pothole filled with water

Patching and Repairing Potholes: What You Need to Know

If there’s one thing we know about New Jersey, it’s that potholes are abundant. However, just because you’re used to avoiding potholes on highways and other roadways doesn’t mean your clients and employees should have to navigate these hazards at your business. Potholes occur when earlier signs of pavement damage have been neglected or ignored. Pavement damage such as cracking, swelling, and patch failures can subject the pavement’s sublayer to further damage — resulting in a pothole. Regular parking lot maintenance can help you stay ahead of your commercial property’s asphalt health and prevent future potholes.

What Are the Causes and Warning Signs of Potholes?

Cracks in the asphalt surface allow excess water and other fluids to penetrate the sublayers, which can then repeatedly freeze and thaw with fluctuating temperatures. These fluctuating temperatures cause the saturated layers to contract and expand. Under regular stress, layers of pavement will crack further, similar to ceramic pottery.  

Heavy traffic, winter salting procedures, and extreme weather conditions can exacerbate existing problems causing a pothole to form. In general, potholes become most apparent in the spring after the constant stress of winter’s conditions, but that doesn’t mean they’re not there throughout the winter. Compacted snow and ice can fill in potholes and shield them from detection. 

Potholes Can Damage Your Car and Create Dangerous Driving Conditions

Parking lots and other paved spaces are safest with posted speed limits and safety guidelines. If your commercial property tends to have many potholes, it’s important to warn your employees and clientele to drive safely and evade potholes wherever possible. Potholes can pop tires, dent your rims, disrupt your tire alignment, and damage your suspension. In extreme cases, potholes can cause drivers to spin out of control. 

Repair Potholes Promptly to Prevent Future Problems

Small potholes can be filled with a specialized mix, but you have to act fast for this to remain a viable option. The pothole repair process is multi-faceted and is best performed by a professional. The pothole repair process is typically completed in 4 steps:

  • First, the potholes must be assessed and identified.
  • Second, your paving contractor will jack-hammer or saw cut a square area around the pothole down to the subbase.
  • Third, the asphalt is installed at approximately a 3-inch depth. 
  • Finally, the joints and edges around the patch are sealed with asphalt emulsion to bond them to the existing pavement. 

In some cases, your contractor may recommend asphalt milling or even total replacement. For more information about the pothole repair process and our other services, feel free to reach out to our team today!