Pothole Patching

Over time and regular traffic, asphalt pavements accumulate pavement problems. It is essential to maintain and repair these in time as if maintenance isn’t done and taken care of, cracks grow, causing more damage – potholes are created as water seeps through cracks, and then they become craters.

The best time to seal the cracks is when the asphalt pavement is still in a reasonably good condition. The most crucial maintenance process is crack sealing, along with proper drainage. As water intrudes into a pavement structure, more pavement issues appear. Keeping water away from the pavement can avoid or delay major asphalt issues.

The pothole patching process is the reparation of imperfections of the asphalt-based road. It is an activity that is performed by the private contractors as well as municipality crews of your city for the maintenance of your area’s bridges and roads or your personal driveway.  

Two Methods of Pothole Patching

  • hot mix
  • cold mix 

The application of cold and hot mixtures is made using similar methods. This “Throw and go” is one of the most extensively used ways. Manual labor is utilized, and patching mix along with water or debris is thrown into the pothole and later, compacted with a shovel. This method is most widely used as its application is simple, and the ease of installation is quite high. However, the chances of failure are pretty high too.

The second step where the pothole needs a higher quality repair is the “throw and roll”- it involves throwing patching mixture again into the pothole. The process is done manually, and now water and debris don’t matter either – the process goes on regardless. Then, over the repaired pothole, a truck is driven slowly to compact the mixture. Ideally, the crown of the compacted patch should be in the range of 0.125-0.25″. It is slightly time-consuming, and of course, requires professional equipment, but the pothole patch is much more durable and long-lasting as the compaction is done through the rollers of a truck.

Pothole Preparation

Semi-permanent repair is the best method for pothole patching. In this method, any debris or water is completely removed from the pothole. Then, the pothole is squared. A pavement saw is utilized to cut all uneven edges and make a square or a rectangular-shaped hole. Before applying the patching mix, the pothole is once again cleaned. Eventually, using a vibratory plate compactor or a single drum roller for the compaction to be complete. This type of patch is the longest and the tightest method used. However, more workers and equipment are required in the field, and it also consumes a lot more time.

A variation of the semi-permanent method includes making use of large propane torch, which are also called “roofing torches.” The pothole is dried and heated through the flame, and as the hole is warmed and dried, “tack” – a bonding compound is used to install it. Then, the application of tarmac is made, and then compaction is completed. As compared to the “throw and go” method, this will last for many years and is used by most municipalities.

Pothole Finalization

 If tack is used during the reparation process, it’s sprayed or brushed on a clean, squared pothole. If you’re wondering what “tack” is – it is a material utilized for the promotion of adhesion of the pothole surface and the pothole patch mix. Lastly, the application of this pothole patching tack mixture is done and then compaction using the most favorable method the contract uses. A top coat of “Tack” is then sprayed on an overlapping patch.

Although it can be costly, it is essential to patch the potholes no matter what. They not only help in giving a good impression to the ones driving over but also provides safety, which is a priority is everyone’s lives and a goal for any commercial business or municipality.