Category: Asphalt Paving

Common Complaints That Consumers Have About Dealing With Asphalt Paving Companies

Common Complaints That Consumers Have About Dealing With Asphalt Paving Companies

Asphalt is one the best materials to pave a driveway, walkway, or parking lot. Every whare you travel; on roads, homes you visit, comercial or retail buildings, you can be sure you will walk asphalt paving. To pave, repair and maintain this type of paving material, you must rely on a reputable and well experienced paving company or contractor in your local area. How ever, every now and then a consumer may encounter a paving company that did not meet the customer’s expectations and there could or can be several reasons.

This article discusses a few of the most common complaints that consumers have had when hiring a local asphalt paving contractor. Understanding these complaints can benefit both contractors, as well as consumers, paving contractors can use the information to better understand the mistakes that lead to customer complaints and consumers can also benefit by being caustious when choosing the asphalt paving contractor of their choice and avoid being scammed.

1. Lack of experience:

The number one complaint that consumers usually have is the lack of paving experience. Asphalt paving is like or unlike any other type of construction work. It requires proper expertise and experience. Expertice is earned by years of on the job training with paving experts that have been paving for as long as they can think. Some paving pros, enrich their paving knowleged by attending seminars and tradeshows. Experience comes with time! The more years a person has been paving the better the paving service he or she will provide. To gain or maintain a high level of expertice, a paving company or contractor must hire experienced paving technicians. The lack of experienced team can seriously impact a paving job in a positive or negative way.

With this in mind, a property owner who is looking to hire a local asphalt paving company must do due deligence in making a list of criteria for selecting a reputable experienced paving company. As for the paving contractors, they should maintain a high level of standards when looking hire experienced paving technicians

2. Short-staffed:

Many paving companies handle multiple jobs at the same time; this is great if the company has an adequate staff. However, if the company or the contractor is short on staff, it can delay the projects causing for client rescheduling which means interrupting client’s schedules and dissatisfaction.

Asking the paving contractor about how experienced and size of their staff should be on the consumer’s list of questions to ask. On the other side, the contractors should plan projects accordingly and take into account that sometimes, crews get sick, have emergencies or just don’t show up. It will help them complete all the projects on time and avoid complaints of this kind.

3. No insurance coverage:

Consumers often complain that many paving companies do not have proper insurance coverage as stated by their local and state regulations. While the success rate of the experienced pavement contractors is pretty high, it is always a good idea for contractors to have the right insurance coverage.

The most common types of contractor insusurance coverage are:

  • General liability – this covers common paving risks any damaged caused by paving machinery or slip and fall.
  • Commercial Auto liability – covers third-party inuries and property damaged caused by paving equipment or vehicles.
  • Workers compensation insurance – It is required by most states for businesses that have employees. This type of insurance protects employees with loss wages, medical expenses and injury lawsuits.
  • Contractor Tools and Equipment – It helps to pay for repair or replacement of tools and equipment damaged, lost or stolen.

When the contractors have proper insurance, they can have peace of mind that if anything goes wrong with client property or third-parties, they will be covered. For the consumer, it is of upmost importance to insure that the contractor has proper insurance coverages before they are hired.

4. Lack of communication:

If the pavement company rushes through the presentation and is more concerned with obtaining a deposit check and does not ask the right questions and listen to all concerns that the client has, it can lead to a terrible experience for both of them.

A very important job of the paving representative is ask questions and understand the clients conscerns and brief the paving staff about what the cliet’s needs and wants. In addition, stablishing and effective means of communications between the client and the field staff will prevent misscommunication complaints.

5. Poor quality asphalt:

When a property owners hires a paving contractor for their paving project, they tend to trust the contractor blindly when it comes to asphalt quality. However, not all asphalt is the same. Contractors often use recycled material in different proportions with the fresh asphalt. A high percentage of recycled content can lead to poor quality asphalt paving. This most likely will lead to a call back from the client complaining about how terrible their new driveway looks and no reputable contractor wants to receive these types of calls!

We go back to complaint #4; Lack of Communication, contractors should take time to educate the prospective client on asphalt quality and how it is layed down. Advice the client that they will be taking pictures every step of the way, so that if the client has a concern later on they can show proof of the steps taken and avoiding yet, another complaint.

6. No written commitment:

It is not a very good idea to hire any type of contractor based on verbal promises. The property owner should ensure that they receive a written estimage outlining the square footage, the type of material to be used, the thickness of the materials, start and end time, pricing and certificate of insurance. The problem with verbal commitment is that it can be difficult to keep track of the promises made. The property owner has certain expectation and on the other hand, the asphalt paving contractor may not deliver as expected leading to conflict and complaints

The best approach for both the property owner and the paving company is to get everything in writing. It will eliminate any chance of missunderstanding or misscommunications.

