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July 30, 2010

L&I says don't get burned by this asphalt paving scam

TUMWATER – The Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) today warned Washington homeowners and businesses to beware of asphalt paving scammers that may pressure you to repair your driveway.

The seasonal scam has been reported recently in Cowlitz County.

In the summer months, it’s not unusual for these paving crews to come into the state and travel around hitting different communities – often targeting senior citizens. The workmanship may be poor, the asphalt inferior and the prices inflated, but by the time problems appear, the crew has moved on to a different area or another state.

Typically, the representatives will approach a homeowner or business and offer to repave a driveway or parking lot for a great low price. They’ll claim 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.

In a recent instance in Cowlitz County, a young couple was persuaded to go to the bank and withdraw cash to pay for the asphalt paving job. Within a couple of weeks, the asphalt started breaking up and coming off in chunks.

“Never let anyone rush you into making a decision about home repairs or improvements, no matter how good the deal seems at the time,” said Rich Ervin, L&I’s program manager for contractor registration. “Be wary of great bargains, lifetime guarantees and other high-pressure sales tactics.”

L&I recommends these 10 tips for hiring the best contractor to avoid getting burned by a shady contractor.

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Media contact: Selena Davis, L&I, 360-902-6593

Broadcast version: The Department of Labor & Industries warns homeowners not to fall victim to a driveway repair scam where someone offers to repave a driveway or parking lot for a great price, claiming to have leftover materials from another job nearby. The workmanship may be poor and the asphalt used may be inferior, but by the time problems appear the crew has moved out of the area. L&I had a recent report of this scam operating in Cowlitz County. To check that a contractor is registered, and for tips to avoid getting burned by a shady contractor, log on to www.hiringacontractor.Lni.wa.gov.

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