Pavement is something we’re not supposed to think about very often. As long as it’s smooth and functional, it gets us where we need to go without any complaints. But the moment something starts to go wrong with pavement, we realize how important it is. Bad pavement could be the result of poor materials, installation mistakes, or a combination thereof. Either way, it’s hugely inconvenient for any homeowner or business owner who wants to make the most of every dollar.

The best way to avoid asphalt problems is, of course, to find a specialist who knows their stuff and isn’t going to short change their clients. As long as you adhere to periodic maintenance requirements, correctly-installed asphalt should last for a decade or more. The problem is, not every asphalt “specialist” really knows how to get the most out of each unique installation and maximize value for the client, whether it’s a large commercial parking lot or a simple residential driveway.

So how do you differentiate between high-quality asphalt companies and those that have lower standards? Most people will turn to online research, and this makes perfect sense — but sloppy research can leave you stuck with a bad contractor. Here are a few things to look for when you fire up your search engine.

The contractor has all the necessary qualifications

With sites like Craigslist and various business directories that don’t really differentiate between professional and non-professional services, there are a whole lot of service providers who aren’t actually licensed or accredited to do the work they’re advertising. Asphalt is no exception. The first step is to make sure you’re working with a real asphalt company and not a moonlighter or “general handyman.” Do that by looking for a company with all the proper licensing and insurance to perform asphalt installation or repair work in your area.

The contractor has years of experience

Asphalt installation is a tricky trade, and it’s full of variables. Contractors need to know how to navigate all of these different variables, and there’s really only one way to do that: Experience. If the company is brand new, make sure it’s led by individuals with years of experience.

The contractor has good reviews

The best indicator that an asphalt specialist is delivering high quality results is the feedback received by past clients. If you find a specialist with consistently positive reviews, you’re much more likely to be another satisfied client when the day is done.

The contractor is helpful and friendly

Not being able to reach anybody when you have questions is frustrating. Driveways and parking lots are sizeable investments made by homeowners and business owners, and when there’s a question related to this investment, real professionals are highly responsive.

Making the right selection for your home or business

Finding a qualified asphalt installation company that meets all the requirements listed here will drastically increase your chances of achieving the best possible result with your asphalt installation project. You want your driveway or parking lot to look fantastic, and to hold up for ten or even twenty years — and there are serious professionals out there who can help you achieve it.