Avoiding Common Asphalt Scams

Avoiding Common Asphalt Scams

Avoiding Common Asphalt Scams

A scammer is lurking in the shadows waiting to pounce on an unsuspecting homeowner for each reputable asphalt paving contractor globally. Our experts on asphalt paving in Elk Grove, CA, offer these tips to avoid getting scammed by asphalt paving contractors.

Door-to-door sales

This is one of the worst asphalt scams we see in the industry. It all begins with an aggressive salesperson knocking on your door using fear tactics to convince you to purchase their company's extra asphalt in a dump truck down the street, so it doesn't go to waste. First, asphalt is not cheap, so professional contractors always measure carefully. If there is extra asphalt on the truck after a job, it would NEVER be enough to pave an entire driveway. Any excess asphalt is left back at the plant and is considered part of the cost of doing business as a paving contractor.

Next, the truck is not parked around the corner. This is a tactic they use, so you do not expect to walk out the door and see the truck waiting. This is the best story they can sell you since the truck is actually standing by at the asphalt plant. You can count on them insisting that they just completed another project and that there just happens to be enough asphalt remaining to complete your driveway, but it has to be completed immediately. They will provide you with legitimate pricing for other contractors in the area and offer you a cost lower than half of the typical cost.

Then, once they have you reeled in, they will spend a tenth of the time needed to prep your subsurface. They are in a hurry to complete the job fast, so their scam works on you. Working at a quick pace supports the need for urgency they used to get you to let them pave your driveway. Even when thickly laid, asphalt will pool and crack over time without adequate subsurface preparations. They will lay down a weak asphalt layer, usually just thick enough to look professional for a day, and begin crumbling away the next. Asphalt is not cheap, as we mentioned before, so using a thin layer is an excellent way for scammers to save on costs. The thin layer applied will cool fast, leaving no time for proper compaction. This will leave your new driveway with a very rocky, rough surface.

Before and after compaction

Another common scam we experience in the industry is when a contractor quotes a certain thickness and fails to mention that the thickness is measured before it is compacted. Compaction is an essential part of the asphalt paving process because it binds the hot mix asphalt into a single layer. Before compaction, the asphalt that has been laid is no better than fluffy, hot mud. Quoting a consumer the thickness of asphalt that has not been compacted is much like a restaurant advertising a 10-inch sub sandwich and giving you a 7-inch sub instead.

There are significant changes in the thickness of asphalt before and after compaction. For example, a 4-inch-thick layer of asphalt will lose as much as an inch and a quarter of thickness upon compaction. In addition, it is typically pretty hard for a homeowner to determine the asphalt thickness after application as the roadway or surrounding grass should seamlessly meet up with the pavement. You can avoid this common scam by asking for your driveway thickness to be written in the contract with after compaction or after cured attached.

The easiest way to avoid being scammed is to hire an asphalt paving professional that you have researched well. Contact us today for asphalt paving in Elk Grove, CA.

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