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Potholes in Asphalt: Causes of Those Big Holes and Techniques to Fix Them

Major causes of potholes

Winter season is prime time for the creation of potholes. Repeated freezing and melting quickly damage the roads. It is a really difficult task to carry out pothole repair in winter season but if people find it difficult to drive on the road then there is no choice but to repair the potholes.

As per the department of transportation in Michigan, potholes are created due to the seasonal freeze-thaw cycle. Cracks in the pavement let the water flow down and freezes at night.

This means ice will form below the pavement and expands. This results in the exertion of force that causes the pavement to rise. Vehicles will pound the raised pavement that results in big holes known as potholes.


Repairing potholes with Cold Mix Asphalt:

Cold mix asphalt is an optimum remedy to repair the potholes in the winter season. Bitumen emulsion is mixed with cold aggregates to produce a cold mix. In many cases, anti-stripping agents are also used.

Some advantages of cold mix asphalt over hot mix

  1. It can be easily used in low temperature and can be put in stockpiles at least for six months.
  2. As compared to the hot mix, it is more flexible.

Cold mix is almost similar to the hot mix but the only difference is that cold mix has some more additives which make it efficient for cold weather condition.

The process to fix the potholes on the road:

  • Remove debris:

The First step out of all is to clear the debris and clean the pothole. Debris can move inside the pavement and can create the situation worse. Therefore, it is mandatory to remove debris. If broken pavement gets mixed with the new one then it can weaken the repair process.
  • Remove moisture:

It is required to remove the extra moisture from the damaged pavement. Thus next step after clearing debris is heating the holes to remove moisture and softens the area so that new asphalt can be implemented. When the potholes are softened and old asphalt is removed then these can be easily reshaped.
  • Add the new asphalt:

In most cases, hot mix asphalt is implemented. It is required to compact the asphalt after its implementation in order to make sure that that water penetration reduces and resistance increases. Compaction is done to achieve a strong bond between the old and new asphalt pavement.
  • Let the asphalt cool down:

Don’t let any vehicle to move over the hot asphalt it may again destroy your work. Let it cool down and the potholes are efficiently repaired.

Your insurance policy may help you in recovering sudden damage on your vehicles caused due to potholes but it may not help you in covering everyday small wear and tear in your vehicle.

Your vehicle may receive the following types of damage due to potholes. Have a look!

  • Tire puncture
  • Bent on rims
  • Receiving damage in suspension
  • Steering knocked out of alignment
  • May disturb the exhaust system of your vehicle
  • Breakdown of Engine

Some important tips to prevent your vehicle from hitting potholes:

1. Beware all the time

Always be attentive and continuously scan the road while driving and don’t let your vehicle go over the pothole. Put your phone down and clearly observe what comes in front of you.

2. Always maintain distance with another vehicle

You may not know how the driver in front of you behaves when he/she observe pothole over the road. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you should maintain a safe distance with all the vehicles while driving over the road so that you can prevent your vehicle form a major accident.

3. Avoid Swerving

Swerving may seem the right thing to do but it is a simple invitation for danger. While swerving you may change direction and enter into a lane with a huge volume of traffic or you may hit the pothole with high speed that may severely damage to your vehicle. Drive safely and slowly to avoid any damage. Gently apply brakes before entering into big holes on the road.

4. Monitor your vehicle speed

Don’t drive like insane, slow down and check your vehicle speed. If you find that the road is not in proper condition, open the map in your smart phone, enter your destination and checkout for another one.

5. Watch out for water

Large holes on the road may collect water due to the melting of snow or rain and you may not make right guesses that how deep the pothole really is. So avoid moving your vehicle over the potholes filled with water. It may cause damage to you and to your vehicle.

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