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Warm weather? Must be time for asphalt paving scams

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May 10, 2012

TUMWATER — A homeowner in the Yakima area has fallen victim to an asphalt paving scam, prompting the state Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) to remind all property owners to protect themselves from unscrupulous contractors.

In this recent case, a 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 travelling paving scam is one L&I inspectors see every spring. Often, a friendly 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. 

But these paving jobs can have a host of problems that include:

  • Sub-par 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.

Most contractors follow the rules, maintaining their insurance and bond and registration with the state, as required by law. But in paving scam cases, contractors are typically not registered, have no insurance and no bond. While L&I can cite the contractor for operating without registration, the victim is still out the money they’ve 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.

Anyone hiring a contractor to work on their property should first visit Here, you can verify the company is registered, check on the amount of insurance coverage they have, and how large a bond they carry.

The bottom line when hiring a contractor is to check with the state before it’s too late.


For media information: Hector Castro, L&I, 360-902-6043.

Broadcast version: The state Department of Labor & Industries is alerting homeowners to beware of an asphalt paving scam that recently claimed one victim in Eastern Washington. That homeowner paid $6,300 for an asphalt paving job that began to fall apart within days. L&I is reminding all property owners to check at to verify the contractor they want to hire is registered with the state as required by law, has insurance and carries a bond.

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