On Sat, Nov 7th, ’20, Kosta & his crew came to re-pave our shared double driveway. They were well-organized & tidy with their work. The driveway looked great. This is the third time the driveway has been paved. The first was in ’75 & the 2nd time was in ’91.
At the end of November, we had a heavy rainstorm that showed a glaring flaw with the way the driveway was designed. Instead of draining down the middle, like the way our previous paved driveways drained, all of the water was draining over to my side of the driveway. At the top of the driveway, the water drains down the middle for about 12ft, then it veers to the left behind my car & pools at the front step. From there, it runs along the landing of the front step to the front lawn, where it continues to flow to the front of the house. Beyond this point, all the water, including the water from my neighbour’s side, drains into the hedge that runs alongside of the driveway. Very little drains out to the sidewalk. Once the rain stops, my neighbour’s side dries quickly, but our side remains wet. The wetness is not good in the winter because our side gets a layer of black ice. My sister had a bad fall in December & was off work for a month with a pulled hamstring & back injury.
I sent an e-mail Dec 4th, including pix posted on this review too, to Royal Town to let them know what is happening with the drainage of our driveway. Kosta phoned back & left a message on Dec 7th. stating that the sidewalk on Kipling Avenue sloped to the south, so there was no way they could make the new driveway drain down the middle. Water would pool before the sidewalk & not drain to the street. When I called back & reached Kosta live, he repeated the same info & stated that the driveway is under warranty, so he'll be out in the spring to resolve the issue. On an added note, my neighbour & I were not told of this issue when Kosta gave the quote. We specifically told him that we wanted the drainage down the middle, like the two previous paving companies had it designed. We also told him that we wanted highway grade asphalt & I didn’t want our side to look like we’re sinking in pavement. Kosta took it upon himself to change the drainage plan that we requested when he was doing the paving & didn't tell us about the change.
When May rolled around, messages were left on May 18th, May 31st & June 29th. None of my messages were returned, so I had to get my lawyer to send a letter threatening small claims court legal action. Unfortunately, this is what was needed to get a response. During this time, my neighbour showed me the big cracks that were developing on our side, towards the middle of the driveway. The three cracks total 15ft. Also, I had noticed there were 3 spots where weeds were growing through the pavement. (See pix for both issues) I haven’t seen this before on a new driveway, especially when the asphalt is under a year old. On July 11, ’21 Kosta came out to inspect the driveway. On July 19th, '21 he called me to say that they would be out on a hot day (over 25c) to heat up the pavement & re-slope the driveway, either by the end of July or into August. He said I should call him by the end of August if I hadn’t heard from him.
The end of August rolls around & still there is no sign of Kosta & his crew. I called him & was told that the weather is too hot for his men to work & that the owner needs to come out to inspect how the driveway is to be repaired. He told me that they would be out by the end of Sept to do the repair.
In the same pattern as before, there was no communication from Kosta throughout Sept, so I phoned & left a message on Sept 23, ‘21. Kosta called back during the early evening on Sept 24, ’21. The plan to repair has changed from heating up the pavement & re-sloping to cutting troughs into the pavement to capture the water. If this doesn’t work, then they will be out in the spring.
This is the final straw for me with this company. Bad communication, stall tactics, stringing myself & neighbour along for the year, & band-aid solutions have ruined any trust that I had for them to resolve this issue. A proper drainage design is a key foundation to any driveway & needs to be implemented before the pavement goes down, not after the fact. The only way this driveway or any driveway is repaired when it doesn’t have proper drainage is to rip out everything & start all over again. They’re coming off like a honky-tonk, fly-by-night organization, so I don’t see this happening anytime soon. I would not recommend their services to anyone looking for a paving company with any type of expertise in their workmanship & handling warranty claims efficiently with a positive resolution.
Update: On Saturday, October 23, 2021, Kosta came to repair the driveway. After a year of back & forth about the driveway drainage & cracking, he told me that there was nothing they could do about the drainage. He blamed it on the city sidewalk being set too high & the landing at our front step sinking too low. When we put the hose out to check the drainage, it was worse than I saw during heavy rain. A wide stream of water goes to our front step & flows over the entire landing to the house & front lawn. This isn't acceptable. The fact of the matter is that they built the driveway up too high & we are now downstream from the neighbours. As I have mentioned countless times before, our house is set lower than our neighbour's house. It was the way these houses were graded back in the '50s. This info falls on deaf ears & brings out all of the external issue excuses. Kosta heated up the asphalt to make a trough to pull some of the water away from draining towards our house, but it doesn't work. The water goes over it. It looks like a big skid mark, with loose asphalt stones, on the driveway (see photo), which is symbolic of the quality of this job. Kosta did the same heating of the asphalt to fix the 3 big cracks (see photo) that developed in the spring. This repair is not going to last, it's going to crack again. Now, my neighbour & I will have to find another contractor to dig up the mess that is out there & start over or go back to gravel.