3 Ways to Avoid Asphalt Paving Scam Artists

Traveling paving contractors are a huge problem in the U.S.– “60 Minutes” even did a story about them. Basically, if someone comes to your door claiming to be a contractor with “leftover asphalt” from a job he just finished, he’s probably lying – and if he offers to pave your driveway for cheap, he’s definitely trying to rip you off. While a deal is tempting, you’ll inevitably end up having to spend even more money to fix the poor job he does. So how do you turn down one of these nefarious characters?

1        Just say no.  Don’t try to call him out on being a scammer. Don’t engage much at all. In a courteous but firm manner, just tell him you’re not interested. Then shut the door politely, before he has a chance to hook you again.

2        Say you’re house-sitting. If the so-called contractor doesn’t seem like the type who’ll take “no” for an answer, smile sweetly at the conclusion of his story and say, “I’m sorry, but I’m just house-sitting. I’m not the person to ask.” If he offers you a business card, take it. When he leaves, promptly place it in the trash can.

3        Pretend you’re not home. If your doorbell rings and you see an unmarked truck full of “leftover” asphalt and one of those shady scammers on your porch, you can always just lie low for a few minutes. Don’t answer. That saves you the hassle of having to listen to his sales pitch, only to turn him down.

When you’re ready to get a new driveway, or if you’ve been the victim of one of these scams and you need some asphalt repairs, give the Atlanta asphalt experts at Prime Paving Contractors, a call. And if you have any stories about how you’ve creatively turned down traveling paving contractors, post them in the comment section. We’d love to hear them!

 

Asphalt Can Do WHAT? 4 Surprising Uses for Asphalt

Asphalt is more than just a great surface for driveways and roadways. It actually has a ton of other uses – and some of them might surprise you. From propelling rocket ships into space to generating electricity, this one substance can do some pretty incredible and diverse stuff.

  • Waterproofing. Most people think of asphalt as a paving material, but it’s actually most often used to make roofing shingles. Though asphalt shingles look great, it’s not just an aesthetic thing – asphalt is actually waterproof. In fact, that was asphalt’s first use, historically. Thousands of years ago, in what’s now Pakistan, the ancient Indus people lined their crop-gathering baskets with asphalt to keep their food from getting wet.
  • Rocket Fuel. John Whiteside Parsons achieved a lot in rocket science, but that work is almost overshadowed by his affiliation with the occult and with people like Aleister Crowley and Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard. Let’s cut the guy some slack, though: he did figure out how to use asphalt to make a solid form of rocket fuel.
  • Paint. Asphalt is used as pigment in some paint and markers because of its intensely dark color and permanence. Asphalt-based art supplies are particularly popular with graffiti writers for that reason.
  • Solar Power. If you’ve ever gone barefoot on a summer day in Atlanta, you know just how hot asphalt can get, and in the 1990s, Dutch engineers figured out a way to harness that heat and turn it into energy. The blacktop acts as a solar panel, absorbing heat from the sun. That solar energy heats metal pipes full of water under the road, and when the hot water passes through a thermoelectric generator, voilà! Electricity. In 2008, Oregon became the first state in the U.S. to have a completely solar-powered highway – all of the lights, signs and tunnel fans are powered by solar energy collected by the asphalt.

Even though asphalt can do all kinds of cool stuff, paving driveways and roadways is what it’s known for. If you’re in Atlanta and you’re in the market for a driveway or parking lot made of this magical material, give Prime Paving Contractors a call.

 

Paving Contractor Secrets Revealed: DIY Pothole Repair

One of asphalt’s most awesome features is that it’s easy to maintain on your own. A little DIY asphalt patching can save you from expensive repairs down the road. We want your driveway to last as long as possible, so we don’t mind revealing a paving secret or two to help you out with that. Potholes are one of the most common problems with asphalt driveways, but as long as they’re not too deep, you can fix them yourself pretty easily.

