Pothole Prevention: How to Keep Your Asphalt in Good Condition

Whether you have a commercial parking lot or a residential driveway, taking care of your asphalt surface is essential to avoid costly pothole repairs.  Taking the time and effort now to prevent them from forming is much easier and less expensive than fixing them later.   Once a divot forms and the asphalt structure crumbles and breaks, it can become a real hazard causing harm to pedestrian traffic and costly vehicle repairs.

So, give yourself, your customers, employees and vehicle traffic a break by following the steps necessary for prevention.  Here’s how:

1. Keep asphalt clean

We say this a lot but it’s worth repeating.  The build up of rocks, debris, fallen branches, fuel and oil stains on an asphalt surface can cause damage.  We recommend sweeping or blowing the asphalt surface clear of debris as needed or once a month in the summer.  Also clean up any weeds, grass and plants that may be growing or thriving along the edges of your driveway or parking lot to prevent erosion of the gravel base.  In the winter, keep your asphalt surface clear of ice and snow so that when a freeze/ thaw cycle occurs, it doesn’t seep into any surface cracks or form pooling areas of water.

2. Crack Fill

Living in Alberta, asphalt cracks are unavoidable.  It’s common to find hairline cracks and there’s not a lot we can do about those.  If you see a crack over a ¼ inch, sweep it clean and call a professional to have it filled.  That little crack provides opportunity for water to erode the gravel base and weaken the asphalt structure. If it is left over the winter where a freeze/ thaw is bound to occur, the crack usually worsens and can lead to a pothole.

3. Seal Coat

Sealcoating provides a protective barrier that guards that asphalt from environmental factors such as UV rays, oil leaks and water.  Additionally, it fills in smaller cracks that may not be immediately visible.  With regular seal coating maintenance, you can reduce the damage that could lead to pothole formation in the future.  Remember that seal coating is only a preventative measure, not a repair solution.

4. Add a temporary patch if needed

If there’s a pothole forming on your asphalt surface, cold-mix asphalt can be used as a temporary solution to mediate any hazards the pothole has created and give some protection to asphalt’s base layer.  It is best to call an asphalt professional that can provide a proper, longer term fix with hot-mix asphalt. 

Final Thoughts

Taking the time to inspect and maintain your asphalt regularly is essential for preventing potholes. From regular cleaning and maintenance to seal coating and patching, there are a few steps you can take to save yourself time and money in the long run.

Don’t wait until it’s too late–start taking preventative action now.

If you’re dealing with potholes in your asphalt surface in Southern Alberta, Holloway Paving can help. We offer crack filling, seal coating and patching services to give you a smooth surface and keep your asphalt in the best shape possible.

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