How to Fix a Pothole

What is a Pothole?

A pothole is simply a cavity or depression in a surface most typically found in asphalt pavement. They are caused by water expanding and contracting underneath the service, and in a place like Minnesota where the seasons change dramatically, those effects are exponentially higher.  Once a pothole is formed it can be damaged even further by moving traffic, machinery, and other activities that take place on the surface.

a pothole is filled with water

What are the Solutions?

What is Pothole Patching?

There are a few ways to go about fixing a pothole depending on the severity of the damage, the location of the pothole, and the overall health of the rest of the surface. If a pothole is large and in the main passage of traffic you will want to get it fixed ASAP. This will usually entail cold-patching the pothole. For the do-it-yourselfer this is the method that you would want to use for a pothole repair. It’s a pretty simple procedure, and the supplies can be picked up at many hardware stores. This will result in a patched pothole very quickly, but it won’t be a permanent solution. Eventually, the pothole will start to reveal itself again, in which case you may patch it again or look to other solutions.

If you’re looking for a more professional patching solution you would hire someone to perform a “skin patch“. This is where the company will professionally clean out your potholes, and then fill it in with hot asphalt material. This is still a short-term solution, but it will last longer than the cold patching solution and look more professional overall.

A picture of an asphalt parking lot with Skin Patching Pothole Repair

The Next Step Up in Pothole Repair

If you’re looking for an even more professional solution that will last longer, the next step up in pothole repair involves saw-cutting the area around the pothole and then filling it in with new asphalt. This will definitely require a professional, as there are many steps involved and accuracy is very important to make sure the final repair is strong, even, and safe. This is basically re-doing that piece of your surface and bringing it up to the standard that it was when it was first poured. This is a more permanent solution than patching, but it will cost more upfront.

An orange construction cone sits on top of a square of new asphalt that was poured to fix a pothole.

The Final Pothole Solution: Full Replacement

Sometimes your surface has so much damage and so many potholes that it warrants a completely new surface. If you have a parking lot for instance, and the amount of damage is continuing to grow year after year, it may be time to consider replacing the entire parking lot rather than trying to fix all of the potholes each year. This is by far the most expensive solution, but it will also last the longest and look the nicest. This would also be the time to consider switching to concrete if you currently have asphalt.

A completed parking lot is pictured from a drone above. Asphalt parking lot with yellow lines.

So What Should You Do?

There is no one size fits all solution for pothole repair. Some potholes aren’t very intrusive, aren’t very large, and are easily patched and forgotten about for a while. Some potholes can do serious damage and need attention often. It all comes down to weighing your options and deciding what is the best move forward based on your budget and the severity of your issues. Professional contractors like Goodmanson Construction offer solutions from skin patching to full replacements, so you’ll often be able to get a professional opinion as well as multiple quotes that fit your price point. If you would like to get an estimate from Goodmanson Construction, please fill out the estimate request here, or give us a call!

I hope this helped you understand the world of pothole repair a little bit better, and helped point you in the right direction. Thanks for visiting us!

Related Posts
Commercial Property ADA Compliance: What You Need to Know

It’s critical to keep your business and building up to snuff for ADA compliance. The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) put into place some specific laws and practices […]

read morebutton arrow
How Much Does It Cost To Build A Parking Lot (2022 Update)

As a business owner, one of the biggest expenses you’ll deal with on the outside of your building will likely be the parking lot. If you have a large parking […]

read morebutton arrow
Pouring Concrete In The Rain: Can It Be Done & How To Do It

You’ve got everything lined up, the concrete is getting mixed, and then the winds start to shift, and the forecast changes for the rest of the day. That glimmer of […]

read morebutton arrow


Want to be a part of a rapidly expanding company with amazing benefits? Consider joining out team today!

one-stop shop for commercial construction
We manage the entire project for you from start to finish.
estimate request  Arrow