To start, you’ll need the following things: cold patch (available at any home improvement store), a Shop-Vac or broom and a 4 x 4 wooden block. That’s it! Now, to fix the pothole:

1 1. Be patient. If you wait for a warm day to fix your pothole, it’ll go a lot more smoothly. This is because the asphalt will be more pliable and therefore easier for you to work with.
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3 2. Clear the pothole of all debris, such as gravel and weeds. For the best results, use a Shop-Vac to get rid of every last bit.
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5 3. Once the hole is clear, fill it with cold patch to about a half inch above the surface of your driveway, making sure not to touch it with your hands (unless you’re wearing gloves).
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7 4. Starting at the edges, press the cold patch down with the 4 x 4. Work toward the center until the cold patch is level with the driveway surface. (This process is called “tamping.”)
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9 5. Repeat the last two steps if the cold patch is not level with the driveway’s surface after you pack it down.
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11 6. Pat yourself on the back – you did it!

If you follow these asphalt repair tips carefully, patching your pothole on your own should be no problem. If you want to be absolutely certain the job is done well, or if you’re concerned there might be serious damage to your driveway, give the Atlanta asphalt patching pros at Prime Paving Contractors a call.

paving company, driveways, Atlanta asphalt

Is Your House THAT House? 3 Signs You’re the Scourge of the Neighborhood

There’s one of those homes in every neighborhood – the rundown eyesore that just doesn’t fit in with all of those other perfectly maintained houses. Nobody wants to be the owner of that house, but it’s easy to slack on upkeep, and denial is a powerful thing. But what if yours is that house? Here are three signs you could be the scourge of the neighborhood:

1 Your yard is underwhelming. Is your grass overgrown? Hedges untrimmed? Weeds spreading rampantly? Does your back yard look as though it might be home to several escaped exotic animals? “Welcome to the Jungle” is a great song, but you don’t want it popping into peoples’ heads when they visit your home. So call your local landscapers and tame that beast of a yard.

2 Your driveway is dirty. If your driveway is dirty – as in literally made of dirt – you can bet that your neighbors dream about setting your home ablaze. Dirt driveways are seen as unsophisticated, so if yours is unpaved it’s time to call the paving company. Asphalt driveways are inexpensive and easily maintained, and they look great. Get one for yourself and you can look forward to more dinner party invitations.

3 Your pool is an ecosystem. Does your pool have a layer of green algae coating the surface? Is it still full of last fall’s leaves? Have you spotted little frogs darting around under the surface? If so, your neighbors are probably less than thrilled. But you don’t have to hire a pool boy to get them off your back. Take a trip to your local pool supply store and get to work. Your pool will be looking lovely again in no time.

Does this sound like your home? If so, stop worrying and do something about it! If it’s your driveway that’s the problem and you’re in Atlanta, call Prime Paving Contractors today. We’ll help you go from the house everyone hates to the house everyone wishes they had.

Residential Paving Atlanta
Residential Paving Atlanta

3 Questions You Should Ask Your Asphalt Paving Contractors

When you’re shopping around for paving contractors, it’s important to ask questions – lots of questions. After all, when you’re choosing a paving company, you’re essentially choosing a team of employees. You wouldn’t hire an employee for your company after just one or two questions, and the same should apply to your paving company. Here are three questions we think you should always ask during your interview process.

1        Do you offer a warranty? Good paving contractors will stand by their work, and they’ll give you a one-year warranty at least. If your paving contractor isn’t willing to offer you a guarantee, find a new one. You don’t want to get stuck paying for maintenance because your paving company’s work wasn’t up to par.

2        How will you be doing this? Some driveways are small enough that they’ll need to be paved by hand, and others may have some tight areas that require this method too. But generally, driveways should be paved with a machine. Machine paving gives you a smoother, more uniform surface that will last.

3        Does the estimate cover ALL of the charges? You don’t want to end up with any unpleasant surprises at the end of your asphalt resurfacing. Make sure your estimate includes everything and that your paving contractors won’t be tagging on a bunch of extra charges at the end.

