any and all asphalt concerns, potholes included. This preventative maintenance includes tasks like checking drainage systems, keeping your pavement clean, filling cracks when they arise, and sealcoating the asphalt every 2-3 years or as needed.
Count on Cassidy Paving for Quality Pavement Repair and Prevention
No one likes seeing potholes, and even fewer people enjoy driving over them. Make sure you’ve got a repair and maintenance plan in place to keep these nuisances at bay. Cassidy Paving is more than just a pothole repair company – we’re a comprehensive asphalt installation, maintenance, and repair provider serving businesses all over New England. Call us today at 866-978-9788 for a free estimate on your next asphalt project!