If your asphalt has developed a pothole, it is only natural to want to fix it as soon as possible. Potholes can cause damage to vehicles, and a deep pothole could even cause an accident. In addition, small potholes can worsen if they are not addressed quickly. However, while emergency repairs can be performed anytime, full repairs should wait for warm weather. Here are 3 reasons to repair potholes in spring.
Temperature matters when it comes to asphalt. “Hot mix” asphalt is kept in a well-mixed liquid state inside a heated truck. When the weather is warm, it will remain in its liquid form long enough to pour it, spread it, and level it off. It will then harden gradually to form a tight seal and a durable surface.
When the weather is cold, though, asphalt begins to cool and thicken as soon as it leaves the trucks, which can lead to uneven pouring. It may begin to harden before it is completely spread and leveled. In addition, frozen ground can cause the embedded aggregates to loosen and break free. It is likely that the pothole patch will not be tight and even, which could allow water intrusion and even lead to a new pothole in the same spot.
Showery weather is fairly common during the spring, but snow and heavy rain are rare. Asphalt repairs can be done in light drizzle without any damaging effects. Heavy precipitation, though, can cause the asphalt to cool too quickly or even lead to water buildup within the deeper layers of the new asphalt. Spring is an ideal time for repairs since rains are usually light and brief.
Winter Weather Damage
Winter weather is tough on asphalt. It expands and contracts during cycles of freezing and thawing, and significant snow accumulation can further weaken the asphalt’s structure. Cracking and water intrusion are extremely common. Odds are good that if your asphalt has developed a pothole, there are most likely other areas that are less severely damaged. Performing your pothole repairs during the spring also gives you the opportunity to assess the rest of the asphalt for cracks or holes that should be addressed.
Cold patch asphalt is applied directly from the container without the need for heating, so it is a great short-term fix for potholes that develop during the winter. However, it is generally not the best long-term solution. If you used a cold patch to get you through the season, spring is an excellent time to have it replaced with durable hot mix asphalt that is designed to last.
Based in Abbotsford, Topwest Asphalt also serves Langley, Chilliwack, Mission, and Maple Ridge. Are you ready to start your next asphalt project with a team you can count on to do the job right, on time, and on budget? We invite you to call Topwest Asphalt today at 1-800-ASPHALT to discuss your project and schedule an estimate. We look forward to working with you!