It is rare for potholes to happen out of nowhere. Usually, there has to be a malfunction from the asphalt layers being poorly installed. Most often, cracks appear first. They are exasperated by cold weather when the asphalt expands and shrinks, heavy vehicle traffic, and long-term wear and tear. Winter takes the largest toll on asphalt pavements and that’s why Wisconsin drivers spend winter and the start of spring dodging potholes on the road and in parking lots.
The best solution for pothole repair is hot mix patching. The damaged pavement will be cut out and removed, the is cleaned, filled with a hot asphalt mix, and then compacted until the surface is smooth and even with the surrounding roadway. In the winter, it is too cold and wet for hot asphalt to spread and cure properly. That’s why you’ll see the cold patch method used during the colder months. That’s when a cold mix of asphalt is dumped in potholes and compacted down. It is only a temporary fix but an easy one to maintain until the weather is good enough for a proper asphalt patch.