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What Causes a Pothole?

Posted by Johan J. Ingles-Le Nobel on 13/05/16 14:36

Potholes.. a thorn in the side of every driver...

We spend a lot of time thinking about how bothersome they are and the damage they are causing to our vehicles, but not much thought is put towards what causes them and how they end up there in the first place. 


Our roads are exposed to the elements constantly. They see all sorts of conditions, including ice, rain, direct sunlight and everything else we see weather wise throughout the year. This can have devastating effects on the material that roads are made from.


pothole cause



What Causes a Pothole?

Drivers Hate Them, But Drivers Cause Them

In addition to harsh and varying weather conditions wreaking havoc on our roads, some of the blame has to fall on the shoulders of those who hate potholes the most - drivers. Cracks, potholes, and other damage that makes travelling less than pleasant ,are caused by none other than those of us driving our vehicles everyday cursing about the state of the roads. Roads are not permanent structures and will deteriorate over time from the constant use and weight of travellers on them. As the roads we drive on get older, more and more deterioration will occur, resulting in fresh new potholes.

Water Is The Road’s Worst Enemy 

As we’ve already discussed, weather is a major factor in the deterioration of roads. However, more troublesome than harsh and extreme weather is water. Water is disastrous to roads, mostly because of the three level design from which they are built. When water is able to sit on the road’s surface and permeate, it accumulates under the road itself and settles into the sub-base. When this water expands and contracts due to temperature change, damage is caused from under the road itself, pushing on the surface and causing deterioration, effectively leaving a large hole in the road. 

No Climate is Safe

Those living in more temperate climates may think that potholes should not be an issue for them, as the roads there are never subject to freezing and other harsh elements. This is unfortunately not the case, and nowhere globally has been spared the nuisance of potholes. While there is no concern of water freezing and doing damage, drivers in warmer climatesare still victim to the effects of water seeping under the surface of the road and wear and tear caused by traffic. As soon as the roads surface is cracked or cut into in any way (even for roadwork or construction) the surface is compromised, water can seep in and the cycle of damage begins. 


Pothole Repair Options?

What are my options

Unfortunately, with no possible means of avoiding these troublesome bumps in the road, the only alternative is to repair them. There are many approaches to repairing potholes, such as quick patches to last until a better time of the year, or more permanent repairs where sections of the road are removed and replaced.

Temporary Pothole Repair

Click here to find out how to temporarily repair a pothole.  


Permanent Repairs

Hiring a professional will not only save you money but will ensure potholes are repaired effectively the first time. We are a one-stop, pothole repair shop and specialise in providing long-lasting, cost effective solutions to pothole repairs.


Find out more



Topics: Pothole Repair

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