Do you constantly wonder when pothole season is? Sometimes it feels like it’s all the time. Even though it feels that way, it really isn’t.
We’d love to give you a definite timeline where you’re bound to see potholes. Unfortunately, it changes from region to region, based on your local climate. In general winter to spring is going to bring on more occurrences of potholes - so drive safer. If you manage a road or parking lot, know that this is the time of the year where you’ll have to pay a closer eye on maintenance.
Why does the weather affect potholes?
Potholes are caused by weakening of asphalt, which is caused by a weakening of the subbase - and that is generally caused by two things: water, and wear and tear. Preventative measures can be taken against both of these, but sometimes things still happen.
Do you live in a coastal region?
Because your weather is prone to change often, you have more freeze and thaw cycles than those who live more inland. During those freeze and thaw cycles, water has more possibility of getting underneath or within the asphalt. That alone may weaken the asphalt a little - but during the freeze and thaw cycles, that water will expand, return to normal, and expand. Each time the water changes, the asphalt will be pushed with it and weaken.
Do you live in a climate with flooding?
If flood seasons bring water over your asphalt, this will be a time of the year to watch closely. After all, as we’ve learned, water causes problems for your asphalt pavement.
Even climates without freeze and thaw cycles can have pothole seasons. Extremely hot and humid regions will find their hottest times will lead to an increase in potholes. Heat and direct sunlight can weaken asphalt, leading to cracks over time.
Pothole season differs a lot depending on where you live. Luckily, when you know what time of the year your climate is apt to get more potholes, you can prepare. For those in the Hampton Roads area, you can expect pothole season to be from around winter to early Spring - and any time there’s a hurricane or other heavy storm that can bring flooding. If you want to prepare before pothole season comes, call your local asphalt paver - we’d love to hear from you!