What Causes Potholes and How Can They be Prevented

May 01, 20233 min read


Parking Lot Paving

We know...Potholes suck...

Potholes are a significant headache that costs Canadian drivers billions of dollars annually for vehicle repairs and maintenance.

A poorly maintained parking lot filled with potholes and cracks can damage your customers’ cars like bent rims, blown-out tires, or damage the vehicle's undercarriage.


But what causes potholes, and how can you deal with them? Read on to learn everything you need to know about potholes!


What Causes Potholes?

A few factors play into the formation of potholes, but the two key causes are water and temperature.

First, all roads have cracks and imperfections from wear and use. When snow or ice is on the road, the water can seep into these cracks or pits. This wears out the road and accelerates the decay.

But the real trouble happens when the temperature changes, particularly when the weather gets below freezing. When the water inside the crack freezes, it expands inside the crack. This causes the crack to widen and get worse.

And then, when the weather gets warm again, the second part of the equation comes into play. Warmer weather makes the water evaporate, which causes a gap that the pavement sinks into.

This entire process leads to the creation of those frustrating potholes. Some things can be done to fix or prevent potholes from happening as much, but it's nearly impossible to stop them completely without routine maintenance.


How Are Potholes Repaired?

Before patching the pothole with new asphalt, the pothole needs to be cleaned out from any debris or broken pavement. After that, new asphalt is compacted into the hole. The compacting will help bond the new asphalt to the old. It will help seal the pavement against water getting back into it, hopefully keeping the area pothole-free for some time.

These repairs will help keep the pavement intact, but unfortunately, potholes will continue to appear due to the natural weathering. Thankfully, there are still a few things that can help prevent the formation of potholes!

How Can They Be Prevented?

The best way to prevent potholes is through routine maintenance and repairs; filling in the potholes while still small prevents them from getting bigger.

It's also helpful to do regular resurfacing of your pavement. This ensures a smooth lot which is more difficult for water to seep into to form large cracks and expand them into potholes.

Part of the strategy for avoiding potholes is to plan ahead when you're first laying pavement. Ensuring it's sealed properly and has a good drainage system is key for slowing the formation of potholes in the pavement.


Local Paving Experts in the GTA

Now that you have a better idea of what causes potholes and some ways to treat or prevent them, you'll be prepared next time one shows up in your parking lot! It's important to take care of these problems as soon as possible before they become an even bigger issue.


If you need paving repair for your parking lot in GTA, contact Pavemar! We'd love to help you out.

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