Potholes can form any time of year, but during pothole season, they seem to multiply before our very eyes. Three elements contribute to pothole formation: surface cracks, water, and traffic. When the freeze-thaw cycle happens in early spring, it wreaks havoc on our roads, which is when pothole season occurs.
Because there’s not a lot we can do to prevent these things from happening, potholes are inevitable, and they’ve plagued humankind for hundreds of years.
All hope is not lost in the neverending battle against potholes, however. If you’re worried about losing the war against potholes this season, RockAsphalt© is the pothole repair product for you.
Freeze-thaw cycles severely degrade roads in the early months of spring
Causes of Pothole Season
Surface cracks provide an opportunity for potholes to form. They are caused by ground movement and changes in temperature.
Several things contribute to ground movement, including poor subsoils and swelling from groundwater. When the ground shifts or expands, it causes asphalt to crack. Earthquakes and freeze-thaw cycles are other potential causes of ground movement.
Extreme temperatures can also lead to surface cracks in asphalt. For example, the hot sun can dry out asphalt and weaken the chemical bonds that hold it together, causing it to crack.
Water seeps into surface cracks and erods base materials
Increased traffic and warming temperatures contribute to pothole season
Aggregate in asphalt is bound together with thermoplastic chemical binders made with oil by-products, and oil and water do not mix. Just like extreme temperatures can destroy asphalt binders, water can also break down these bonds and deteriorate the asphalt.
Proper drainage is essential. When puddles form on the road surface, water seeps through and accumulates in the roadbed, causing the ground to soften. This ground softening creates an opportunity for heavy traffic to damage the pavement.
Traffic plays a significant role in pothole formation. As vehicles drive over the pavement, they pound the road, which can cause the pavement to crack. When you combine surface cracks and water drainage issues with heavy traffic, you get potholes. The heavier the vehicles, the bigger the problem. That’s why residential roads that don’t have a lot of heavy traffic on them last much longer.
When the freeze-thaw cycle enters the equation, we get pothole season. In combination with surface cracks, water, and traffic, the freeze-thaw cycle quickly destroys asphalt roads.
The freeze-thaw cycle works like this: when temperatures drop below freezing, water seeps into the surface cracks in the pavement. When it freezes again, it expands. The repeated cycle of water seeping into cracks followed by ice expanding to widen them continues to deteriorate the road. Sometimes, the water comes from underneath the road surface. It can seep into cracks and expand upwards when it freezes.
The Solution to Pothole Season
Manufactured asphalt is basically just gravel covered with an oily glue binder. This oily glue breaks down quickly when it’s exposed to elements. The good news is that there’s a pothole repair solution that addresses all of the enemies of manufactured asphalt. Natural rock asphalt is crushed limestone, which is mined in Uvalde County. It has bitumen binders that instantly form a permanent, weather-resistant bond.
These bitumen binders are created from pressure exerted upon the limestone over millions of years. When the limestone is mined, crushed into asphalt, laid on the road, and compacted, the bitumen is excreted from the rocks, displacing air and moisture and creating a permanent bond.
Every year, road departments around the country spend billions of dollars fixing potholes with manufactured asphalt that isn’t going to hold up. Sometimes, a pothole repair job will only last a few weeks before water, ice, and traffic destroy the patch. RockAsphalt© is a pothole repair material that works so well it’s backed by a 3-year guarantee. Applying natural asphalt using a throw-and-roll application method is easy, and there’s no messy cleanup like with other asphalt products.
Fighting Back Against Pothole Season
There are a lot of great benefits with RockAsphalt©, but perhaps the best thing about it is that now you can fight back against potholes during pothole season, which is a game changer.
With other asphalt products, you have to wait for the weather to improve to use them. While you’re waiting for the weather to get better so you can throw down some cold patch asphalt, your potholes are getting bigger and bigger. Even if you do manage to temporarily patch roads with cold patch asphalt, you know you’re going to have to do it again in a few months.
But with RockAsphalt©, you have a pothole repair material that can be used any time of year, including in the middle of winter. And it’s not a temporary fix–it’s a permanent solution. Now, you can stop potholes in their tracks before they get big enough to swallow cars.