How to Repair Potholes

There are many methods that property managers and homeowners can go about repairing potholes. We recommend calling at least 3 contractors to provide estimates. Consider the longevity and cost of repairs when making the final decision.

1.     Saw & Cut – this is the traditional method for repairing potholes.  Typically a crew of 3-4 will cut a square around the repair area and remove all of the asphalt in the square.  Next, the new asphalt is dropped in the repair area and the asphalt is rolled level with the existing asphalt.  The last step is to apply a bead of tar around the repair area to blend the new and existing asphalt and keep water out of the repair.  This type of fix works well when repair needs to go down to the base however, it does not typically keep water out of the repair even with the tar bead.  Water will find its way into the repair area since there is a small gap between the new and existing asphalt.  Once water gets into the repair area, it is only a matter of time until the water creates another pothole.

2.    Cold Patch – This is a repair that most homeowners and property managers can do themselves.  Most home improvement stores such as Home Depot and Lowes sell cold patch products such as QPR.  Remove the debris from the pothole and sweep out the dust.  Open the bag of cold patch and pour the bag into the hole.  Be sure to read the directions on the bag so that you know how many bags are required.  Compress the area with a hand tamper to level out the material.  This method works well for a quick fix but the repairs typically don’t last more than a few months because water gets the chance to leak into the repair and break up the material.

3.    Infrared Repair – This type of repair has been in use for the last 25 years but it hasn’t been until the last 5 years that technology allowed infrared to be so mobile and efficient.  An infrared only requires a crew of two people and one truck.  The crew sweeps the area clean and lowers the infrared heater over the repair area.  The area is heated for approximately 6-8 minutes and then the repair area is raked.  IMPORTANT – a 6 inch perimeter around the heated repair area is left untouched.  Some of the old asphalt is removed and fresh asphalt is placed in the repair area.  The outside perimeter of the repair is “pinched” with a vibrating roller so the new asphalt thermally bonds with the existing asphalt eliminating the seam that is caused by a saw/cut or cold patch.  The repaired area will blend nicely with the existing area and the repair will last for years since there isn’t a seam between the existing and old asphalt.