Asphalt Paving Alert: Why You Need To Start Fixing Potholes

Asphalt Paving Alert: Why You Need To Start Fixing Potholes

Key Takeaways:

  • Potholes are deep depressions in an asphalt pavement
  • Common causes are the elements, improper drainage, and heavy traffic
  • If not addressed, potholes can lead to complete pavement failure
  • Pothole repair solutions include cold patch, hot mix, and infrared patching
  • Laurel Asphalt provides premier asphalt paving solutions in Johnstown.

Asphalt paving is one of the most popular choices for pavement in the United States. Not only does asphalt provide a strong and sturdy surface, but it is also cost-effective.

However, asphalt is not immune to damage, and potholes are a common sight on many roads. If you notice increased damage on your asphalt surface, it’s time to start fixing potholes!

This blog post will disclose signs that your asphalt pavement needs pothole repair and explore some solutions. Keep scrolling to learn more!

What Are Potholes?

If you haven’t bumped into one, potholes are small craters that form in asphalt. They result from a combination of water and vehicular traffic. Water enters cracks in the asphalt, which expands when it freezes and contracts when it thaws. This process weakens the asphalt and causes it to crumble.

Potholes can range in size anywhere from a few inches to several feet. They usually spring from a pre-existing crack in the asphalt. If you find a pothole on your asphalt paving, it’s crucial to take action as soon as possible. Untreated potholes will only grow larger and cause more damage.

What Causes Potholes?

Two common culprits for the creation of potholes are water and vehicular traffic. Water seeps into cracks in the asphalt, expanding when it freezes and contracting when it thaws. This process weakens the asphalt and causes it to crumble.

Potholes can also be caused by tree roots growing beneath the asphalt surface and by utility cuts made in the asphalt. When vehicles drive over these weak spots, it can cause the asphalt to collapse and create a pothole.

Why Should I Fix Potholes?

Most people will immediately answer this question by pointing out potholes’ obvious safety hazards. After all, no one wants to damage their vehicle or risk tripping over a pothole.

That’s not the only reason to fix potholes, however.

No. 1: Prevention

One minor pothole doesn’t mean a death sentence for your paving. However, if you don’t take care of it immediately, that one pothole can quickly turn into two or three.

Before you know it, you’ll have a full-blown pavement disaster on your hands. It’s much easier to fix potholes as they appear rather than wait until the problem gets out of control. Save yourself the headache by being proactive about pothole repairs.

No. 2: Reduction

Long-term repairs won’t only cost you time but also a good bit of your money. By fixing potholes as soon as they appear, you can save yourself paving costs in the future.

It’s important to remember that asphalt paving is an investment. Like any other investment, you need to take care of it to get the most out. By being proactive about pothole repair, you can extend the lifespan of your pavement and avoid having to replace it prematurely.

No. 3: Appeal

Your asphalt paving is one of the first things visitors see when visiting your home or business. First impressions matter, so you should ensure that your pavement is in good condition. By repairing potholes, you can improve the curb appeal of your property and make it more inviting for visitors.

No. 4: Solutions

Another excellent reason to fix potholes is that several solutions are readily available and easy to implement. Compare that to removing your entire pavement and starting from scratch – it’s a much more time-consuming and expensive process.

What Solutions Are Available?

Suppose you’re fortunate enough to catch a pothole early on. In that case, you’ll have various asphalt repair options. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular methods:

  1. Cold Patch: This is one of the most common asphalt repair methods. This method involves using a pre-mixed asphalt that comes in a bag – you pour it into the pothole, compact it down, and voila! The asphalt will set and harden over time, creating a seamless repair. However, this is a temporary solution!
  2. Hot Mix: Hot mix asphalt is a more permanent repair solution. This method involves heating asphalt to high temperatures and mixing it with aggregate. Once it cools, the asphalt will be as strong as new.
  3. Infrared Patching: Infrared patching is another popular asphalt repair method. This method uses infrared technology to heat up the existing asphalt surrounding the pothole. Once heated, new asphalt can be added to the area and compacted down.

Of course, your asphalt paving isn’t invincible and will eventually need to be replaced. However, by repairing potholes as soon as they form, you can help prolong the life of your asphalt and avoid more costly repairs down the road.

When Should I Consider Replacement?

There’s only so much that regular and rigorous maintenance can do. At some point, your asphalt pavement will reach the end of its lifespan and will need replacement. Aside from potholes, some common signs that your asphalt needs to retire include:

No. 1: Alligator Cracks

As treacherous as their name suggests, alligator cracks are a significant sign that asphalt needs to be replaced. Also known as fatigue cracks, alligator cracks form when the asphalt is weak due to excessive weight or stress. The cracks typically start small but quickly spread and deepen if left unaddressed.

You can repair alligator cracks, but they will only be temporary fixes.

No. 2: Standing Water

Heavy rains can cause asphalt to deteriorate faster. If you notice puddles or standing water on your asphalt, it’s a sign that the asphalt isn’t draining properly and needs urgent attention.

While you can improve your pavement’s slope to facilitate drainage, it’s usually best to consult with a professional asphalt company to determine the problem’s underlying cause and ensure it is properly fixed.

If left untreated, standing water will eventually lead to potholes. These, in turn, will aggravate underlying issues and drive a need for replacement.

No. 3: Faded Pavement

It’s a given that exposure to everything from the elements to vehicular traffic will cause asphalt to fade over time. If your pavement has traded its rich black color for a grey hue, it’s time to investigate the cause.

A professional contractor can tell you if the asphalt needs sealcoating or if it’s time for repaving. Asphalt Institute answers the most frequently asked questions if you’d like more info on asphalt maintenance and rehabilitation.


That was our short and straightforward guide to repairing potholes and asphalt paving. If you’d like some more tips on appeal and function, check out our blog post on how to make your commercial property more driver-friendly.

At Laurel Asphalt, we’re always happy to provide tried and trustworthy services in Johnstown, PA, so feel free to get your free estimate today!