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Automotive

Why do Potholes Form?

Post By Amanda LaForest

Across the U.S., there is one constant issue that everyone from citizens to businesses has to deal with as they navigate winter roads: potholes. These ever-present annoyances seem to crop up at record speed as soon as temperatures dip and snow begins to fall. This leaves many people wondering how potholes form, and others how best to repair them. Read on to learn the answers to both of these questions.

Roads Are Made of Layers

Modern roads and parking lots are made of asphalt, a mixture of small, angular rocks and tar that lock together when pressed with a roller to form a solid surface. Roads are made with a slight crown in the middle, which in theory helps rainwater to run off of the road’s surface rather than sitting on it. But over time, the wear and tear of traffic begin to make small cracks on the surface. Water is then able to seep through these cracks, which is when real damage can begin to take place, and why potholes form.

A very similar process also causes damage to concrete surfaces such as driveways and sidewalks. Concrete is actually more likely to develop water-related damages, as it is more porous than asphalt and allows water to soak in even when cracks aren’t yet present. That is why even non-vehicle bearing surfaces end up with cracks and form potholes.

     

    Winter Weather Takes a Toll

    The biggest contributor to potholes is winter weather. We are all familiar with the sight of winter roads covered in snow and ice, and all of the work cities do to try and remove it. When roads are salted, or when the snow melts with warmer temperatures, water gets into the road through any cracks it can find. Then, when the weather turns chilly again, this water freezes inside of the road surface, forcing the cracks further apart. This continuous process of thawing and refreezing is called the freeze-thaw cycle and can happen all winter long. This is true even when temperatures are staying under the freezing point, as road salt-contaminated water actually freezes at a lower temperature. This makes winter roads even more susceptible to damage. When these cracks are driven over by motorists, they spread even further, eventually breaking out entire pieces and forming potholes.

    Options for Repairs

    While potholes aren’t preventable, they are definitely repairable and should be repaired as quickly as possible. We offer two products in order to address your pothole repair needs, which don’t require any special preparation aside from simply removing any debris from the area. Our first option is ASPHALT PATCH, a flexible and fast-drying mixture of limestone, quartz, a petroleum solvent, and a petroleum asphalt base. It can be used in any temperature above 15 degrees Fahrenheit and is simple to use. Just pour the solution into your pothole and tamp the area until it is firmly packed. Our second option is our EPOXY Patching system, an ultra-strong two-part epoxy system that forms a strong and dense patch. Mixing the components is fast and simple, and it can even be feather-edged to create a perfect finish.

    Both of these options can be used on both asphalt and concrete, making them great to have on hand to address any winter road potholes that crop up. They can also be used during any type of weather, so rain and snow don’t have to be in the way of a smooth driving or walking surface. Take control of your potholes, and try one of our products to take care of your pothole problems!

        

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