Asphalt pavements are famous for their ability to flex and stretch under loads, which helps prevent the formation of cracks and potholes. However, flexibility decreases as temperatures drop, so the pavement can become hard, brittle, and more susceptible to damage. Contrary to what many people believe, an intensively cold winter in which the temperatures remain well below freezing throughout the season can cause less damage than a mild winter with repeated cycles of freezing and thawing. Having an asphalt pothole repair plan in place can help your pavement survive whatever the weather might throw at it.
What Causes an Asphalt Pothole?
Most potholes are caused by one of two things, and both of them involve water.
1. Water can infiltrate beneath the surface of the pavement through open cracks or other breaks. If enough water penetrates to the pavement’s foundation, the water can wash away pieces of the foundation, leaving a void between the foundation and the pavement. When traffic passes over these voids, the pavement can collapse into empty space, forming a pothole.
2. Small depressions or even hairline cracks can collect water that will freeze. As the ice expands, it can exert up to 30,000 psi on the pavement. Every time the ice melts over the course of the winter, the water can slip deeper into the pavement. When it refreezes, the ice causes more damage, enlarges the break, and penetrates deeper into the structure. Very quickly, the freeze/thaw cycles can cause potholes to form.
How Can an Asphalt Pothole Be Prevented?
The best way to prevent potholes is to be proactive about your asphalt repair and maintenance. Every six months, have a reputable asphalt professional evaluate the condition of your pavement. If you need an asphalt crack repair, do not delay; the longer the crack remains open, the deeper any rain or melted snow and ice can penetrate into the structure. If you have even a small pothole, have an asphalt repair performed. Keep your pavement clean; remove piles of leaves and grass clippings, clean up oil or other fluids that vehicles have leaked onto your pavement, and have a sweeping service remove dirt and litter regularly. Sealcoat your pavement every two or three years to maximize your protection against water infiltration and prevent damage from the sun. Do not allow vehicles on your pavement that weigh more than it was designed to support.
Where Might I Find Help to Create an Asphalt Repair and Maintenance Program?
We are a well-respected, highly experienced company specializing in the maintenance and repair of asphalt pavements. Our services include asphalt crack repair, sealcoating, asphalt patching, infrared asphalt repair, parking lot striping, asphalt milling, parking lot sweeping, asphalt paving, pothole repair, and power washing. We also construct and repair concrete, repair drains and catch basins, and repair gravel driveways. We have an exceptional reputation for service and workmanship. If you are interested in receiving a free quote, complete the online request form, or call 800-SEAL-817.