Monthly Archives: July 2022

What happens if a pothole damages your car?

car pothole

Pothole Damages

Well, winter has already come and gone, folks. And while this winter wasn’t anything like it was in February 2021, there was still some ice and snow. And you know what that ice and snow can do to the roadways! Yup, potholes, and most cities, counties, and towns still haven’t got caught up with all the pothole repairs needed from the previous winter, much less from the past few months.

What is a pothole in a road?

Potholes are caused by groundwater contracting and expanding under the pavement, much like when we make ice cubes in the freezer. The same thing happens when water gets under the pavement and the ground freezes with frozen ice and snow on top of the pavement. As the ice freezes under the pavement, it takes up space making the pavement expand. As it expands, it bends and cracks, becoming weak. 

Then the ice and snow melt, and cars drive over the bent, cracked, weakened pavement. The weakened material gives way to that weight, and thus, a pothole is created! With the amount of traffic we have today, it is challenging for municipalities and states to keep up with pothole repairs. 

Who is responsible for pothole repairs?

Pothole repair responsibilities depend on where the potholes are located. If they are on city streets, the city is responsible. Likewise, if they are on county roads, the county is responsible for pothole repairs, and on state highways, the state is responsible. 

For pothole repairs on private property, like shopping centers and malls, and office campuses, the owner of the property is responsible. For public property like government and school campuses, the maintenance crews for each entity are responsible for any pothole repairs.

How do you solve a pothole problem?

Prevention is the best method of solving a pothole repair problem! This requires a consistent routine of placing specialized materials into cracks that will prevent water from intruding into the cracks and the layers of pavement. 

Applying a light layer of diluted slow-setting asphalt emulsion over an aged pavement surface will reduce potholes and pothole repairs, and slow the deterioration of the pavement and cracks spreading. A thin layer of a surface treatment combined with asphalt and a fine aggregate will prevent water intrusion. Filling distressed pavement will seal the pavement and minimize cracking. 

How do you repair a pothole on a road?

It is important to try and make pothole repairs before they actually become a pothole. The longer it is left alone, the larger the pothole can get, setting the scene for damaged vehicles. For a private property owner, like a shopping center, this is leaving open the possibility of liability repairs to vehicles. The following are two pothole repair methods: 

Cold-Patch Pothole Repair

Cold-patch pothole repair is the most common method for filling potholes. Durable, easy to use, and economical providing a lasting repair.

Step One – Clean the pothole of large loose rocks and debris.

Step Two – Pour and spread the cold-patch material into the pothole so that it is level and a half-inch above the surface. This allows room for the material to be compacted.

Step Three – Compact the cold patch pothole repair material using a hand tamper. You can also drive over it a few times for the same results. 

Water Activation Cold-Patch Pothole Repair

There is a new water-activated pothole repair, similar to the cold-patch technology and has a fast setting for a permanent pothole repair. This is quickly becoming more popular for road maintenance crews and private property owners with a high success rate.

Step One – Clean the pothole of large loose rocks and debris.

Step Two – Pour and spread the cold-patch pothole repair material into the pothole so that it is level and a half inch above the surface. This allows room for the material to be compacted.

Step Three – Before compacting the material, spread a generous amount of water over the patch material and allow it to soak into pothole repair material. The water activates the fast curing mechanism.

Step Four – Compact the cold patch pothole repair material using a hand tamper. You can also drive over it a few times for the same results.

pothole

What is the best method of pothole patching and repair?

The products and steps described above are a semi-permanent procedure for pothole repairs and are considered by experts to be the best procedure in place of doing a full-depth replacement to damaged areas. If a roadway or parking lot is too severely damaged, pothole repairs may not be an option. 

Do cities pay for pothole damage?

While government entities are responsible for maintaining the repair and keeping roads safe in Texas, including pothole repairs, the law states that cities are not held responsible for any vehicle damage caused by potholes or other street debris.

Can you sue for pothole damage to your car?

In Texas, you can sue the city where your car was damaged by potholes, and they may pay you for repairs to the car. However, as stated above, the state law protects cities from being held responsible. You may also be wondering – can I claim for damage from a pothole, and if so, how do I claim for hitting a pothole that caused the damage?

Despite the state law, there are citizens and motorists that still want to proceed with filing a claim. To that end, the state has a formal process; the form and process are available on the Texas Department of Transportation’s website. 

Closing Thoughts

With the roadways in the condition, they are today, the best thing a driver can do is drive with caution. Keep the recommended distance between you and the car in front of you. This will enable you to see potholes before you hit them. Slow down on unfamiliar roads, and always use your headlights starting at dusk.

eSquared Asphalt Maintenance helps with pothole repairs in Waco and Temple, TX. Call 254-716-8685 today.

