What’s a bump?

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Potholes are caused by environmental factors such as ice, heat, and rain, and can negatively affect driving conditions. Road crews regularly inspect and fix them by filling them with replacement paving material, using cold patches for small potholes and hot asphalt for larger ones. Resurfacing may be necessary for roads with many potholes.

A pothole, or chuckhole, is a defect in a road caused by environmental factors such as ice, heat, and rain. Natural forces eat away at the road, creating a series of cracks. As the cracks begin to deepen, chunks of pavement material break away and are carried away by the wheels of passing vehicles. The resulting hole in the road surface is known as a pothole: if it exceeds the limits of the road and begins to erode the land below, it is known as a sinkhole.

The origins of the term “bump” are probably related to the characteristic shape, which is roughly circular and flowerpot-like. The term is also used by geologists to refer to the natural processes of erosion in rocks and rivers that form basins. It is also used in some parts of the western United States to describe an earthen or mud wallow used by cattle and hogs. All the meanings of the word are clearly related, as they all describe pits or holes in a surface.

A pothole is the natural result of environmental conditions, especially in northern areas where the road freezes. When the road freezes, it expands, which will cause cracks. Extreme heat can also degrade road quality. When combined with the heavy wear and tear from a multitude of vehicles, a pothole can form very quickly. If it rains, the growth of the pothole will accelerate, as water will eat away at the bottom and sides of the pothole.

Potholes negatively affect driving conditions, because they make the road more rough and bumpy. As chunks of pavement are removed, the pothole will grow larger and larger, and can quickly spread across the entire road if not addressed promptly. For this reason, road crews regularly inspect the road to monitor for signs of potholes and stop their growth if they are discovered.

Highway crews fix a planter hole by filling it with replacement paving material. Cold patches are used for small potholes in low-traffic areas because they can be applied quickly. Hot asphalt is used in high traffic areas or over large potholes, because it will hold up much more effectively. If the road was faced with potholes, you may need to resurface it. Resurfacing a road involves removing the top layers of asphalt, hardening the bottom layers, and applying a new top road surface.

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