Potholes can vary in size and shape and they are the result of the occurring expansion and contraction of ground water after it has entered the ground under the pavement. During colder seasons, ground water can freeze and expands. When this happens, it can take up a lot more space under the pavement and the same expansion can weaken the paving material, especially asphalt. When the ice starts melting, the paved surface will then contract leaving voids and gaps in the ground under the pavement where water can easily get trapped.
If this cycle happens repeatedly, the paved surface will deteriorate and continue cracking. The continuous freezing and thawing, combined with spring rain weakens the pavement. As the weight of pedestrian and cars pass over the weak spot of the paved surface, pieces of the pavement material wear off, which will cause it to be displaced or broken down creating the pothole.
How to Repair Potholes on Asphalt Surfaces
Asphalt repair need to be that expensive if you are using the proper method. And while most of us would rather do it ourselves, hiring a professional contractor is more cost effective in the long run. While asphalt repair can be quite challenging during the winter season, it can be done. If your driveway or pathway is starting to create a public safety hazard, you really have no other choice but to repair it. If pothole repair is impossible to delay until spring, cold mix asphalt can be used for patching potholes.
Cold Mix Asphalt for Patching Potholes
Cold mix asphalt is a more feasible repair option in colder weather than the traditional hot or warm mix asphalt. The cold mix is made by mixing bitumen emulsion or cutback with cold aggregates.
The advantages of using cold mix asphalt instead of the traditional hot mix include:
- It can be used at low temperatures.
- This is very cost effective because excess cold mix can be stored for six months or so after production.
- Cold mix asphalt remains more flexible because of its extended cure time compared to a hot mix that easily becomes rigid and stiff.
Some contractors also add anti-stripping agents for a more durable and hard–wearing finish. In the past, cold mix asphalt has been used as temporary patching material particularly if hot mix asphalt is not readily available.