Potholes

All You Need to Know About Potholes

Potholes – the bane of motorists everywhere. They can range from the size of a teacup to something big enough to swallow a house! Regardless of their size, how they form is pretty well the same whether you live in Nunavut or the warmest reaches of southern Ontario.

Next time you drive through a teeth-clattering pothole and your coffee spills all over your brand-new tie, you'll feel better knowing how the darn thing came to be. Here are the basics:

  • Most roads in Canada are built using the three-layer Macadam method. The bottom layer is compacted soil, over which lies the sub-base of larger stones. Over this layer is the asphalt as we know it. It is comprised of angular gravel that essentially locks together when compressed with a sticky blend of bitumen, oil by-products and curatives. Under ideal conditions, this layer of asphalt is watertight and drains water and snow off onto the road shoulders and into ditches and drains.
  • The problem starts because of a perfect storm of three factors: first, small cracks form in the asphalt under the heat of the day and constant traffic. This is followed by water and snow seeping through these cracks into the sub-layers. And finally, this water in the sub-layers washes out the supporting bases causing the uppermost asphalt layer to crumble under traffic pressure. Canada's harsh winters mean that the water that gets into the sub-layers can't escape down through the frozen ground. This water expands with freezing and contracts with thawing, speeding up the massacring of the blacktop.
  • The first sign of trouble comes in the form of “crocodile cracks” in the asphalt. Loose chunks of asphalt form between these cracks, which are then thrown out of the growing hole through the constant pressure of traffic mixed with the water that now fills the hole. Presto! You have a pothole!
Potholes result from four main causes:
  • Pavement too thin to support traffic during spring freeze/thaw periods
  • Inadequate drainage
  • Failure at man-holes and trenches
  • Failure to properly maintain and seal cracks before they admit moisture and compromise the integrity of sub-layers

This is where a paving contractor in Kitchener like K-W Cornerstone Paving can help. We can perform necessary asphalt repair before the potholes form.


For all your asphalt paving needs in Kitchener and the Southern Ontario region, contact K-W Cornerstone Paving today! We specialize in municipal, institutional, industrial and commercial asphalt repair in Kitchener, Cambridge and the surrounding area. As a paving contractor in Kitchener, we also do our part for the environment, using 30% post-consumer recycled material in our asphalt.


If it’s references you need, we've got them! K-W Cornerstone Paving has been in business for 60 years. We're a BBB accredited business and a member of the Kitchener Waterloo Chamber of Commerce.


K-W Cornerstone Paving can take care of all your non-residential asphalt paving needs in Kitchener. Give us a call at 519-743-6411.

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