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News & Events

April 1, 2013

Don’t Be Fooled… Know Your Asphalt Paving Contractor!

It happens every year, new no-name asphalt paving/maintenance companies come to town.  Some are local start-ups, some are travelers looking for work during the harsh winter months when street paving is impossible in the northern states.  Many of these people are honest, hard-working individuals just trying to make a living.  Unfortunately, being honest and hard-working does not guarantee that you are qualified to do the work.  Even less fortunate are the companies that are not honest or hard-working.  You can most often recognize these less savory types by their actions and words, or lack thereof.

Knowledge is power.  Below is a check-list of things to ask for when looking for a quality asphalt paving contractor:

  1. Proof of license to work in the state of Florida.  Sounds like a no-brainer, but to be perfectly honest, asphalt paving in the warmer climate of Jacksonville is not the same as asphalt paving in states with harsh freeze/thaw winters.  It is important that your contractor be knowledgeable of these differences.
  2. Proof of insurance.  The last you want is to pay a claim to a no-name company that is careless on your property.  You also do not want to be stuck with the bill for any damage the contractor may cause while on your property.  Get proof of insurance!
  3. Get three bids.  If you do not already have a trustworthy asphalt contractor, or even if you do but want to make sure you are getting fair pricing, collect three bids from three different asphalt paving contractors. Make sure each one is bidding the same scope of work.  If one price is drastically lower than the other two, there is likely a reason – and not a good one!  That low number may look nice, but more than likely, the contractor who provided it will cut corners, do poor work, short the job, or simply not show up to finish your project.
  4. Ask for (and check) references.  Do not be afraid to ask for references – and call them!  If your asphalt paving contractor is quality and trustworthy, they should have no problem providing a list of current references for you.

Other things you should know:

  1. There is no such thing as “left over asphalt.”  If someone knocks on your door (or walks into your office) claiming to have “left over asphalt” from a road repair job down the street that they are willing to sell to you for a rock-bottom price, proceed with extreme caution – better yet, politely close the door in their face.  “Left-over asphalt” (though 100% recyclable) will often be too cold to work properly (workable temperature range for hot mix asphalt is 280-320 degrees Fahrenheit).  If it cools too much, this will happen:
  2. Manhole covers, drainage basins, and water valve covers should be kept clear.  When installing new asphalt, it is important that your contractor make note of all manhole covers, drainage basins, and water valve covers in the area of work.  Depending on the amount of asphalt being installed, these things may need to be raised to ensure proper drainage and eliminate trip hazards.  There is no excuse for leaving one of these access covers or drains covered with pavement: