Potholes are so much more than just unsightly, they can be extremely damaging to your vehicles, pedestrians, and the foundation of your asphalt. Potholes are, as the name suggests, holes in your asphalt that form over time. They can range in depth and diameter, but a pothole of any size can be detrimental to your driveway or parking lot. 

So, how do potholes form? 
There are many different factors that play into a pothole forming. They typically start small. The slightest crack, divot, or rutt can start forming into a pothole in no time at all. Cracks can form from repeated freezing and thawing during colder months, then heavy traffic continuously adds more pressure to those spots, eventually causing it to crumble and form potholes. 

Extreme heat can also cause potholes from water draining into the cracks and pushing out the inner layers that support the asphalt. 

Basically, heavy traffic consistently putting pressure on already weakened areas causes the asphalt to crumble and potholes to form and grow bigger. 

The best way to prevent potholes is to keep up with proper maintenance and repairs. We recommend having your asphalt sealed every 2-5 years depending on how much traffic goes through the area. A good rule of thumb is if you can see the natural stone peaking through the seal it’s time for a fresh coat! Sealcoating helps add a protective barrier between your asphalt and harmful elements like moisture and UV rays that can accelerate damage.

It is also important to schedule maintenance in a timely manner to repair even small cracks and gouges. This will prevent them from getting worse and causing more costly damages. 

Limiting heavy vehicles like trucks, buses, and recreational vehicles will also be a huge help in preventing excessive wear. If heavy vehicles are unavoidable, try alternating routes that they take on your pavement to evenly distribute the wear. 

What if it’s too late? What is the best way to fix and repair potholes? 

First off, always hire a professional asphalt contractor to repair any paved surfaces. We love a good DIY project as much as the next person, but asphalt repair is a project for trained professionals. If done improperly, you can cause drainage issues, foundation damage to your driveway or parking lot, and future costly repairs. Paying a little extra for a licensed contractor will ultimately save you significant money in the long run. 

When a professional repairs a pothole, we start by removing any remaining asphalt and debris from inside the hole. This helps us have access to a more sturdy foundation so that the repair lasts! Next, we trim out a more even area to work with to help get cleaner lines and an easier work space, much like repairing drywall. After we have our area prepped, we apply a tack to the outer edge to give the asphalt something better to adhere to. We mix the asphalt, and carefully fill the hole and smooth it out with the rest of the pavement. It is spread out evenly to prevent separation and left to cure leaving behind a smooth, sturdy repair that will last for many years! 

Potholes are dangerous for a multitude of reasons. They can cause major damages to vehicles who are unable to avoid them and can even cause injury to unsuspecting pedestrians. Another huge danger that comes with potholes are people swerving to avoid them. It is very important to pay attention while driving to know what hazards are coming up.

If you’re able to safely get over and go around a pothole, go ahead and do so, but whatever happens, never swerve to try and miss a pothole (or any road hazard!). This is typically a knee jerk reaction and you don’t have time to determine what is around you and can cause more accidents and damages! Rather than swerving, slow down and take gentle care when driving over a pothole. 

Armored Asphalt is excited to be one of the highest rated asphalt companies in SE Wisconsin. Our professionals are highly trained and experienced to provide high quality asphalt repairs. Maintenance and repairs are a huge part of our business and we’re proud to be the go to for pothole repairs in and around Kenosha! 

For professional asphalt care near you, give us a call and receive a free quote and schedule today!