7. Poor base or foundation:

As great paving job starts with a solid base or foundation. The paving contractor should take time to study the current conditions of the soil where the new asphalt paving is going to be installed. It is not a good idea to skip step and lay asphalt on soft or clayed soil. A good base of stone is critical for a long lasting asphalt paving job.

To prevent complaints about an asphalt job that looked nice in the beggining and then when horrible in a couple of years, the contractor, should disscuss the current conditions of the area where the asphalt paving is to take place and ouline any additional requirements if needed.

8. Hefty down payments:

Most contractors will ask for a downpayment to secure the job and to purchase materials. A down payment of more than 50% of the estimated price should raise a red flag to the property owner. Most experienced contractors and pavement companies have a line of credit and do not need an advance or a down payment. It is a good idea for both parties to discuss the payment schedule in advanced. The property owner should make full payment when fully satisfied with the work.

Large downpayments requests is another common complaint. Contractors should consider that this is the first time they are doing business with a particular client and are suspicious of everyone.

9. Punctuality:

Many contractors often take up more work that they can handle. Sometimes and often times, something goes wrong with one of the projects. This can cause a delay or rescheduling jobs which in turn effects other scheduled jobs. Rescheduling or dalaing scheduled jobs is a cause for consumers complaining that the contractors are not punctual when it comes to starting or finishing the work

The contractors should always take into account the resources and the projects at hand before undertaking other contracts and committing the work deadlines and time-frame. They should also discuss the possibilities of delays or maybe the need of rescheduling with client before starting the job.

10. Old paving equipment:

Any smart paving contractor looks to maximize their return in investement, meaning that they have to maximize the profits from each and every job. Sadly and often, they opt to using older and cheaper paving equipment. Some quickly realized that using this type of equipment can be more costly in the long run, by having to stop a job to perform maintenace or emergency repairs. This can have an adverse effect on the quality of the paving job, the moral of the paving technicians and the bottom line (profits).

To properly lay asphalt, it has to be done quickly, if the equipment is old or inefficient, it can delay the installation delay, which will affect the construction quality of the pavement. Clients have every right to complain if their paving job is delay because equipment breakdown. It is in the best interest of the paving company to keep a well oiled fleet to complete paving jobs in a timely manner and provide quality work.

These are some of the usual asphalt paving complains that consumers usually have about their experience with their paving contractor. With the ease of the internet, they consult the various rating web sites to check asphalt paving reviews before choosing the contractor and most likely will not choose a contractor with several complaints or bad reviews.

The contractor should be more diligent about his work, avoid situations that would lead to complaints and deliver a hig level of paving quality customer service.

Asphalt Paving Basic Guide

Asphalt Paving Basic Guide

Understanding Asphalt Paving a Beguiner’s Guide

Asphalt driveways, parking lots and roads take a severe beating from motored vehicles from the day they are paved.

It’s not just the thousands or millions of vehicles that pound on them dain in and day out, but it’s also the elements. From summer heat to winter snow, sleet and rain an asphalt pavement is needed for vehicles to park and drive on while experiencing a smooth and comfortable ride, and maximizing fuel efficiency with the confidence that it will provide reliable friction for vihicle tires to stop a fast moving vehicle confidently in case of a last minute slamming of the breaks.

After more than a century of use, asphalt has become a proven solution to pave driveways, parking lots, and roads. Aside from asphalt, there are several alternatives for paving material such as gravel, clay and stone, and concrete. Each of these alternatives have individual benefits but none are as widely used as asphalt.

Asphalt is a combination of fillers, binder, and aggregate. Aggregate can be a number of different materials used alone or in combination which include crushed rock, slag, sand or gravel. The binder is then added to the aggregate to hold it together. The binder that is most commonly used in making asphalt is bitumen. Bitumen is the residue that is obtained from the distillation process of petroleum. It is thick and highly viscous. It is what gives asphalt it’s cohesive properties and dark color.

There are three kinds of asphalt that are generally used for paving.

  • Hot Mix Asphalt. As the name implies, this mix is made under the hottest conditions – between 150 to 180 degrees. For best paving results, the product must be kept at this temperature when pouring. This can make some of the toughest conditions for the asphalt crew when working with it.
  • Mild Mix Asphalt. Mild Mix is made between 130 to 150 degrees and is easier to work with. It can be poured faster without the need to have the asphalt cool. In most cases, it is a good option to use for road repairs that need the section that is being repaired and need to reopened quickly.
  • Cold Mix Asphalt that is not heated or melted but rather compressed to achieve the same result. The kind of bitumen that is used also differs. The bitumen is granular and when compressed will liquefy and coat the aggregate. That allows it to achieve its cohesiveness.

