Potholes are the greatest enemy of roads. You likely know them well, those depressing hollows on a road that make you wince and curse when you hit them. Potholes tend to appear out of nowhere. You only know they are there when it’s too late.
Repairing a pothole on the road can be easy or complicated, depending on the repair method you are using. In some cases, all you have to do is throw a mixture into a pothole, compact it a little using a shovel and then drive away. In other instances, you may have to pulverize the pothole and apply an entirely new pavement.
You will need asphaltic patch materials to fix potholes. These include aggregate and a binder, which are either hot or cold. Coldmix asphalt is usually the more popular option, although both are proven to be effective. Once you have these materials, check out the various methods of pothole repair below that will guarantee a smooth ride on the road.
1. Throw-and-Roll Repair
This is the most basic method of repairing potholes. It’s as simple as placing asphalt patch materials inside a pothole and then driving over it using a tractor, a bulldozer, or a large truck; any heavy vehicle will do. While the throw-and-roll repair method provides temporary pothole relief, it only momentarily improves a pothole. It also has a high failure rate. Only use it in the absence of other, better choices.
2. Throw-and-Go Method
This is the most common pothole repair method (and perhaps the most useless), mainly because it’s easy to implement. It’s also not costly to apply. To apply the throw-and-go method, get a shovel and throw material into the hole and then get on with your day. Leave the compaction work to traffic.
This method doesn’t care if the pothole has debris or water. The aim is to fill the darn pothole and leave the rest to traffic. The relevant authorities can come later to apply a more durable pothole repair method. If you have the time, you can use the shovel to slightly compact the material you’ve just thrown into the pothole.
3. Semi-permanent Pothole Repair Method
In spite of the “semi” used in the name, this pothole repair method is actually one of the best, seconded only by full-depth road replacement (discussed later). To apply this method, start by removing debris and water from the pothole. Next, cut cleanly along the pothole’s sides.
The aim is to trim it back so the new pothole can be on sound pavement. The next stage involves placing the patch solution inside the pothole. Once this is done, compact the patch by using a vibratory plate or roller. Make sure the patch area is larger than the vibratory plate!
4. Spray-injection Hole Repair
Although the spray-injection method of repairing potholes is similar to the semi-permanent one, you need special equipment. The first step is to get the debris and water out of the pothole by blowing it out. Next, spray the bottom sides of the pothole with a binder tack coat. Blow aggregate and asphalt into the pothole and then cover the repaired section with another layer of aggregate.
With this repair method, you don’t have to compact the pothole once you’ve applied the solution.
5. Using Edge Seal to Repair Potholes
This method involves using the throw-and-roll repair and then filling the pothole. Once the pothole is appropriately filled, compact it using a heavy-duty vehicle. After this is done, place an asphaltic tack ribbon along the patch’s edge, so it overlaps the patch and the pavement. Next, apply sand on the tack to prevent tracking by car tires. That’s it! The potholes are gone!
6. Full-depth Roadway Hole Replacement
For the most efficient method of road pothole repair, go for full-depth roadway pothole replacement. While it’s a complicated method of repairing potholes, it’s highly effective.
However, this task is best left to a professional who knows what they are doing. It uses old asphalt to rebuild worn-out asphalt. This method involves pulverizing the old asphalt and then mixing it with water and cement. Next, it’s compacted to produce a base for concrete or an asphalt surface.
This pothole repair method works by completely removing the pothole and replacing it with new pavement.
7. Using the Cold-lay Pothole Repair Method
This method involves applying a cold-lay material by gradually layering it into the pothole. As it is compacted down using one’s hand or a compactor every time a layer is applied, it results in a new, durable surface.
The beauty of this pothole backfilling method is that vehicles can be allowed to drive over the pothole immediately after the task is completed.
8. Hot-work Repair method
This is a permanent pothole repair method that’s exceptionally durable. It uses machinery to heat and compress it. As it cools, it hardens and solidifies its bond with the asphalt in the surrounding area.