pothole on road

What Causes Potholes to Form in Pavement?

Potholes affect everyone in Canada irrespective of where we’re from. Every year after the snow clears, the roads are peppered with cracks and potholes. Paving companies are flooded with asphalt repair requests during this time. People are often unaware of why potholes are such a persistent problem. Curtis Paving is an asphalt expert, and in this blog, we’ll briefly explain how potholes are formed, how they impact us and how we can tackle them.

Potholes vary in size; some barely feel like a bump as you drive over them, others are gaping pits of impending disaster. The size of a pothole is a testament to the amount of time it has been left unrepaired.

They start small like most problems do. Water seeps into the asphalt through cracks in the surface – caused by the regular wear and tear of traffic, damage by utility work or pavement separation due to the heat in summer. During winter, this water freezes and expands underneath the surface, and when spring comes, it melts and evaporates, leaving hollow spaces in the asphalt. This weakens the structural integrity of the road, reducing its load-bearing capacity significantly. Traffic over these weak spots causes the asphalt to crumble and become potholes.

How Can We adapt to Tackle Potholes?

On an individual level, asphalt maintenance tips can be applied as preventive measures for potholes.

  • Keep your driveways clean and free of debris. This will ensure water doesn’t pool on the surface and seep into the asphalt

  • Apply sealant every 2-3 years. This will waterproof the pavement and ensure cracks don’t form

  • Repair small cracks as soon as they appear. This will ensure that cracks don’t grow and turn into potholes

The fluctuation in temperatures during the transition from winter to spring is disastrous to asphalt. If you see any cracks or potholes during winter, use cold-mix asphalt to fix it immediately. It is a quick and easy solution, ensuring there is no further damage to the asphalt.


Choosing the right paving company will make all the difference when it comes to asphalt repair. Curtis Paving has the reputation of being one of the best paving companies in and around Vancouver for over 36 years. Read our blog to learn more about repairing potholes during winter. We provide services such as excavation, base preparation, milling, patching, and high-quality pavement installation of driveways and parking lots.

Contact us for any commercial or residential asphalt paving services.

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