what causes pot holes

what causes pot holes

What Causes Potholes?

Potholes are a common sight on roads and pavements across cities, towns and villages. They form as a result of water damage to the road surface. Potholes can be dangerous, cause damage to vehicles, and can be a nuisance to drivers. In this article we will look at what causes potholes and how they can be prevented.

Soil Compaction

The most common cause of potholes is soil compaction. When the soil beneath a road is over-compacted, it becomes denser, which puts more pressure on the road surface from below. This increased pressure causes the pavement to become weak and eventually results in pothole formation.

Water Damage

Water damage is another common cause of pothole formation. When rainwater passes through cracks in the road surface, it carries soil particles with it. Over time, this leads to further erosion of the road structure which can result in potholes.

Heavy Vehicles

Heavy vehicles such as lorries and buses can also cause potholes. The weight of these vehicles can cause the road surface to become weakened, leaving it more vulnerable to water damage. This can cause the road surface to buckle, leading to pothole formation.


There are some things you can do to help prevent potholes from forming:

  • Routine maintenance: Regularly inspect and repair roads and sidewalks to help catch signs of possible pothole formation.
  • Fill in uneven surfaces: Fill in low lying areas that may become vulnerable to water damage.
  • Control traffic speed: Heavy vehicles should be regulated to reduce the pressure on road surfaces.
  • Implement drainage systems: Install drainage systems to help channel rainwater away from road surfaces.

Potholes are an unavoidable consequence of water damage and heavy vehicles. By following the prevention measures outlined above, you can help protect roads and sidewalks and reduce the likelihood of pothole formation.