At a glance, you might think that laying asphalt is a very easy and simple task. All you have to do is flatten and compress the dirt, put down the asphalt itself, and make it nice and flat using special tools and methods. Asphalt and other common types of pavement (such as concrete) are such a regular part of our lives that we hardly give them a second thought. Often times, we don’t realize how many things can go wrong — until they do go wrong.

When we look at the situation honestly, we see that asphalt installation contractors actually can make a number of different mistakes. It might be that they’re cutting corners consciously in an effort to make a better profit. It might be that they just don’t have the training and experience to do things properly. Whatever the case may be, you (the client) end up shouldering the cost of these mistakes.

The ideal asphalt or concrete surface is aesthetically pleasing, structurally sound, and a good value. It lasts a very long time, particularly in the case of concrete (although asphalt is also very long-lasting).

Many freshly paved surfaces appear to be very high quality at first, but when the elements and constant usage are applied, they quickly begin to show their flaws. Hopefully your contractual guarantee will cover any mistakes that were made. But it’s also possible that such guarantees (which typically last a year or two) have expired by the time flaws are noticed. In this case, you’ll have to invest more cash to fix the contractor’s mistakes.

These are some of the main reasons we recommend carefully choosing your pavement contractor. If you find somebody whose reputation is very positive, and who seems to work very hard to keep it that way, you know you have a good chance of coming away with a great result. Reputable contractors know that when they create problems for customers, they basically create problems for themselves. And they’re also more likely to step in and fix problems when they do occur, rather than hanging customers out to dry.

Three common mistakes made by asphalt and concrete pavement companies are:

1. Using sub-standard materials

Not all asphalt and concrete mixtures are the same; it’s important to realize this. There is such a thing as a high quality mix and a low quality mix, and everything in between. Reputable contractors only use very high quality mixes. They know that using a low quality mix will cause problems for the client. Maybe not now, but in a year or two.

2. Being trigger-happy with the sealcoating

Asphalt does need to be sealcoated in order to maximize its lifespan and overall strength. But this shouldn’t be done right away. Some contractors want to wrap things up and move on to the next project, so they perform sealcoating before they should. This is done to the detriment of the customer. Reputable companies wait the proper length of time, often 6-12 months, before they sealcoat a new asphalt surface.

3. Not caring about the customer’s success

Whenever you observe a really good pavement specialist, you’ll see that they listen closely to customers, and are constantly distributing sound advice about what type of pavement will work best for them, how to maintain it properly, and so forth. They’ll also share knowledge about the local climate and weather, which these factors affect various types of pavement. Good specialist care about the success of their clients, and want them to achieve maximum value for their budget.

Locating a pavement specialist who doesn’t mess up

Mistakes do happen in the world of concrete and asphalt installations. But if you find a reputable provider, you’re getting someone with so much experience and know-how that it’s highly unlikely any major mistakes will be made. Take care during your selection process. Choose the right contractor and your driveway investment will be protected!