If you ask yourself these these three questions, you’ll have a better shot at finding the perfect company for the job. What other questions do you think are important to ask potential paving contractors? Let us know in the comment section.

Residential Paving Atlanta
Residential Paving Atlanta

3 Reasons Concrete is Overrated

Sure, concrete is a decent enough building material. But we think asphalt has a few more advantages – and we’re not just talking price. Here are three reasons that concrete is cool but asphalt is better:

  • It’s hard to get rid of. When concrete driveways have reached the end of their days, you can’t just pave over them anew, as you can with asphalt driveways. Instead, you must pay to have the whole thing completely removed and hauled off – a process that can cost thousands of dollars.
  • It gets ugly easily. There’s no denying that concrete looks great. Unfortunately though, those good looks don’t last. Because of its lighter color, concrete is more susceptible to blemishes like oil stains, and repairing these ugly marks is difficult and expensive. With asphalt, however, it’s no problem. Stains don’t stick out as much on blacktop, and asphalt repairs are easy and inexpensive.
  • It’s tough on your joints. If you’re thinking about installing concrete at your athletic facility, here’s something you might not have considered: it’s hard on the joints. Running on asphalt is much better for joint health, because it has more “give” and therefore doesn’t strain the knees as much.

Asphalt is significantly cheaper than concrete. It’s easily fixed, it stays looking great for a long time and it’s even good for your joints. If you need any more convincing that asphalt is the best option for your home or business, give the Atlanta asphalt experts at Prime Paving Contractors a call today.

paving company, driveways, Atlanta asphalt

Why It’s Time for Your Parking Lot to Earn Its Stripes

We don’t just do asphalt here at Prime Paving Contractors – we also paint it. And while we’re not a team of Picassos, we can still get your parking lot looking like a work of art by freshening up its lines and arrows. Here are three reasons you should get your lot striped ASAP:

1        It looks more professional. We know you’re the consummate professional, but does your parking lot reflect that? A dingy parking lot without any demarcated spaces doesn’t say “professional.” Would you trust a doctor to help maintain your health if she didn’t even maintain her parking lot? Would you feel confident that a lawyer could win your case if his parking lot was a mess? Probably not.

2        It can save you from getting sued. If there’s an accident in your parking lot and you don’t have clearly marked directional arrows or spaces, you could be held liable. To avoid legal woes in the future, get your lot striped today.

3        It can increase your business’s value. If business has been going so well that you haven’t had time to think about your parking lot, we’re happy for you! But before you move out and upgrade to a bigger space, get your lot striped. A freshly painted parking lot makes a great first impression on potential buyers. It’s one less thing they’ll have to do after purchasing, and that means you can sell to them for a little more too.

If you’re still not convinced, check out what people are saying about getting their lots striped by Prime Paving Contractors. Then, if you’re in Atlanta, give us a call and we’ll get your parking lot looking great.

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3 Questions You Should Ask When Choosing an Industrial Asphalt Paving Company

Industrial lots need to be structurally sound and well-built if they’re going to stand up to heavy abuse, so you’ll want to make sure you choose the right asphalt paving company for the job. If it’s time for you to repave your factory or distribution center lot, be sure to thoroughly interview your potential paving contractors. You can start with questions like these:

  • How tough is this stuff? Industrial lots endure a lot of stress. Vehicles are constantly coming and going, and not just any vehicles either – they’re often big trucks carrying heavy loads. This means that your asphalt needs to be extra strong. The recipe for a durable industrial lot is as follows: a 8” crushed stone base, 2” of asphalt binder and 2” of asphalt topping. Anything less than that just won’t hold up under the pressure.
  • Have you done this before? This question seems a bit obvious, but it’s important. Plenty of people can pave driveways and parking lots, but industrial parking lots are different – they’re much bigger, and they have to be much more durable if they’re going to withstand high traffic volume and heavy vehicles. If your asphalt paving company doesn’t have industrial experience, chances are you’ll be needing maintenance before you know it.
  • Will it be business as usual? You have a business to run, so you certainly don’t want to waste time and money on a company that takes forever to pave your lot. Remember, you can’t walk on a freshly paved lot for about a day, and it’ll be about five days before you can drive on it. Ask up front how long the job will take, and make sure the paving company will clean up the job site after work each day so that the ongoing mess doesn’t further disrupt your business.