When paving roads or parking lots, asphalt paving companies have several options for asphalt mix; they can either transport their asphalt from the plant or they can construct a mobile plant to prepare the asphalt and pour it on the job site. Which they choose depends on the size of the project and the time to completion.

Why is Asphalt Preferred

There are several practical reasons for choosing asphalt. Not least among them is the fact that compared to other paving materials, asphalt is the most economical. There are two parts to asphalt economics. The first is that the recovery cost to pave the roads can be extended over a longer period. That is because asphalt roads last longer than other materials. The second element of the cost is that the roads require less maintenance over a given period of time.

Aside from the cost, there is the quality of the ride. Asphalt can be laid to provide ride comfort. Unlike other materials, especially concrete, which can be loud the have high vibration energy, asphalt can be quiet and smooth. This has a direct impact on safety. The louder the noise and vibration, the quicker drivers get tired. The longer they stay vibrant, the safer they are. Better ride quality and safety have been proven to be on asphalt roads.

It is also preferred because repair times are quick. In the event there is an accident or a section of asphalt needs to be replaced or repaired, it can be done quickly before the next high-traffic cycle. This is because asphalt does not have a cure-time. Once it is laid, it can return to service immediately.

Asphalt Paving Benefits

There are significant benefits one can derive from choosing asphalt over other materials. From an environmental perspective, there is a major recycling advantage when asphalt. All asphalt that is recovered from a site can be returned to the mill and crushed before it is used again without any degradation of quality. There are other materials that have the ability to be recycled, but most do not. The ones that can, are expensive to return to service.

The resistance to damage is less because it does not require pavement or expansion joints. Expansion joints are the crevices that are built into concrete pavements to allow for the expansion of the slab. Under the heat of the day, these slabs expand and if there are no expansion joints the two adjacent slabs will collide. This collision will result in buckling that will render the road unsafe and reduce its usability. Asphalt does not have that problem and thus does not require expansion joints. This is one of the reasons that the ride quality is significant;y better.

Another benefit of using asphalt is that it is flexible and customizable. Its flexibility allows it to be paved in tight space, around bends and corners or inclines. Its customization comes from the ability to alter the formulation of the asphalt to suit the environment that it is deployed in. Depending on the environment – whether it is constantly wet, frozen, or has heavy traffic, the formulation of the asphalt can be adjusted to provide the best outcome.

Asphalt has lower flooding issues because asphalt is porous. Unlike other surfaces, asphalt will allow water to penetrate and sink beneath the road and eventually be drained so that the pavement is dry. The crevices that are a natural feature of asphalt are at the perfect intervals that allow water to move into the crevices and dry beneath or to the side of the road while allowing the dry peaks of the asphalt to make contact with the tire’s surface.

What makes asphalt superior in addition to all the benefits mentioned above is that can be transported to the construction site in a piecemeal fashion. Unlike the slabs that have to be carried and paved, asphalt can be poured in sequence after the necessary aggregates and fillers are laid and rolled.

How to Hire a Residential Asphalt Paving Contractor

How to Hire a Residential Asphalt Paving Contractor

Are you looking for a professional asphalt paving contractor in your local area?

Whether you are building a new home or commercial building or in need to repair or replace that old and damaged driveway or walkway, chances are you will need to find and hire a professional local asphalt paving contractor for your project. 

A new asphalt driveway is a long-term investment.  Adding many years of trouble free, low maintenance and trouble-free driveway, walkway, parking lot or entertainment area.

With this mind, t is very important to invest some time in researching or becoming educated in a few aspects of asphalt construction.  It is also equally important to do the same when looking to hire a reputable contractor.

Following are a few tips on finding and hiring a reliable and able asphalt paving company that will provide you with a well-constructed or repaired asphalt paving and a great experience.

Obtain Several Quotes:

Just like any home improvement project, getting several asphalt paving quotes is a must; even when you have a favorite contractor, or someone recommended by family or friend.  Having several quotes would help you in making relevant comparisons with respect to the overall paving system to be used, materials, price, and warranty.

As a courtesy, you should let each of the contractors know that you are obtaining multiple quotes from different contractors. This will alert them to put their best presentation and information for your decision-making process.

While you are making the comparisons, check for the details for which paving process they will be using, materials, warranties, references or testimonials and of course price. Keeping in mind that choosing the lowest price is not necessarily the best deal.

Contractor Reputation:

When it comes to choosing the right asphalt contractor, the contractor’s reputation should play a crucial role in your decision process.

Take some extra time checking each contractor’s reputation by checking out their website for any feedback or testimonials written by previous customers.

Check the various online rating websites and directories for their overall rating.  Keep in mind that there are clients (people) that can be very difficult and impossible to please.

