When Should You Consider Repaving A Driveway With Potholes?

Posted on: 31 January 2023

Nearly any asphalt driveway will eventually develop potholes. These annoying problems develop over time due to acute problems such as drainage issues or normal long-term wear and tear. In many cases, potholes form over long periods, often starting as relatively minor cracks or indentations that wear down from repeatedly bearing the weight of cars driving over them. 

Potholes are annoying to drive on, can damage your car's suspension or tires, and may even result in additional driveway damage by allowing moisture to seep beneath the asphalt. Ignoring potholes can ruin your driveway, but what can you do about them? And should you consider repaving your driveway if you have one or more severe potholes?

Understanding How Potholes Form

To evaluate whether pothole damage to your driveway is severe enough to require repaving, it's important to understand why the potholes exist. In many cases, the progression of a pothole is a good clue to its underlying cause. For example, a pothole that forms slowly after many years may result from weakened asphalt or heavy usage.

On the other hand, the appearance of a sudden, large crack or raised area often indicates a problem with frost heaving. Frost heaving occurs when water seeps below the surface of your driveway, expanding and cracking the asphalt above. More water can then enter this damaged area, creating an air void that will eventually collapse into a pothole.

The age of your driveway is another good clue to the underlying cause of your potholes. An asphalt drive should last well over twenty years, so potholes in a younger asphalt surface might indicate an issue with drainage. On the other hand, potholes in a much older driveway may indicate that the asphalt is deteriorating from regular usage.

Deciding How to Address Potholes

One or two relatively minor potholes on a fairly new asphalt driveway are a fixable problem. Any experienced paving company should be able to fill and patch these holes, restoring the surface and protecting your driveway from further damage. It's often a good idea to sealcoat your driveway after these repairs to also restore its appearance. Your contractor should also check for drainage issues.

Numerous potholes on an older driveway are often harder to address, especially if there are other signs of asphalt deterioration, such as raveling or large cracks. The surface may be beyond repair in these cases, and older driveways often have more complex drainage problems. Attempting to repair individual potholes on these driveways may be little more than a costly temporary repair.

An asphalt paving contractor can evaluate your driveway and help you choose the most cost-effective option for your needs and budget. If your driveway is old and deteriorating, repaving instead of making individual pothole repairs may ultimately save you more money.

To learn more, contact a company like D & E Construction Co Inc.