Initially, potholes seem like a problem on the average driver worries about. After all, these nuisances can completely damage a vehicle’s struts and tires. A study reveals that pothole damages cost American drivers $3 billion a year.
But drivers aren’t the only ones worrying about potholes. Real estate agents don’t like them either.
Potholes can cost real estate agents a deal since they lower a property’s value, especially if these holes sit on privately maintained roads. Multiple, deep potholes in a neighborhood with plenty of homeowners tell a prospective home buyer that they may end up paying for the road repairs, which can discourage them from considering the property in the first place.
Instead of letting potholes compromise the value of your property, prevention should be a priority. Whether it’s considering asphalt repair with a cold patch or thinking about infrared repair, it’s important to address potholes now before they discourage more homeowners from your property.
Why Potholes Happen
Potholes begin as small cracks in the pavement. During the winter, these cracks contract and expand with the freeze/thaw cycles. As the cracks expand, more moisture (from the melting snow and rain) reaches beneath the pavement’s surface. The moisture weakens the pavement’s base, causing a drastic shift when cars drive over it. The result: an unsightly pothole.
Pavements develop more potholes when the temperature drops due to the expansion of wet materials. The moisture pushes the pavement surface up. After countless freeze-thaw cycles, a small space appears between the base and the asphalt pavement.
Regular traffic creates a depression in the pavement, which marks the beginnings of a pothole. The longer you leave a pothole untreated, the larger and deeper the hole will become. It will also accelerate the pavement’s deterioration.
Instead of brushing off potholes as small holes in the ground, it’s more cost-effective to have them repaired as soon as possible. Otherwise, you will have a harder time trying to sell your properties.
Pothole Repair Options: What’s the Best Way?
While potholes are unavoidable, they can still be minimized through proper pavement construction and design, as well as a regular maintenance program that involves timely overlays, seal coatingand crack repair. These programs prevent potholes from further damaging the pavement, enabling you to sell homes at better prices.
But when potholes occur, there are many ways to repair them, depending on the client’s (or your) budget and goals.
• High-performance mix. Available in bulk or in bags, these materials combine emulsion and aggregate specially formulated to adhere to the pavement, as well as to resist the effects of moisture. Manufacturers of high-performance mixes offer products formulated for specific climates so contractors can use mixes that match their climate. The most expensive variation of high-performance mixes is the cold mix asphalt because it lasts longer compared to the other products.
• Throw-and-go. This is the quickest and most affordable way to repair a pothole (in the short term). All you have to do is fill the hole with cold mix asphalt and let the mixture sit above the surface. Next, compact the filling with a cold mix. It does the job but for a short time only.
• Spray patching. Many manufacturers also make trailer- and truck-mounted units for spray patching. The process involves air pressure blowing debris and water from the pothole, applying a tack coat on the bottom and insides of the pothole, using air pressure to blow away the aggregate and asphalt into the hole and patching up the area with another layer of aggregate.
• Infrared repair. Similar to the Throw-and-Go approach, this option is not a long-term solution for pothole problems. Still, you can use this approach to delay or prevent potholes. Plus, it is an affordable way to repair potholes and improve the look of the pavement. With this repair method, a contractor uses an infrared unit to heat the surrounding area. After heating the area, the contractor must rake the pavement and fill the hole with asphalt mix.
• “Remove and replace.” Unlike the other approaches, the “Remove and Replace” approach takes more time and is more laborious. It can also be pricier compared to the other approaches mentioned above. But it yields the best results and improves the pavement’s overall structure for a longer time. This method involves the following steps:
o Setting up traffic control around the worksite. Pay attention to the traffic flow and pedestrian traffic of low-volume roads and parking lots. Also, set up traffic control to guide people and traffic away from your work zone.
o Use spray paint or chalk to mark the edges of the area to be removed. Extend the area to be removed into a stable part of the pavement, too.
o Remove the damaged pavement. Saw cutting or milling is the best method for these since they produce a clean edge.
o Replace the base aggregate if needed.
Potholes may seem small nuisances at first, but they can have a big impact on your property’s value. Instead of brushing them off, it’s best to have them repaired immediately.