SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – As the winter months progress, you could soon see more potholes out on the roads.

The South Carolina Department of Transportation says they are always on the lookout for potholes, especially during the winter months.

At times they are unavoidable. If you are not careful, they can cause significant damage to your vehicle.

“It’s a perennial problem. They happen beyond South Carolina. I can tell you every state DOT has got the same problem,” said Pete Poore, SCDOT Communications Director.

The DOT says they see an increased number of potholes during the winter months when the temperature drops.

“They occur in the winter, usually following winter storms, but until the weather starts warming up, that’s usually the end of the production of potholes,” said Poore.

It’s road damage that does not surface overnight.

“It does take a while for those cracks to make their way to the surface,” said Poore. “Water from ice seeps into the ground, or just rain during cold weather seeps into the ground, and then it freezes below the surface and starts cracking below the surface. It takes a while for those potholes, or actually those cracks, to make their way to the surface and start creating potholes.” 

According to the DOT, they are expecting to see many more potholes in the coming weeks.

“It will probably be a few weeks, maybe a month before we would start to see any pothole activity like that,” said Poore.

How soon until the roads are repaired? The DOT says it’s just a matter of time.  

“As I tell everybody, we have 42,000 miles of roads. We only have so many maintenance people,” explained Poore. “When we see them, either through our own inspection when we are out doing other jobs, those potholes can be patched that way.” 

According to the SCDOT, crews are currently working on a 10 year road maintenance plan. When it’s complete, they expect 80% of the state’s roads to be completely resurfaced.

You can play a role in the DOT’s road repair efforts. To report a pothole near you call 855-GO-SCDOT (855-467-2368) or submit a maintenance work request online.