Tire repair shops busy fixing bent rims from potholes around Columbus

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Last year, the city used 6,000 tons of asphalt to fill these mini road craters.

From Feb. 1 to Feb. 7 of this year, the city's 311 call center received 457 calls about potholes. Last year, the city of Columbus says it received more than 2,900 calls for service to repair potholes.

The biggest issue is the drastic change in temperatures.

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We've seen 60-degree temperatures followed by below freezing the next day. That expansion and contraction of the water forced the asphalt to break open.

Tire shops hard at work

Inside Wheel Professionals in east Columbus said they're busy fixing bent rims that have been damaged by potholes.

"I think we're doing 15 to 20 wheels a day," says owner Hakim Hashim.

He says that's double the work on a normal day.

Greg Schrader hit a pothole on his way to work on I-270 and S.R. 161.

He says when his BMV struck the hole around 6 a.m., it shook his entire car.

"The windshield wipers came on," he says.

Tire repair specialists say your front tires are likely to bear the brunt of pothole damage because that's the heaviest part of the car. They warn if you do hit one of these craters and your tire goes flat, stop.

"The main thing is don't ride on that rim. You're just causing more damage," Hashim says.

How are potholes formed?

Potholes are holes in the roadway that vary in size and shape. They are caused by the expansion and contraction of ground water after the water has entered into the ground under the pavement.

When water freezes, it expands. Think of when ice cubes are made. A tray full of water is put into the freezer, and when you remove the tray from the freezer, you will notice the water has expanded. This same effect happens when water gets into the ground under the pavement. If it has a chance to freeze, it will take up more space under the pavement, and the pavement will expand, bend and crack, which weakens the material pavement. Then, when ice melts, the pavement contracts and leaves gaps or voids in the surface under the pavement where water can get in and be trapped.

If the water freezes and thaws over and over, the pavement will weaken and continue cracking.

As the weight of cars and trucks pass over the weak spot in the road, pieces of the roadway material weaken, which will cause the material to be displaced or broken down from the weight, creating the pothole.

What happens when salt is brought into the picture? Water will freeze at 32 degrees Fahrenheit. When salt is used, it lowers the temperature that water will freeze. This creates an artificial freeze-thaw cycle that permits more occurrences of the damaging cycle to occur. This happens more often in the spring because of the melting that takes place and because the temperatures fluctuate above and below the freezing point very frequently.