John Ackerman (right) accepts a Green Globe award last year from King County executive Ron Sims on behalf of YK Products LLC.
No weather restrictions?

None. There is moisture in the material, so if the bags are stored in freezing conditions, they can become stiff. Just drop the bag on the ground like a bag of ice, and the material breaks apart and is ready to use.

Will U.S. Cold Patch permanently repair every pothole?

No—honestly, no product will. Potholes develop for a reason, and we leave it to the maintenance engineers to identify the cause of the problem, and the solution. Other asphalt repair products claim to be permanent repair materials, as we do, but in reality if ground-water is pushing up from below, nothing will stay in the pothole until this problem is corrected. I consider the men and women who make pavement repairs every day the pros. They will know a good product when they use it. At the end of the day, they will buy the product that works best for their crews—the product that stays put in most situations.

Any repair tips to share with our readers?

Most potholes form in winter when water enters the road surface and freezes, buckling the pavement. U.S. Cold Patch was designed with enough fine aggregate material to keep water out without a seal coat. Also, if there is water in the pothole, try to determine if it is rainwater or groundwater. A good dense patch will keep out the rain, but ground-water issues need to be addressed by engineers. If potholes are showing up in a particularly stressed area—such as a turn—and the road bed appears weak, then build it up with aggregate before you patch. The best tip, according to highway officials, is to fill the hole with high-quality material, tamp it well, and monitor the repair. “Throw-and-roll” is the most economical method of pothole repair, so try that first.

Have engineers developed test protocols to evaluate various cold patch products?

Just recently, yes. Several years ago the superpave lab at Washington State University received a grant to compare the structural and environmental qualities various brands. We were eager to be part of this testing. Of course we knew there was risk, since the results would be published. I'm happy to say that U.S. Cold Patch fared best among group of five brands of cold mix tested, in both the structural and environmental assessments.