Fixing Potholes: Tips for DIYers

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Fixing Potholes: Tips for DIYers

7 September 2021
 Categories: Construction & Contractors, Blog

Potholes are common road problems. Generally, when water collects under the road or pavement over time, it expands and contracts repeatedly, causing bending and cracking of the pavement material. Eventually, the cracks become potholes. Potholes come in different sizes and shapes, and they can cause significant safety issues when driving or wreak havoc to your vehicle. Bent rims, tyre punctures, exhaust system damage, suspension damage, and engine damage are some of the car problems potholes can cause.

If you are responsible for the maintenance of the road in your home or leading to your home, you can save some money by fixing potholes yourself. With the right tools and techniques, you can fix the potholes, and here are some quick tips to help you.

Prepping the Area

The first step to fixing potholes in a road is to prepare your working area, usually the spot with the potholes. Potholes have different shapes. Therefore, to make your repair work more effortless and create a durable patch, you must straighten the edges to make a square or rectangle. You can use various tools to do this, including a hammer and chisel or an asphalt saw. The size of the pothole will often determine the ideal tool to use. For instance, a hammer and chisel (you can use a screwdriver in place of a chisel) are usually best for small and medium-size potholes. However, for larger potholes, go for an asphalt saw to make the process faster.

Once you have prepped the hole, you must clean it. Cleaning is crucial because broken pieces of the damaged pavement and other materials can weaken your patch if they mix. Therefore, remove all the asphalt or pavement pieces that remained after straightening the edges. Also, get rid of any other dirt and debris like plants, and remember to sweep the area.

Prepping the Foundation

The foundation is crucial because it determines the longevity of your asphalt patch. Therefore, ensure you have a solid base. To do this, fill the hole with your aggregates, usually a mixture of sand and coarse gravel. Remember to tamp firmly as you do this. It's a crucial part of the repair because it prevents pits from forming after applying the patch.

Patching and Sealing

You can use a cold or warm patch for this step. While cold asphalt mixes tend to be easier to work with, their hot counterparts typically provide a longer-lasting patch. Like adding aggregates, remember to tamp as you go. You can use a hand tamper, but if you don't have one, place a piece of plywood on top of the patch and carefully drive over it. Once complete, give it a few hours to cure and add a seal coat. Sealcoating will prevent de-icing salt and other outdoor elements from damaging the patch. Also, remember to do this when it's warm for the perfect results.

For more information, contact road maintenance services.