If you’re looking for industrial paving contractors in Atlanta, look no further than Prime Paving Contractors. We’ve got nearly 35 years of paving experience – we’ve paved a Walgreen’s distribution center, a Ryder truck facility and a whole lot more. Give us a call, ask us some questions and tell us about your needs. We’re confident that you’ll be pleased with our answers.

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3 Signs Your Paving Contractors Don’t Know What They’re Doing

There are so many paving contractors to choose from that finding a truly good one can be tricky. You want a company that’s honest, fair and knowledgeable, but the Yellow Pages sorts companies alphabetically, not according to virtue. Fortunately, if you know what to look for, it’s easy to spot the the red flags. Here are three big ones.

  • The bid is low. REALLY low. If you’ve followed the advice we’ve given in past blogs, you’ve been shopping around for your asphalt paving company. But remember, while it might be tempting to go with the lowest bidder, you’re probably going to get what you pay for. Super-low bids can indicate inexperience or, even worse, a scam.
  • Their equipment is old. If the equipment used by your paving contractors looks old, chances are that their methods are out-of-date too. You want to hire a company that will do efficient and cost-effective work, and you just can’t do that with antique equipment.
  • They’ve got an unmarked truck. If your paving contractors use a truck that doesn’t sport a name or a logo, be suspicious. Any legitimate asphalt paving company will mark its vehicles, because it’s a fantastic way to advertise. Why wouldn’t a contractor want all your neighbors to know who did that great paving job? If their trucks aren’t marked, it could be that they don’t want to stand by their poor workmanship or that they’re inexperienced. It could also mean that they view paving as a way to make a little extra money on the side – or that they don’t take it seriously.

If the paving contractors you’re considering raise flags like these, keep searching. Don’t settle for an inexperienced asphalt paving company, because you’ll just end up paying more in the end. Instead, call Prime Paving Contractors. We’ve got over three decades of experience, so you can be sure we know what we’re doing.

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Black is the New Green: Why Asphalt Driveways Are Eco-Friendly

Asphalt driveways, as we’ve already discussed, are durable and cost-effective, and they look great. But believe it or not, the awesomeness doesn’t stop there. Asphalt driveways are eco-friendly too. Here’s why:

1 They’re recyclable. When it’s time for you to replace your asphalt driveway, your old one won’t be headed to the trash heap. An astounding 99% of asphalt is recycled, according to a 2010 study conducted by the Federal Highway Administration. Where does the recycled asphalt go? It’s often crushed up and blended into new driveways.

2 They use local ingredients. Your dinner might be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of local ingredients, but the same idea is applicable to driveways too. The recipe for asphalt pavement is 95% aggregate, which is simply crushed stone, gravel, recycled pavement or sand. Your paving company will almost always get its aggregate locally, and that means that your driveway’s ingredients don’t have to travel far to get to you. That’s why a new asphalt driveway doesn’t make a big impact on the environment.

3 The industry is always improving. The asphalt paving industry is as concerned about the environment as you are, and it’s always seeking to improve its practices. Since the 1970s, asphalt production has increased by 250%, but asphalt plant emissions have actually been reduced by an amazing 97%. As of 2002, the Environmental Protection Agency no longer considers asphalt mixing plants to be a significant source of toxic emissions.

If you’re an environmentally conscious person, an asphalt driveway is the right choice for you. When you choose an asphalt driveway, you’re casting your vote for recycled materials, yes, but it goes way beyond that. Your new driveway can be recycled again again, for generations yet to come – and you just can’t get more green than that.

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