There are many reasons why hiring a reputable paving contractor is so important, but how do you know the contractor is in fact reputable? Unfortunately, when it comes to contracting services, there is always the potential to be scammed, or to come across shady contractors. Because of this, it is important to be educated, ask your contractor questions, do your research, and be aware of certain red flags and/or asphalt scams that you should avoid.
There are some major asphalt scams and/or red flags that you may unfortunately come across during your consultation process. By being aware of them, you can hopefully avoid them!
- The “Extra Asphalt Scam” – This is the scenario where a contractor knocks on your door and claims that they are doing paving work in the area and they have extra asphalt. Since they do, they can offer you a great deal if you get some paving done now. This is often a scam because reputable professional paving contractors put a lot of time and care into the planning phase of each project. That being said, professional companies very rarely have extra asphalt after a job, and if they do, it is generally not enough for another project. Additionally, asphalt has a short shelf life once mixed, as it can get cold and is no longer useful. Knowing this, these scammers often use this as a pushy sales technique.
- Installation Too Thin – During a paving job, asphalt compaction is key. Once asphalt is laid out onto the base of your pavement structure, it is then compacted using some sort of roller equipment/machinery to ensure a strong and durable pavement. A red flag to be aware of during your consultation process with your paving contractor is the details given about the thickness of your expected pavement, or lack thereof. If a contractor simply says a number without specifying whether this is before or after compaction you may want to be cautious, or at least ask them to specify. Without specifying if this thickness is before or after compaction, the paving contractor could be trying to take advantage of a property owner not knowing to ask this question. If the number they are giving is prior to compaction, that means your actual completed pavement will be thinner and likely not a proper thickness to ensure durability and a healthy lifespan.
- Extremely Low Price – You’ve heard the expression “you get what you pay for” and contracting services are no exception. If you receive a bid from a paving company that is significantly below any other quotes you’ve received this should be a red flag. Why is their price so much lower than any other contractor offering the same services? This likely means they are cutting costs somewhere which may be specifically related to the quality of product and service you will receive.
So, what are some signs of a reputable paving contractor then?
- Insurance – If the contractor working on your property or a property you manage is working without insurance, your insurance policies will be used in the instance of any accidents or injuries. Avoid any risks associated with uninsured workers by asking the paving company to see their insurance coverage.
- Preparations & Asphalt Thickness – The most important part of your asphalt pavement is the base. But this is also one of the most popular areas to cut corners and costs. Unfortunately, this shortcut is often not evident until a year or two after installation when rapid deterioration begins far sooner than it should. During the consultation and planning stage, it is important to ask your paving contractor specific questions about the base and the asphalt thickness. Remember to confirm that the promised thickness is after compaction and to make sure that the numbers given make sense based on research.
- The Quote – Make sure that you are given an actual written document. While word of mouth may work in other areas, when it comes to business it isn’t the safest method. Having a written document helps to ensure that you know exactly what you are getting; what’s included, what isn’t included, warranties, insurances, fine print items, etc. When hiring EastCoat Pavement Services, our process begins with a thorough analysis and site inspection. During your estimate, we take time to answer all of your questions, understand your needs and assess the situation. We also understand the challenges associated with commercial parking lot paving and maintenance, and because of this, we work closely with all clients to create a custom project plan based on traffic flow.
- Reviews & Reputation – Today, checking a brand’s online reputation and presence usually happens before even picking the phone up to call for an estimate. Reading other client experiences and feedback is huge in determining whether a company will do the job well and provide great customer service. You may even want to ask your online community for recommendations during your research process.
EastCoat Pavement Services has been in the asphalt maintenance business for over 20 years and we understand that every site and every project is different. Because of this, we’ve sculpted our process around this to ensure success. At EastCoat Pavement Services, our process includes:
- Perform Thorough Site Survey & Analysis
- Present Recommendations for Repair or Maintenance
- Provide Detailed Proposal
- Create Custom Project Plan
- Manage Project Efficiently to Completion
If your parking lot is in need of paving, maintenance, sealcoating, repair, or line striping, avoid asphalt scams and trust the professionals at EastCoat Pavement Services to provide you with a great product and service. Contact us today for your free consultation!