How Potholes Form in Asphalt Roads

How Potholes Form in Asphalt Roads

Where do potholes come from, and why are they dangerous? Find out here.

Potholes are a famous road hazard, renowned for their annoying qualities and their dangerous ones as well. There is no road damage drivers have to face quite like a hole in the asphalt. Reliable Contracting has helped Maryland with construction projects for roughly 100 years and assists in maintaining its roads in neighborhoods, cities, and other areas alike. We are here to fix your roads’ potholes. For the curious at heart, here’s the answer to how potholes form in asphalt roads and related subjects.

The Dangers of Potholes

Potholes are holes in the road; more than a mere crack, they form a significant divot in the pavement that could be more or less extensive. Potholes are hazardous primarily because they can damage the vehicle. The abrupt force of running over a pothole can puncture tires or bend parts of the car or truck out of shape. 

They are also dangerous because they can cause the driver to lose control of the vehicle or swerve and accidentally hit other motorists. The impact of running into a pothole makes it serious enough to fix as soon as possible and a real threat to traffic.

How Potholes Form

Potholes form when water seeps underneath the top asphalt layer. Whether it is groundwater rising, stormwater seeping in from the side, or snow melting through surface cracks, the liquid will sit within the asphalt layers and erode it. 

During the winter and early spring, Maryland weather can see dramatic temperature swings. If water is sitting within the pavement, it will freeze, thaw, and freeze again repeatedly, making its air pocket bigger and bigger. Eventually, it will cause a road crack to widen or crumble open under traffic. 

How to Fix Potholes

According to The Southern Maryland Chronicle, the Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) fixes around 34,000 potholes in the state yearly. In the winter, companies like Reliable Contracting use cold mix asphalt to patch up potholes. However, these repairs tend to break down faster and need a permanent fix with warm or hot mix asphalt when the temperature rises above 50 degrees Fahrenheit. 

How to Prevent Potholes

Due to the limited lifespan of asphalt, potholes will always form eventually. However, quick asphalt crack repairs and routine maintenance can lengthen the pavement’s life. When duty calls, Reliable Contracting is here to help!


Reliable is dedicated to delivering quality products, displaying professionalism within the firm, seeking new opportunities for expansion and profitability, and providing an environment for individual success. If you have a commercial or residential construction project that you need taken care of, please contact Anne Arundel County’s largest site-work contractor today by calling 410-987-0313 or visiting our website. You can also follow Reliable Contracting on Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Twitter!

Reliable Contracting Company serves the following and surrounding counties: Annapolis, Queen Anne’s, Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Baltimore City, Calvert, Caroline, Charles, Howard, Prince George, St. Mary’s, Talbot, and Washington D.C.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, January 3rd, 2023 at 11:30 am. Both comments and pings are currently closed.