Potholes evolve mainly due to environmental factors such as fluctuating temperatures, heavy traffic, and even the powerful heat emitted from the sun’s ultraviolet rays.
Potholes can form at any time of the year but are often more common during the springtime. This is because the sub-zero temperatures cause any moisture within the asphalt to freeze and expand. As the temperatures increase with the help of the sunlight, the melting liquid underneath the asphalt causes gaps to form. The weight of foot traffic and vehicle traffic over these gaps weakens the asphalt surface and a pothole appears from the collapse of the asphalt.
It should be noted that parking lots that often have a high number of potholes may have a weak foundation base for the asphalt surface. This can be caused by poor construction of the initial foundation in the parking lot. The underlying surface, or base, of the asphalt needs to meet specific requirements to support the integrity of the asphalt itself.
A pothole is more than just a depression or opening in the surface of a parking lot or road. It can cause serious injury to the vehicle’s occupants as well as render a vehicle unworthy of driving.
With a pothole(s), a parking lot can be an invitation for serious injuries to employees, clientele, and other visitors to your business. The hazard of stepping into a pothole can result in significant liability claims against the property owner. Even a small asphalt depression can cause someone to trip and possibly fall, causing a sprain or a broken bone. A driver may also be injured if their vehicle hits a larger pothole and/or causes an accident.
Damage to a vehicle may also raise the risk of a liability claim as a pothole can cause significant damage to the internal system of a vehicle as well as bust a tire. A property owner may be liable for replacement of bent rims, flat tires, and repairs to the suspension system of a vehicle. Hitting a pothole at just the right sped and angle can destroy shocks, struts, and damage a vehicle’s chassis.
A pothole can be detrimental to the structural components of a parking lot. Without immediate attention, a small pothole can lead to damage to the surrounding infrastructure of the area as well as damage the underlying foundation. As the asphalt weakens, any rainfall, snow, and vehicle fluids can be absorbed, thus weaking the pavement, and eventually requiring the entire area to be replaced rather than just repaired.