Business is booming at Expert Tire in Kingsport. "We see pothole damage about three or four times a day," says store manager Mike Stanley.
Potholes can be found all year, but January through March are the worst. Stanley says, it can do a lot of damage to your car. "Warp your wheel, which will cause you to have a vibration at multiple speeds, it can also break the belt inside the tire from the impact of the damage." He says it can also wear out your brakes or cause your car to come out of alignment.
That's why Kingsport Streets and Sanitation Manager Ronnie Hammonds says, crews have been busy this year. "Since January first, we've patched about a thousand potholes."
Potholes are formed when there are cracks in the asphalt, and when water gets under it and freezes, it expands and forms a hole. "The rainy weather combined with snow, temperature fluctuations, have really made the perfect storm for potholes," says Hammonds.
But he says their new technology keeps them on top of things. "About two years ago we started an automated pothole patching machine, that's a one man operation. It uses hot liquid tar and rock chips, blown into the hole with compressed air, that really does a good job. It's a lot more efficient and guys can get a lot more potholes patched in a days time."
But, if you approach a pothole, experts say be cautious. "Slow down, avoid any cracks, any larger potholes as best you can. Sometimes it's not avoidable, but try to slow down at least. That way you don't do as much damage," Stanley says.
Hammonds asks the public if they do see a pothole in Kingsport, give them a call, and they will come patch it up! Their number is (423) 229-9400.