Now that it’s spring and potholes in your pavement are obvious, it is time to correct them.  However, the manner of how they are repaired makes a difference. At Bituminous Roadways, our team receives calls from many customers asking to have potholes repaired, but just filling the hole in with hot mix asphalt may not always be the best solution. Realistically, there are three options for pothole repair: pothole patching, mill patching, and dig-out patching. Here is a detailed explanation of each option.

Pothole Patching

The first option, pothole patching, is very short-term. It consists of sending a patching crew to a site with a set amount of asphalt that they shovel into the holes and compact with a small roller.


These pothole repairs are made to be quick and cheap, but are only expected to last one year. They generally degrade quickly and don’t do anything to solve the underlying issue. The area around the pothole patch will continue to degrade until a larger scale patch is required. This technique is generally used if there is a plan to perform extensive work within a couple of years.

Mill Patching

The second option, mill patching, can be used if the asphalt parking lot only has surficial damage. If there is asphalt at the bottom of the holes, crews can mill two inches off the surface surrounding the pothole and replace the area with compacted asphalt. This pothole repair option creates a smooth pavement that will hold longer than a pothole patch.


The downside to this option is reflective cracking may occur after freeze and thaw cycles. Reflective cracking is when the cracks in the bottom of the patch show through it, which could result in a similar situation as when the pothole started.

Dig-Out Patching

The final and most extensive option for pothole repair is a dig-out patch. Dig-out patching entails removing all the asphalt at a 6’x6’ minimum around the hole. Then, the aggregate base is re-graded, and the area is patched with four inches of asphalt. The asphalt is then compacted with a roller. This option is the best long-term fix for pothole repair, because it creates a structurally stable solution.


The overall timeline for asphalt patching goes like this from short-term to long term: pothole patch, mill patch, dig-out patch. Keeping future maintenance plans in mind when deciding on what type of maintenance work should currently be done is important.

Contact Bituminous Roadways to Fix Your Potholes

Not sure which asphalt maintenance technique is best for your asphalt? Call on the experts at Bituminous Roadways, Inc! Our estimators are available to assess the site and recommend different options based on your budget, current needs, and long-term maintenance goals. Contact us at 651-686-7001 or via the web by completing a Request a Consultation form.