How Potholes Form: The Ugly Truth

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Ever wonder how potholes form?

Ever wonder how potholes form?

Ever drive down a road and wonder why there are so many potholes in the ground? You’re not alone. Potholes have become something that we as a world of drivers have come to deal with, yet many of us don’t exactly understand just why they form when it’s cooler outside. Lucky for you, we at Wondries Toyota have the inside scoop.

Put simply, potholes are the result of expanding and contracting groundwater. (Really takes you back to grade school science, eh?) When a section of roadways has tiny cracks that are hardly even visible to the naked eye, water can slip inside. Then, when temperatures drop, the water inside these cracks—what else?—freezes. Unfortunately, water expands and takes up more space when it freezes. If you don’t believe us, just take a look at an ice cube in an ice tray.

So as the water expands under the pavement, it begins to crack the roadways even more, which then, in turn, lets more water in the next time. It’s a vicious cycle of expanding and contracting, weakening the pavement (not even considering that the added pressure of vehicles barreling over it), until, at last, one unsuspecting car or truck drives over and takes the pavement past its breaking point, collapsing the pavement into the pothole that we know and love.

Potholes aren’t fun for anyone, but on the bright side, we won’t have to worry about them forever—just until we get flying cars.

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