Identifying the Main Causes of Potholes

Identifying the Main Causes of Potholes

Potholes are common on parking lots and residential driveways with heavy traffic. They damage vehicles, increase the risk of tripping and make your property look unappealing. Besides, they can lead to legal issues if they cause injuries or damage someone’s vehicle. Understanding how potholes form is the first step to fixing the damage and avoiding it in the future. Here are the leading causes of potholes.

Extreme Weather Conditions

Extreme weather conditions, like heavy rainfall or hot sun, often contribute to how potholes form. When it rains, water seeps into the pavement and freezes in cold weather. As the water particles expand, they increase pressure, causing the pavement to crack. If you don’t fix these cracks, they become bigger and develop into potholes.

Poor Drainage

If your property has poor drainage, that’s likely how potholes form on your pavement. When water doesn’t drain properly, it may pool on the lower section of your walkway or the parts with dips.

After that, it will penetrate the surface and degrade the layers beneath. The water will also weaken the bonds between the asphalt binder and sand through the freeze thaw-cycle.

It’s vital to drain stagnant water by clearing debris and vegetation along the edges. Moreover, contact a professional paver to establish a permanent solution to how potholes form on your property.

Wear and Tear

Vibration from constant vehicle movement weakens the structural integrity of a driveway or parking lot. It deteriorates the surface, causing various types of cracks. If vehicles continue driving in the cracked area, it worsens, and that’s how potholes eventually form.

A typical 4 inches thick driveway can withstand about 8000 pounds. Construct a thicker road if you have heavy-duty vehicles exceeding this weight. Alternatively, opt for a concrete driveway over an asphalt one since it can withstand wear and tear.

Poor Maintenance

Ignoring minor damage plays a part in how potholes form. For example, if you don’t fill cracks, your driveway will weaken and break apart in other areas. Failing to seal crevices also encourages water damage and shortens the surface’s lifespan.

Here are other poor maintenance practices attributed to how potholes form:

  • Skipping routine cleaning
  • Failing to clear chemical spills
  • Using deicing salt, especially on concrete
  • Ignoring routine inspection
  • Using harsh cleaning chemicals

Substandard Installation

The proper construction process will help you avoid issues with how potholes form. Unfortunately, many property owners fail to hire professionals for their driveway. This issue causes them to use the wrong equipment during preparation. For example, they may fail to compact the base properly, leading to uneven asphalt settlement. Eventually, the driveway will form potholes due to fatigue failure.

Hiring an expert ensures you don’t purchase substandard materials. It guarantees a long-lasting driveway and avoids recurring expenses on repairs.

How Potholes Form: An Overview of the Process

Potholes often originate from unrepaired water and structural damage. Here is an overview of how potholes form:

  • Cracks develop due to the factors we’ve discussed
  • Water seeps through cracks and softens the subgrade soil
  • Vehicle and foot traffic further breaks the surface, displacing asphalt particles

Let a Professional Explore How Potholes Form on Your Property

Now that you know how potholes form, get an expert to fix the problem. At Georgia Wildcat Paving, we repair such damage by addressing the root cause. We will restore your asphalt or concrete driveway and help you maintain it to avoid losses. Contact us for a quote or more information on how potholes form.

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