It’s almost become a rite of passage every spring. Once the snow has melted, it reveals what you’ve dreaded to find—cracks and potholes in your driveway and walkway. Maybe you’ve been putting off the repair until that reminder finds your car again.

Won’t it be great if you could prevent potholes from happening in the first place?

Luckily, there are several steps you can take to prevent them.

The Why of Potholes

Potholes develop because of the wear-and-tear of traffic. Inevitably, damage occurs. Water is another factor in places where there is excessive flooding.

However, the real culprit in places from Bensenville to Naperville is the freeze and thaw cycle, making temperature another cause. Parking lot sealcoating helps to a degree. When a crack opens up, that’s when water can get under the protective surface and do its damage. This annual cycle is what keeps parking lot paving contractors in business.

When the moisture freezes, it expands. That’s what makes a small crack become a large pothole. Therefore, preventing potholes means keeping that surface intact and draining water away quickly before it can seep into the cracks or holes.

Setting Up Proper Drainage

Draining water away from your driveway and other impervious surfaces helps prevent it from pooling. Remember that precipitation is acidic. In the Chicago area, it averages 4.6 pH. Water sitting on your driveway or walkway will literally eat away at the surface.

There are four main types of drainage systems. They include:

● Catch basins
● Concrete-encased drainage basins
● Trench drainage basins
● French drains

Catch basins consist of an opening typically sited at a low point in your yard. A grate on the top keeps out debris that could clog the pipe that directs water away from your house. It can increase your property value by preventing basement floods. On the downside, it can attract nuisance wildlife. It can also create sinkholes they are not installed correctly.

You’ll see concrete-encased drainage basins on public roads and properties. They take the concept of the previous type one step further with added reinforcement. The same pros and cons exist, but the system will likely last longer, especially if you contract a professional parking lot paving service.

You’ll find trench drainage bases in parking lots that will direct water away from low spots. They typically have a crate on them for filtering out larger debris. Paving companies often use this type for loading docks, pools, and heavy-duty applications in shopping malls or airports. While effective, it’s an expensive installation best handled by parking lot paving companies.

French drains can make a drainage system an inconspicuous feature in your landscaping. It consists of an underground perforated pipe covered with gravel. Water permeates through the substrate to the pipe, which diverts the moisture someplace else. You can tackle it as a DIY project, but it is labor-intensive. The best thing about it is that there’s no ugly PVC pipe visible.

Final Thoughts

The ideal way to handle potholes is to prevent them before they damage your property. A well-planned drainage system will put you well ahead of the game next spring. And you won’t have to worry about damaging your car.


When you join a tradition that’s changed the industry’s landscape for more than 30 years, your position demands hard-earned respect.



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