Potholes: Why They Occur and How To Fix Them


The Life of a Pothole

There are fewer things more annoying to a property manager than chronic pothole issues. Potholes can be a major problem for any commercial property. Not just annoying, potholes pose liability potential for trip and fall and vehicle damage lawsuits. And they can make your property look in disrepair and sloppily maintained.

The causes of potholes include:

• Poor design and construction of your parking lot or driveway
• Amount and weight of traffic on your property
• Insufficient water drainage
• Constant bad weather
• Insufficient maintenance of the asphalt

Potholes occur when water penetrates the top layer of asphalt through cracks. When the moisture freezes and expands, the pavement buckles. As vehicles drive over the cracks, the weight breaks the asphalt and it is forced up and out.

Potholes happen most often in the spring after the frozen ground thaws. The best defense against this annual annoyance is a regular maintenance plan. This means not only fixing the holes that appear in the spring, but patching the cracks where potholes start before the snow flies in the fall. By eliminating as many places were potholes can occur, you’ll minimize the expense of repairing them later. Being proactive about your pavement maintenance can potentially save you thousands of dollars in the long run.

First impressions count. It is good business to keep up with potholes because the outside of your property is the first thing potential tenants will see when approaching your facility. Your curb appeal greatly improves with the elimination of cracked asphalt and potholes.

Of course, the safety and accessibility of your property for your vendors, partners, tenants and their customers is also a consideration. It is your responsibility to protect these people and your property by making sure that there is a minimal chance of accidents happening.

Here are some common asphalt repair methods:

Throw-and-roll: In this patching method, liquid asphalt is poured into a hole or a crack and then compressed with a heavy vehicle or roller. This is only a very temporary fix. It is typically done in the winter when an emergency fix is required. It will not be a permanent repair but will get you through the rest of the cold season.

Edge seal repair: This is the throw and roll method with another step added. After the patch is rolled over with a heavy vehicle, asphalt tack material is added along the edge of the patch, overlapping the pavement and the patch. The seal helps maintain the fix a little longer.

Semi-permanent patches: This method lasts longer and requires some preparation. Debris and pooled water first must be removed. It’s usually easiest to use an air compressor for that first step. Then the area to be patched is made wider and deeper. The prepared hole is then filled with an asphalt patching combination and flattened with a roller.

Spray injection method: This method requires special equipment that is used to first eliminate debris and excess water with a high-pressure spray. Then, the same spray equipment is used to inject the patching material into the hole. Since the process is done at high pressure, no compression is required.

Full-depth patching: This technique is a permanent fix. It involves digging the affected area to a depth of four or more inches and at least one foot wide. A tack coat is applied, then an asphalt mix is added and then a backfill. These three layers ensure a proper bond so that the asphalt is strong and solid.

Whatever method you choose to repair and maintain your potholes, Team Cam can help. Our specialized team has years of expertise and can ensure a long lasting, high quality repair solution. We’ll come out, inspect your property and get you a free quote in as little as 24 hours.

Like death and taxes, potholes are inevitable. You can’t ignore them, so having a maintenance plan is the next best thing to limiting their ability to annoy you.


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