Street Potholes - do affect the value of your home.
If you live in a neighborhood where asphalt street maintenance appears to not be a priority of your City Street Department, this could be costly to you as a homeowner because continual unsightly potholes and dry cracked asphalt are attributable to driving the value of your home "downward" and/or at the minimum they hinder the increase of value in comparison to similar homes at nearby neighborhoods that have better maintained streets.
For example if you have your house for sale and it is very obvious that the asphalt has not been maintained on a routine basis, potential buyers will see this street neglect thus making your home/neighborhood less desirable and/or they will either offer less for your home or simply not even bother making an offer when they can find similar homes in other neighborhoods with better maintained streets.
Street asphalt neglect is obvious when there are many "fatigue cracks" and the asphalt starts looking a little dry and grayish. The non-maintained street asphalt will become drier and drier as time goes on - thus creating obvious fatigue cracks which are commonly called "alligator cracks". Such a name because the cracks resemble the texture of the skin of an alligator.
Alligator street cracks are referred to and/or known as the "embryo" of potholes. We all know that potholes become more apparent after it rains. Why is that you might ask? … the answer is mostly due to the activity that is directly under the asphalt/road. Depending on weather conditions asphalt will expand and contract. Such activity is what creates the cracks and this is what allows rain water to seep through the asphalt and eventually will soften and/or loosen up the materials (dirt, sand, rocks) underneath, thus creating hollow spots/areas below the asphalt.
So when cars are driven over these hollow spots, the weight and vibration of a car and continuous wheel pressure of other cars will push the asphalt down - resulting in the birth of a pothole/cavity.
Not only can potholes affect the value of your home, they also can cause a strain on your wallet because you could incur costly repairs to your car. Driving over potholes is not good to the front-end-wheel-alignment of any car and any car repairs will of course will have to be paid by you – the car owner.
What can a Homeowner do in regards to potholes?
If you see that your streets are not being maintained to the level that you expect from your City’s Street Maintenance Division/Department, then it is up to you and your neighbors to call, write, email or go directly to the Department office and voice your concerns. The reality is that potholes have the potential of someone getting hurt… for example a jogger, a bicyclist or a motorcyclist could lose control and fall and hit the pavement. If a pothole is large enough, depending on the speed, a car could possibly lose control as well.
Get what I am saying? Yes potholes happen, but if they are not repaired after a lengthy period of time then make it a point to contact your local Street Maintenance Division !
Environmentally speaking: Asphalt is known to not be an environmental hazard. Asphalt is one of America’s most recycled products year after year. Every scrap of asphalt pavement can be recycled into fresh new pavement. Furthermore, asphalt won’t dissolve in water nor contaminate the soil.
Oscar Castillo : Broker Associate (San Diego, CA)
- Residential Brokerage