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What Causes Potholes?

fill potholes

Potholes can be dangerous to cars and pedestrians alike. Get them fixed quickly before anyone gets hurt!

According to AAA in 2013, potholes cost Americans nearly $6.5 billion dollars per year in flat tires, blown shocks, and cracked rims. While you cannot control the roads outside of your property, there is no reason your driveway or parking lot should be contributing to these damage costs. Let’s take a look at potholes and what causes them.

What is a Pothole?

A pothole is a large, natural underground cavity that is formed by the erosion of the roadway. It is often formed by erosion, wear, or subsidence. The term “potholes” have been around for centuries and began showing up in the 15th and 16th centuries in England. This term was used to describe a deep rut in the in the road made by potters. The potter would dig deep ruts into the road in order to reach the raw clay deposits underneath. Teamsters driving wagons and coaches would drive through the area and notice “potholes” or holes dug but the potters. While there aren’t many potters searching for clay under the modern day roadway systems, potholes are still popping up on our roads. So what causes these dangerous holes?

Common Causes of Potholes

Potholes are formed when the pavement or the material beneath the pavement can no longer support the weight of the traffic it carries. There are two common causes of potholes: water and traffic. Most potholes form over long periods of moisture like in the winter snowstorms or in the early spring. As snow and rain seep into the cracks of the pavement, the soil below it causes mud and erosion to the support. This water repeated freezes and thaws are the ground heats up and the traffic flows over the area, expanding and pushing the pavement further apart. Once the temperatures increase again, the ground returns to its previous level but the pavement stays elevated, causing a gap. As the vehicles pass over the raised pavement, the surface begins to crack and fall into the hollowed area below, creating the pothole.

Potholes cannot only cause your property damage; they can also be dangerous for you as people swerve to avoid them. For more information on fixing your potholes, call Testa Asphalt Paving today!

Asphalt Seal Coating with Testa Paving

If you are in the need of professional asphalt pavement services, Testa Paving Inc. is here to help! For over 35 years, Testa Paving Inc. has been a driving force within the industry and has been serving the areas of Maryland and northern Virginia.

Interested in one of the services offered by Testa Paving Inc.? Call us today at 301-663-5861 or visit our contact page. Be sure to click “Like” or “Follow” on our official PinterestGoogle+Facebook, and Twitter pages today!

 

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