So, if you have a favorite contractor and you see many good ratings with a few not so favorable, you may want to still consider them.  Having a few not so good testimonials makes them human, it is the way they handle the complaints that matter.

Various factors can be considered while deciding the reputation of a paving company or contractor.

These could be:

  1. How long have they been in the paving business.
  2. Their rate of successful job completion.
  3. Their methods of handling various disputes

Consider the Overall Experience:

While deciding upon the efficiency of an asphalt driveway contractor, the level of experience in the paving industry should be a vital consideration.

If you are considering a paving company, then you can start by analyzing the experience of the workforce including staff and the estimators.

The installation crew needs to have ample experience and know-how in asphalt paving. This would require that at least one very knowledgeable and well-trained staff or crew leader is always present during the paving process.

Scheduling the Paving Job:

The larger and more experienced paving companies would usually be able to schedule your project quickly.  However, you must consider the weather and various other factors for the installation process.

Finding, choosing and hiring the right paving contractor can be a daunting task.  But it is essential to hire a professional asphalt driveway contractor who can take up the job seriously and can offer you the best results.

How-to and Materials for Driveway Paving

How-to and Materials for Driveway Paving

Different Ways and Materials Used for Paving a Driveway

Many people tend to disregard their driveways or parking lots. However, what they fail to understand is that this is the first area of the property that most people notice first as they approach.

Therefore, when it comes time to install or redo a driveway, it is very important to pay close attention to its design and materials being used for its construction.

A well designed and built driveway will complement the style of the house as well as that of the surrounding landscape giving the home or building a welcoming appearance and additional value.

To enhance the aesthetic appeal of your house, the materials chosen for the paving of the driveway play an important role. The materials used would also determine the overall cost, durability as well as the future maintenance and upkeep of the driveway.

Following are some options in paving materials for the construction of that new driveway:

Exposed Aggregate:

Exposed aggregate is also known as exposed aggregate concrete.  It is considered the king of driveway material.

This type of paving material is composed of a prepared concrete slab with a top layer of decorative aggregates such as river stone, granite, quartz, limestone or other manufactured materials such as recycled colored glass, seashells, or other interesting materials.

An exposed aggregate paving job is achieved by preparing the area for a concrete base, then a concrete based is poured to a determined thickness, then a layer of preselected aggregates is loosely thrown or added to the top of the freshly poured concrete.  This thin layer of aggregates is carefully compressed into the slab.  Following, the top of the concrete is carefully washed and brushed exposing the beautiful aggregate.

The exposed aggregate driveway is highly durable and even skid-resistant. On the maintenance side, it requires little maintenance. It would just need to be resealed after a few years to retain the overall look and keep any staining away.

Concrete:

Concrete is a mix of cement, sand and crushed stone.  This is the most versatile material to use when paving a driveway, walkway, patio or entertainment area.

The many reasons that concrete is a preferred material is because it is very strong, durable and requires little maintenance.

In order to obtain a long-lasting concrete paved area, the projects start with a well-prepared sub-base.  This is the surface where the concrete mix will be poured on.  Depending on the area and type of soil, this base is composed of crushed stone that is compacted to make a strong base.

A well-prepared cement driveway or patio can last for a very long time, especially when it is properly sealed and maintained.

In comparison to other paving materials, concrete is a bit costly but its list of benefits can outweigh the cost difference.

If you are looking a more aesthetically pleasing look in your concrete, there are concrete dyes and overlays designed to give a concrete surface a distinct and inviting look.  Obviously, this will drive the total cost of the project a bit higher, but the result is a much more beautiful and lower maintenance surface.

Bluestone Pavers:

This is another great option for designing and creating your next driveway or patio.

Bluestone (natural stone) is a type of sandstone that can be used for the creation of extremely classy and elegant patios and driveways for your home.

The bluestone pavers come in a variety of shape and size options. This is because the bluestone can be crushed into fine gravel, left in the shapes of larger slabs or can even be cut into tiles of different shapes and intricate designs to accentuate the overall look.

The best feature of the Bluestone pavers is that it is highly durable and can be customized in the manner you would want to design your driveway.

This material can be found with a beautiful splash of color. It starts as a deep blue but tends to fade away with time to a lighter shade of gray. This happens due to constant exposure to sunlight. However, both the shades appear equally enticing.

Bluestone can also be combined with other paving materials to achieve the desired look.

Clay Brick Pavers:

This is a traditional form of paving material and has been in use since ages. The basic material used for creating the clay brick pavers is clay that is formed into different shapes and is baked in a kiln. The brick pavers are then laid out on a mortar base or sand base to give shape to the driveway. The great features of the clay brick pavers are that they are rich in color, texture, and character. Moreover, they can also be laid out in different shapes and patterns to enhance the overall look.

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