Pothole Season is Here

The warm weather is a welcome relief for most of us.  Not to say the winter is over just yet, but it’s certainly a sign of what’s to come.

Driving home from the work in the sunshine with no snow in sight is a great feeling.  No more black ice to worry about, no more salt gathering under you car and eating through the steel where you can’t see.  You can let you mind wander to when you can go to the beach and lay out in the sun all day instead of hiding inside.  Then it hits you; or rather YOU hit IT.  A huge pothole, a broken spring or strut or a flat tire, an hour wasted on the side of the road waiting for AAA.

Here’s a quick science lesson on potholes.  Water is a really unique molecule, and it’s because of this that water is responsible for life existing on our planet.  That’s why we are always in search of water on the moon or on Mars as a sign that life may have once existed there as well.  The part that’s relevant to us is how water freezes.  Instead of becoming more dense like most liquids, when water freezes it actually expands.  Tried to cool down your can of soda in the freezer and it exploded?  That’s cause the liquid got bigger when it froze and couldn’t fit inside the can anymore.  There is some interesting chemistry behind this which I will gladly explain if you want to know (just leave a comment and ask!)

How does this end with your flat tire?  Water will gather under roadways during the winter, and since it’s cold outside, the water will freeze.  This frozen water expands and pushes on the roadway above.  You can often see the cracks if you look.  Now that the weather is warmer there is no more ice pushing up on the roadway and what do you know, the road falls into that void.  There we have it, a pothole.

If you hit a pothole and it damages your vehicle, report it to the town where you found the pothole.  If you’re the first one to file a claim you might be out of luck as far as getting the damage covered.  In fact the law in Massachusetts says that the town only needs to cover damages if they are negligent in repairing the roads.  It’s always worth looking into, and we’re glad to help.

As always you can leave us a comment below, follow us on Twitter or head to Wolpert.com for anything else.

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