The weather wasn’t quite what we expected at the end of 2018. It was one of the warmest years on record (coming in 4th) and the end of the year saw over an inch more rainfall than 2017. What does that mean exactly? Well, for us in the asphalt biz, more rainfall can mean the worst… more potholes! This time on the Sunrise Asphalt blog, we are looking at potholes, what causes them, damage signs to look for, and steps to take should you find you have one!
The Potholes Primer
How They Start
We’ve talked about how potholes form before but to put it briefly, it goes a little something like this.
- Water finds its way through cracks and weaknesses in the pavement.
- In the winter (or whenever it happens to dip below 32 degrees Fahrenheit) the water trapped in the pavement freezes and expands, pressing outward on the asphalt.
- When the freeze leaves, the water shrinks, the asphalt is no longer being pushed out it is sitting loosely.
- As vehicles drive over the asphalt surface, the weight and friction cause the loose asphalt to shift, throwing asphalt out of place and creating the beginnings of a pothole.
What to Look For
Worried you have a pothole developing? Aside from seeing a fully developed pothole, you can also look for cracks in the asphalt or wear and tear that might allow for moisture to works its way in. If the asphalt surface is thin it is particularly susceptible to breaking down and allowing for potholes to develop.
If you spot these, look at getting the asphalt repaired!
It might not just be the potholes that need repairing either! Frequently driving over potholes or hitting one particularly hard might send your car into the shop! If you see any of these signs, it might be time to take your car into the shop while you’re in a fixin’ mood.
Pothole Damage to Cars
Damaged Tires and Rims
Take a look at your tires. Are they not quite as round as they should be? If your tire has a strange bulge coming out the side of it, it could mean that the lining n the inside of the tire has been damaged. While it might be riding fine now, it will only get worse, and if it should be fully compromised while on the road – well that’ll be dangerous, to say the least! The tire rims themselves may also be bent which can be a costly repair themselves.
Shaky Steering Wheel
When you’re out on the road, it should be a smooth, easy ride. Cars are engineered of course to be comfortable ways to travel. If you find that you’re almost fighting your steering wheel to stay in control, then there might be something to look into! Potholes can knock your wheel alignment all out of whack and if it’s not addressed quickly it will only get worse.
Fluid Leaking from Your Car
Cars’ undercarriages are another frequent site of pothole damage. A pothole can easily scrape up the undercarriage and cause leaks. If you come out to your vehicle and see a puddle under the car you just might have pothole damage needing repair.
With a repaired vehicle and fixed pothole, you can get back to enjoying your drives! Need help repairing or laying a new asphalt drive? Have a parking lot in need of care? Well, you’ve come to the right place! Give us a call and we can work out what you need, and get you a free estimate!