The Washington State Department of Labor and Industries is alerting homeowners to beware of an asphalt paving scam that recently claimed one victim in eastern Washington.
A Yakima homeowner paid $6,300 in cash for an asphalt-paving job that began to fall apart within days.
State labor officials are reminding all property owners to check www.HiringAContractor.Lni.wa.gov to verify the contractor they want to hire is registered with the state as required by law, has insurance and carries a bond.
The traveling scam is one 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 officials say these paving jobs can have a host of problems, including 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 and “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 the state 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 or use high-pressure sales tactics.