In Northeast Ohio, hot mix asphalt is a seasonal product. It is typically available from April until early December. This can vary slightly, depending on weather patterns in a particular year.
As most commercial property owners and managers can attest, severe potholes can and do develop suddenly in dead of winter, out of season, when hot mix asphalt plants are closed. Often times, these holes are large, deep and pose a significant liability risk. Common potential problems include bent rims, flat tires, general undercarriage damage and trip/fall injuries. Then of course, there are the phone calls from complaining tenants and the general public.
The most common solution for major pothole repair in the winter is what is known as Cold Patch Asphalt. Unlike hot mix asphalt, which is received from the plant at just over 300 degrees Fahrenheit, Cold Patch is received and installed at ambient temperature. First, loose, broken asphalt and unwanted debris are removed. The Cold Patch asphalt It is then placed in the hole and compacted.
Cold Patch repairs are generally considered temporary and are intended to get you through the winter, until the hot mix plants reopen in the spring and a more permanent repair can be made. The success of a Cold Patch asphalt repair can not be guaranteed and will depend largely on the characteristics of the hole. The deeper the hole and the closer to vertical the wall of the edges, the better chance the repair will have of lasting. Bowl-shaped and shallow holes can’t contain the material as well and leave it prone to being pushed out of the hole. We don’t have this problem with hot mix asphalt because it sets up or hardens as it cools (within hours of placement) whereas Cold Patch asphalt must cure to harden, which takes a very long time.
Please call Buckeye Surface Maintenance if you find yourself in need of out-of-season pothole repair.