How to fix potholes – Road workers fixing a pothole

How to Fix Potholes and What Causes Them

NZ roads can become profitable terrain for tyre businesses with the sheer number of potholes we have lying around, causing a nuisance up and down the country. As the weather turns, we can expect to see even more potholes popping up (or down) on our roads, so how do we fix our pothole problem? Here you’ll discover how to fix potholes and what’s causing this pesky problem on our roads.

What are Potholes?

Potholes are bowl-shaped depressions in the top layer of asphalt surfacing. When roads develop cracks, pieces of asphalt chip away under the traffic’s weight/movement, creating a hole with jagged vertical sides. Potholes may only begin as a small crack but can expand into holes up to a metre wide and over 10 centimetres deep.

What Causes Potholes?

Potholes form when road surfaces deteriorate due to wear and tear caused by several factors. The primary cause of potholes is water, which seeps into the pavement through cracks and causes the material to erode. The water freezes during cold weather, causing the pavement to expand and contract. This repeated expansion and contraction can cause the pavement to crack and weaken, forming potholes.

Heavy traffic is another significant cause of potholes. The constant weight of vehicles passing over the road surface can cause the pavement to wear down, resulting in cracks and potholes. This heavy traffic effect is why potholes always appear on your morning commute but nowhere else.

Poor road construction also contributes to potholes. If the pavement is not constructed correctly or the materials used are of poor quality, the road is more susceptible to potholes.

Methods for Fixing Potholes

Understanding how to fix potholes is a matter of familiarising yourself with the various methods and which approach is best for the size and severity of the damage. Here are a few of the most common ways to fix a pothole:

Hot Patching

Hot patching is the traditional method for repairing potholes and involves excavating the area around the hole and filling it with hot asphalt. The mixture is then compacted and smoothed out to create an even surface. This method is quite complex, requiring specialised machinery and expertise; it is ideal for larger holes.

Cold Patching

Cold patching is a straightforward process that requires minimal work and no extra machinery. Potholes are filled in with a specialised pre-mixed formula of asphalt polymers and packed in as tightly as possible. This method can be performed in any weather conditions but is more suited to smaller holes.

TSL Group is Making Our Roads and Your Tyres Safer

Bumpy roads begone! Potholes are common across New Zealand, thanks to our temperamental weather and love for a good roadie wearing down our roads. TSL Group is a leader in civil construction and traffic system management. With years of experience serving the NZ transportation systems market, we know how to fix potholes and can help you with any issues on driveways or private roads. Get in touch to learn more about our resin surfacing services.