What Causes Asphalt Driveway Potholes During the Wintertime?

Even after all of the snow and ice have fully melted away to make way for the warm spring weather, some of winter’s more visible markings can stick around. Unsightly asphalt driveway potholes in Saratoga Springs, NY are one of the more noticeable remnants of a harsh winter, and can actually make your driveway unsafe and difficult to drive and walk on. That’s why your local paving experts are here to help you better understand just what caused the potholes in your driveway, and what can be done once they have begun to develop.

How do potholes form?

Throughout the winter months, the water, ice and snow on the ground freezes and thaws many times, causing the asphalt material to continually expand and contract. When there are areas on a road or driveway that are cracked, these elements may begin to seep below the surface, where the frequent freeze-thaw cycles will continue to weaken the integrity of the asphalt. Bearing the weight of heavy vehicles daily, the destabilized pavement will eventually break down and form a pothole.

Because of changing temperatures that are more likely to fluctuate at the end of the winter season, along with the increase in rainfall, pothole formation is most common during the late winter and early spring months.

The basics of pothole repair

In order to prevent broken pieces of the old asphalt from being sealed in with the new pavement, the pothole must first be cleaned thoroughly before any repairs can begin. When this is completed, the pothole is heated so the area can be softened and reshaped for the new application, and any excess moisture that remains can be removed.

In most cases, hot mix asphalt is then used to fill the pothole, and is then compacted to improve the resistance of the pavement and reduce the amount of water penetration. The heat from the mix will also help to increase the durability of the bond between the new asphalt and the existing pavement around it. Once the asphalt has cooled, the repaired area of the driveway can be driven on immediately. If your driveway is badly damaged with potholes, and repairs cannot wait until the spring, cold mix asphalt can be used as a temporary patch until more extensive repairs can be completed.

The pothole repair process can be complicated, and when not completed correctly, it can lead to even more problems in the future. For this reason, it is best to leave driveway repair to professionals, and our experienced team at Asphalt Industries, LLC is ready to help your driveway recover from another winter with our exemplary paving services.

For nearly 20 years, we have specialized in repairing asphalt driveway potholes of all sizes in Saratoga Springs, NY, and whether your issue is big or small, we have the paving solutions you need to improve both the appearance and safety of your property. Contact us today to schedule an appointment—we look forward to helping restore your driveway to prime condition!