Warm Weather? Must be Time for Asphalt-Paving Scams
The traveling paving scam is one Washington state inspectors see every spring. Often, a contractor will approach a homeowner offering to repave a driveway for a low price, sometimes claiming the materials are left over from a nearby paving job.
The Washington Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) is reminding all property owners to protect themselves from unscrupulous contractors.
In a recent case, a Washington homeowner was approached in mid April by a contractor who offered to pave her driveway with asphalt for $6,300. He asked for payment to be made in cash. Several days after the work was done, the asphalt began to crumble.
The traveling paving scam is one L&I inspectors say they see every spring. Often, a contractor will approach a homeowner offering to repave a driveway for a low price, sometimes claiming the materials are left over from a nearby paving job.
These paving jobs can have a host of problems that include:
- Subpar materials or watered-down asphalt
- Thinly poured asphalt that allows vegetation to grow through
- Improper preparation of the foundation leading to cracking
- Drainage problems
- Bait and switch pricing
In paving scam cases, contractors are typically not registered with the state, have no insurance, and no bond. While L&I can cite the contractor for operating without registration, the victim is still out the money he or she has paid.
Property owners should watch for red flags, including contractors who:
- Want to be paid in cash
- Want a check made out to someone other than the business
- Will work only weekends
- Use high-pressure sales tactics
The bottom line when hiring a contractor is to check with the state before it’s too late.