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3 Ways to Fix a Pothole

Spring is here! The sun is out and the birds are chirping!  All is well!  Uhhh, up until the melting snow reveals the all too painful sight of potholes.They act like landmines blanketing the road, parking lot or driveway of your destination.Yes, pothole season is here! They are everywhere causing cars to weave and swerve as if they may be filming a chase scene.While they are an extreme nuisance to motorists, they can be even more bothersome to business owners that would like to protect their customers from the mine field of potholes within their parking lot.

How do potholes form?
Living in Wisconsin we have the privilege to experience the four seasons. While this can be very beautiful, it wreaks havoc on area pavements. Freeze/thaw cycles strain and breakdown pavements resulting in deteriorated surfaces with tightly spaced interlocking cracks also known as alligator cracking. With time, traffic and snow plowing cause these pavement sections to break apart forming mini craters known as pot holes.

How are potholes fixed?

Cold patch-
Cold patch is the material of choice in the dead of winter when all of the area hot mix asphalt production facilities are closed down. It differs in chemistry, workability and performance to hot mix asphalt, however gets the job done when emergency situations arise and pot holes need to be filled. The patching material is placed in potholes, leveled off and often compacted with hand tamps or compressed with shovels. Most often cold patch is placed with little to no prep work which can affect overall longevity.
Skin patching-
This method, known as “throw and roll”, is similar to cold-patch, but uses hot-mix asphalt produced at an asphalt production facility.Tack, an adhesive, is applied to the pothole. Then, hot-mix asphalt is poured into the pothole and compacted by a roller.This method is slightly better than cold-patching, but is still not the best option because it doesn’t address the source of the pothole.
Remove and Replace-
This is the act of completely removing the pothole and area adjacent. The damaged area is then replaced by new hot-mix asphalt.During this process, the unstable sub base should be removed and strengthened with new base course material.  This is the best way to effectively address the cause of a pothole.

Potholes are an incredible nuisance, but addressing them correctly when they occur and developing a preventative maintenance program are effective ways to deal with the dreaded pothole season.

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