Potholes. All drivers have encountered them at some point. Whether you encounter a new one on a road you drive daily or see many in a worn down parking lot, feeling that big “thud” of hitting a pothole makes you wince and glance at your dashboard just hoping you don’t see the low tire pressure light. Kidding aside, potholes are in fact hazardous to roads, parking lots, vehicles, and pedestrians, so fixing them as soon as possible is vital.
How Do Potholes Form?
A road or finished surface is typically constructed in layers; a soil base, a densely packed stone sub-layer, and an asphalt surface layer. Although roads appear completely flat, they have a slight crest at the center to allow water to drain off either side of the road. Parking lots, when built properly, will also have a slight slope to direct water towards drains and ditches. Water can be detrimental to an asphalt surface, particularly when it finds its way underneath.
Water can creep beneath the surface through the smallest crack in the asphalt. Trapped in the stone sub-layer, water accumulates beneath, causing stones to shift and the dense sub-layer to weaken. Vehicles continue to put pressure on the asphalt surface, but the surface loses support from the sub-layer, resulting in the asphalt beginning to sag, which creates the ideal condition for a pothole to form. The asphalt will eventually collapse into the sub-layer leaving a substantial hole in the pavement – the infamous pothole.
Potholes are capable of forming in roads, parking lots, and driveways. These surfaces are particularly susceptible to potholes during winter when fluctuating temperatures cause water below the surface to freeze and thaw. As water freezes it expands, pushing asphalt out of its way. As water thaws it contracts, leaving behind empty space where asphalt can sink and collapse, resulting in a hazardous pothole.
The best time to repair a pothole is before it appears. Keep up with regular surface maintenance, and if you see cracks developing in the asphalt, have the necessary repairs made, or potentially resurface and reseal the area. If a pothole already exists on your surface, these are easily fixed using our infrared pothole repair. This repair is cost-effective at 20+% less expensive than full removal, eliminates further deterioration, and requires much less down-time so you can keep your business running.
Infrared pothole repair is done by heating the asphalt and removing the deteriorated asphalt from a depth of about 3 – 4 inches to ensure a lasting repair. New asphalt is brought in and compacted, leaving the patch seamless.
If you have a nuisance pothole or require repairs before one develops, contact us today for an estimate.