Wintertime Potholes and the Damage They May Cause to New Tires

Our Alberta winters can wreak havok on your tires. Along with the snow, ice, and other surprises we face on the roads, potholes are a problem that we regularly confront when driving during the colder months. Whether we hit a series of them along the street or a particularly bad and jarring one, after encountering potholes we may notice a tire leak that requires our immediate attention.

According to a news report last year, Calgary city offices noted a ten-percent increase in calls concerning potholes on city roads between January and mid-March 2017 over the same period in 2016. Some of this increase may be due in part to the 311 mobile app that allows residents to share information about potholes as they travel on the more than 18,000 kilometres of roads and alleys in our city.

Here are three reasons you may encounter a tire leak due to potholes:

  1. One or more of your tires is improperly inflated or has lost pressure due to cold temperatures
  2. A tire leak has occurred because you hit a pothole while driving at a high velocity
  3. A tire leak has happened due to sharp materials (such as rocks, broken glass, or metal scraps) embedded in a pothole

You may wonder why potholes seem to be more prevalent this time of the year. After all, crews inspect roads throughout the year and citizens using 311 regularly share their concerns during all four seasons.

Damp and cold winter weather conditions make it very difficult to create permanent fixes. Similar to a temporary filling on a tooth, the crews perform short-term patches this time of the year. Major repairs usually begin in April or early May when temperatures warm, snow and ice disappear, and the pavement dries. City workers prioritize repairs and do their best to patch roads.

Between early May and September, maintenance teams will patch at least 5,000 potholes in the Calgary metro, as well as many others in suburban and rural areas throughout the region.

If you see potholes on the road, try to avoid them by reducing your speed, driving defensively, and watching for ice and other road hazards. Check the pressure of your tires regularly, especially during extended cold periods or when your vehicle has not been used for more than a few days. When conditions are safe, snap a picture of potholes and send them to the City of Calgary through the 311 app.

Tire Pirates is your source for tires in the Calgary area.


When appropriate, metric measurements and Canadian English spellings were used rather than American English.

Sources consulted:  (to review other blogs recently posted on the client's webpage)