Rough Road Ahead: 4 Common Causes of Potholes

When you care for a commercial property or large complex, you must care for the building, the equipment, and the people who work or live there. You’re likely also responsible for the condition of the parking lot and any private roads on the property.

As a property owner, one of the most frustrating forms of damage comes in the form of potholes. Even small potholes can create unsafe road conditions, leading to vehicle damage, user complaints, and decreased safety for both pedestrians and drivers.

Understanding these road defects is an important part of preventing potholes from forming and from growing. In this blog, we list four of the most common contributors to potholes.

1. Chemical Spills

Any event that damages your pavement can lead to pothole development over time. Chemical spills, most commonly diesel fuel, oil, or gasoline, can seep into the asphalt. Many of these chemicals can degrade the binders in your pavement, making the surface vulnerable to cracks and pitting.

If you notice a chemical spill, have an asphalt contractor evaluate the damage as soon as possible. There is no way to reverse the effect that automotive fluids and other harsh chemicals have on asphalt. Your best choice to avoid future holes is to remove and replace the affected pavement.

2. Expansion and Contraction From Seasons


Most potholes seem to appear after the rainy seasons. This perception comes from the amount of potholes caused by the rains during the wet months. Well-built roads are intended to channel moisture and prevent deep puddles. However, when water seeps into the pavement it causes cracks. These forces eventually allow rain water to seep into the underlying base where the problem can quickly grow worse.

Take care of your asphalt as soon as new defects appear.


3. Poor Drainage

Water can wear away at the surface of your asphalt. You may notice that more potholes form in low areas whether water flows to and stands for long periods of time.

To prevent potholes resulting from poor drainage, you must address the drainage issues on your property. Levelling or redesigning an area can reduce the amount of asphalt repair you need in the future.

5. Thin Pavement

When asphalt becomes thin due to age, improper installation or heavy use, the asphalt becomes more susceptible to damage from pressure or impact. Once your pavement cracks, your chances of pothole development increase.

To ensure your pavement remains in good condition, always have an experienced professional handle repairs. Have a trusted professional assess your pavement each year to identify thinning pavement.


Pay attention to these factors to identify at-risk spots on your pavement and prevent new potholes from forming.

Want to prevent potholes in your parking lot? Or do you have a history of frequent defects in your asphalt? Consult with the expert team at Sealcoating America. We provide repairs, but we also offer the recommendations and services you need to strengthen your pavement in the long run.