Understanding the Pavement Striping Process

an empty parking lot with yellow marks on the pavement

When you park your car at the doctor’s office or the shopping center, you’re probably aiming your car between some yellow lines. Those yellow lines indicate parking spaces, some have the blue and white handicap striping for handicap parking only, and some may have letters or numbers if the parking lot has assigned spots.  Rarely do you find parking lots or roadways without pavement striping.

Some parking lots can be a madhouse, like retail stores during holiday seasons.  Can you imagine how hairy carry it would be in parking lots without pavement striping and markings? While those fire lane stripings seem to be taking up valuable parking space, think how frightening it would be if first responders couldn’t get to the door! 

Yes, there is a means to the madness of pavement striping just like it is for the roadways to be striped. Keeping traffic organized, keeping humans organized. That’s a big task for stipes of paint!  So, what types of pavement stripings are there that can take on that big of task on the roadways? 

There are several types of pavement striping, and they all have a specific meaning.  Some pavement striping will have different meanings in different areas, but here are the basics that mean the same across the board: 

White Road Lines: These are intended to keep traffic separated while moving in the same direction and there are three types: 

  • Single Broken White Line: You can cross these to change lanes if safe to do. 
  • Single Solid White Line: These indicate do not cross except in an emergency.
  • Double Solid White Line: These indicate do not cross for any reason.

Yellow Road Lines: These are intended to keep traffic separated while moving in opposite directions and there are four types: 

  • Broken Yellow Line: These indicate you can change lanes if safe to do so.
  • Solid Yellow Line: These indicate do not pass.
  • Solid Yellow Line with Broken Yellow Line: These indicate that if you’re on the right side of the broken yellow line, passing traffic is allowed. If you are on the left side of the solid yellow line, do not pass traffic. 
  • Double Solid Yellow Lines: You may drive on the left side of the double yellow line. 

Edge Lines: The double yellow lines are indicating this is a no-passing zone. You may only drive on the left side as you enter/exit a roadway, the lane is blocked, or there is an HOV lane entrance. Additional types of edge lines are for indication of where the paved roadway ends, white for the right and yellow for the left or for one-way roads. 

Pavement Arrows: Pavement striping of arrows indicate which way traffic should flow. When they exist, you must only drive in the direction indicated by the arrows.

Reversible Lanes: Reversible traffic lanes pavement striping is intended to improve traffic flow, particularly during rush hours, and is often paired with traffic signs and lane signals.

Diamond Symbols & HOV Lanes: Diamond symbols indicate a special purpose lane like HOV lanes, which typically have certain times that are restricted for HOV traffic. 

How do you paint lines on pavement?

Pavement striping is necessary to show clear indications for traffic flow, parking authorization, and handicap-only designated parking. There are two ways this pavement striping can be done: 

  1. Manually, using a four-inch paint roller, and painting over a chalk outline. 
  2. Machine, with a parking lot line that paints straight lines on asphalt or concrete surface. 

Both methods are sufficient for pavement striping after completing the required prepping pavement for striping based on the type of paint used.  The types of paint used for pavement striping are: 

  • Water-Based Paint: This is the most used type of paint for pavement striping due to the low cost and fast drying. Spills are cleaned up easily with minimal damage to the area around the spill. 
  • Solvent-Based Paint: Instead of a water base, this paint has a chemical substance base, several types are within this type of pain, primarily acetone or epoxy. Where water base pavement striping paint doesn’t hold up well in cold/wet areas, these paints do not freeze.
  • Thermoplastic: This isn’t a type of paint, but a plastic that liquifies as heat is applied and then solidifies as it cools down into place. Available in pre-cut pieces to make applying easy with arrows, letters, and symbols. 

Should I hire a professional for pavement striping?

Yes, by having your parking lot or roadway done by a professional pavement striping company, you will know it has been done properly with the correct painting materials for the surface. Professional pavement striping companies have the latest information on what is required by law for a parking lot and roadways, which will assure you that your property is done within the established laws. 

white marks on a city street indicating pedestrian crossing

In Closing 

You’re anxious to get your business open for clients or patients, and you’ve had to complete so many levels of “must-dos” already!  So, how long does pavement striping take? The actual process will depend on the size of the parking lot or roadway needing pavement stripping, but the drying process is usually complete within 15 minutes of application. However, it is recommended to keep traffic off the area for a full 24 hours to allow time for curing.