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Seven Ways Pavement Potholes Are Harmful

Key takeaways:

  1. Potholes can damage tires, suspension systems, and alignment.
  2. They can cause blowouts, flat tires, vehicle accidents, and damage to bicycle tires and wheels.
  3.  They can cause pedestrians to trip and fall, becoming an effective ADA violation in the process.
  4. It is essential to fix pavement potholes as they occur so as not to harm visitors & diminish curb appeal.

The instantaneous pain of hitting a pothole is only the beginning of your problems if you’re unlucky enough to encounter one.

ABC Asphalt, Inc brings you some ways that pavement potholes can be damaging and costly if you’re not careful.

We will begin by tackling why potholes are formed in the first place.

Why are pavement potholes formed?

Dip or deviation on the asphalt surface

A dip or deviation on the asphalt surface makes the pavement more susceptible to pothole formation. Part of asphalt potholes repair includes milling the surface to make it even and prevent potholes from quickly forming in the future.

Dip or deviation on the asphalt surface

Alligator cracking

Alligator cracking is a structural failure of the pavement and one of the main reasons why asphalt potholes form. It’s caused by repeated traffic loading and results in cracks that look like an alligator’s skin. The aggravation of these damages can create pavement potholes, causing a nuisance to drivers and pedestrians.

Lack of seal coating

Suppose your asphalt contractor didn’t seal coat your parking lot or driveway after installing it. In that case, it will be more susceptible to pothole formation. Sealcoating protects the pavement from water and sunlight damage, deteriorating the asphalt over time. The weakened asphalt is then more susceptible to cracking and pothole formation.

Water damage

One of the main reasons potholes form is due to water damage. When water seeps into cracks in the asphalt, it causes the asphalt to expand and contract as the temperature changes. This repeated expansion and contraction eventually causes the asphalt to weaken and break, forming a pothole.

Poor compaction

The subgrade of a road needs to be adequately compacted before asphalt is laid. If the subgrade is not packed correctly, it will settle over time and cause the asphalt to crack and form potholes. You have already understood the underlying mechanism of why this happens. You will need asphalt pothole repair services from a reputable contractor to deal with the issue.

Consistent heavy traffic

Some areas get more traffic than others, which is often the case with highways and interstates. The constant stress from the weight of vehicles passing over a spot will cause the asphalt to deteriorate sooner. Potholes are more likely to form when combined with other factors, such as poor drainage or weak subgrade.

Changes in temperature

Water is one of the main enemies of asphalt. When water seeps into cracks on the pavement, it will eventually freeze and expand. This process will cause the cracks to grow and damage the asphalt even more. In addition, when the temperature changes quickly, such as during a cold snap, the water in the cracks can also freeze and thaw multiple times.

Damages Caused By Potholes

1. Potholes can destroy a vehicle’s tires.

The very first and most common issue with pavement potholes is that they can cause irreparable damage to a car’s tires. If you hit an engravement at high speeds, the impact can cause your tire to explode or come off the rim. Potholes can cause flats and severe other tire damage, even if you’re driving slowly.

2. They can break your axle.

Your car’s axle connects the two wheels on either side of your vehicle, and potholes can cause it to snap in half. The sudden jolt can also loosen other suspension components, which can be very dangerous.

3. Potholes can ruin your alignment.

The constantly changing angle of your wheels as you try to avoid potholes can cause your car’s alignment to go out, which leads to uneven tire wear and can cause your vehicle to pull to one side. You can also end up with a bent steering wheel.

4. Potholes lead to environmental damage.

According to research, you probably didn’t know that potholes can also lead to additional environmental pollution. When it rains, the water collects in the potholes and carries all sorts of pollutants like oils, gasoline, and other fluids spilled on the road. This contaminated water can then seep into the ground and pollute groundwater supplies.

5. They pose safety hazards.

Potholes can pose a severe safety hazard for pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists. Cyclists are at risk of being thrown from their bikes if they hit a pothole. And if a motorcyclist hits a pothole, they can quickly lose control of their bike and be seriously injured. Think about going on your way without a worry, and you’re suddenly faced with a large pothole. You could easily get into a car accident or wreck your bike.

6. Potholes can damage vehicles.

Hitting a pothole can cause irreparable damage to your vehicle. Potholes can cause tires to blow out, alignment issues, and suspension problems. In severe cases, potholes can even cause structural damage to your vehicle.

7. They’re costly to fix.

Not only do potholes cost drivers in terms of damaged vehicles, but they also cost cities and towns millions of dollars each year in repairs. Think about your driveway or parking lot. If it has potholes, you have to pay to get them fixed. The same is valid for roads.

Asphalt potholes repair in Denver, CO!

If your driveway or pavement seems damaged and there’s a chance that potholes are forming or have formed, you’ll want to take action as soon as possible. When you leave smaller damage unattended, it will only grow and become more costly to repair. The deeper an asphalt engravement becomes, the more water can penetrate its surface.

The last thing you want with your pavement is for water to become trapped underneath it. As we have already understood, the destructive force of water leads to cracks and potholes. So if you intend to protect your asphalt, steer clear of water altogether.

The best remedy? Call in a professional asphalt contractor.

ABC Asphalt, Inc., serving Denver, provides asphalt crack sealing and repair sealing and pothole repair services. We will evaluate the damage to your asphalt and design a solution that will help prevent water infiltration and further deterioration. Minor problems are easily fixed when you have us on your side. Get your free estimate today.