Anyone who has driven over an asphalt surface has probably encountered at least one pothole. Driving over a pothole can create an unpleasant experience, but failing to fix a pothole can lead to permanent asphalt damage.
It's important that you know as much as possible about potholes so that you will be prepared to deal with these asphalt menaces appropriately in the future.
How do Potholes Form?
To understand why potholes can be detrimental to the integrity of your asphalt, you need to understand how a pothole forms.
A pothole is created when moisture seeps into an asphalt surface. This moisture freezes and expands, which weakens the surrounding asphalt. Heavy vehicles then drive over these weak areas and cause the asphalt to crack, slough away, and degrade.
Eventually, the damage will work its way to the base of the asphalt surface, where it can compromise the stability of your driveway, road, or parking lot.
Why are Potholes so Bad?
A small pothole might not seem like a major threat, but any signs of a pothole forming in your asphalt should be cause for concern.
A pothole will continue to grow larger and larger until the necessary repairs are made. This means that if you don't address potholes immediately, you may be left with no option but to invest in a new asphalt driveway, road, or parking lot.
In addition to the instability potholes can create in your asphalt surfaces, potholes can pose a threat to any vehicle using that asphalt surface. Driving over a pothole could damage vehicle components. Common types of damage caused by potholes include lost hubcaps, bent rims, damaged tires, and suspension damage.
Any pothole-induced vehicle damage that occurs on your commercial asphalt surfaces could become your financial responsibility to repair.
How are Potholes Repaired?
Potholes must be patched in order to restore the integrity of your asphalt surface.
A paving contractor begins the repair process by cleaning the pothole and removing any dirt or debris from the surrounding area. This ensures that there will be no contaminants to compromise the quality of the repair.
Once the pothole is clean, a contractor will add coarse gravel and sand to replace any of the base materials that have been washed away from inside the pothole. These base materials are tamped firm, then new asphalt is poured directly into the pothole until it is level with the surrounding asphalt.
It can be virtually impossible to detect any changes in the smoothness of your asphalt when pothole repairs are done right.
For more information, contact a company such as Acme Paving & Seal Coating Inc.