Tri-Cities area homeowners warned: seasonal asphalt paving scam operating in the area

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TUMWATER — The Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) is warning homeowners in the Tri-Cities area that con artists offering asphalt paving and driveway seal coats may be operating in the area.

The traveling paving scam is one L&I inspectors see every summer. Homeowners can help protect themselves by verifying any contractor they hire is registered with L&I.

The scam typically works like this: a friendly representative approaches a homeowner offering to repave a driveway for a low price, claiming they have just enough asphalt left over from another job nearby. The representatives are usually polite, drive nice work vehicles and can be very persuasive.

But the work they do won't meet homeowners' expectations, and both materials and workmanship are often subpar. By the time the victim realizes their new driveway is falling apart, the pavers have the victim's money and are long gone and untraceable.

"We haven't issued any citations yet in the Tri-Cities area, but we suspect a few of these outfits are doing business there," said Rich Ervin, L&I's program manager for contractor registration. "We urge any homeowners that have done business with or have been approached by these guys to report it to L&I."

You can report a suspicious contractor online or by calling 1-888-811-5974.

The driveway paving jobs can go bad in a number of ways, including:

  • Sub-par materials, including watered-down asphalt
  • Asphalt poured too thinly, allowing grass and weeds to pop through
  • Little or no attention to the driveway's foundation, causing cracking and breakage later on
  • Drainage problems

Contractors must be registered with the state, and carry a bond and insurance to legally work in Washington. Always check that your contractor is registered, bonded, and insured before beginning any work on your home.

L&I has guidelines for hiring the best contractor at


For media information: Selena Davis, L&I, 360-902-6878.

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