Everyone loves relaxing in a beautiful, verdant garden, with sunlight dappling among the foliage and classic paving underfoot. Unfortunately the realization of that vision may seem a long way off as you walk the aisles of Home Depot or stand with your shovel and DIY masonry supplies under the hot sun.
This is one reason to collaborate with the experts. True professionals can take a long look at your property in the context of your lifestyle and do the difficult, precise work it takes to create a true outdoor oasis.
The good news is that we have a wide array of beautifully textured, high-quality materials to work with and the experience to ensure they’re installed correctly. We’ll be writing about all of this during the next few months, beginning with a few details on what to expect following the expert installation of concrete pavers.
What’s in-between is what holds it together
Concrete pavers offer an endless array of design options and look great with minimum maintenance if they’re installed correctly. One important step is to use stabilized sand in the joints between the pavers, and to coat the pavers with sealers that hold the sand in the joints.
The sealer is applied over the entire surface of the pavers, enabling it to soak into and cure the joints. This step is especially important for counteracting the potential degradation of the joints from harsh winds and water runoff. Letting us do it correctly today will ensure your outdoor space looks great with minimal maintenance for years to come.
There are easy, environmentally-friendly ways to reduce weeds and ants
No one wants to see weeds sprouting between pavers or ants teeming from the sandy joints, which is another reason why the sealer step is so important. If it’s done correctly it’ll greatly diminish the proliferation of weeds and will discourage ants from burrowing in.
If you’re already dealing with this problem due to insufficient steps during installation by another contractor, you’re probably tempted to use an herbicide instead of stooping and bending to pull the weeds out by hand. If so, make sure you use biodegradable products that won’t hurt your other plantings or pollute water supplies.
Correctly-installed pavers can make it easier to get rid of snow and ice
Salt treatments are a modern miracle that greatly reduce shoveling and dangers from slipping on the ice. They’re especially valuable if you have concrete pavers, which are resistant to damage from salt. And if you’ve got the foresight and are willing to invest a little more, concrete pavers are easy to install over electric or liquid snow-melting systems.
They’re easy to clean if you use the right materials
Even though your pavers are for an outside space, it might be nice to keep them looking as clean and fresh as your indoor flooring and carpets. That’s a challenge if the oil leaks from your car, or if, over time, a white haze known as “efflorescence” appears.
Oil stains should be removed as soon as you see them. Biodegradable detergents tend to work well for this, especially if you use cleaners we recommend based on our experience. Sealing pavers during installation and cleaning them quickly when they are stained will greatly reduce the likelihood that oil penetrates the surface and becomes permanent.
You also want to use the correct cleaning solution for efflorescence, which can occur when the lime or calcium oxide in cement pavers reacts with water over an extended period of time. Improper cleaning can damage or discolor your pavers, so you need to use specially-formulated cleaner recommended by an experienced paver supplier.
If you’ve invested in colorful pavers you also want to keep them looking good, which is another reason to work with a contractor who’s skilled at applying sealers during the installation.
A qualified installer will fix what lies beneath
The last thing you want to see months or years after you’ve invested in your outdoor space is settling that makes your concrete pavers uneven. This usually happens when the soil underneath isn’t adequately compacted, or when the layer of bedding sand beneath the pavers is too thick or has been washed out.
This is yet another reason to work with an experienced installer, who understands how to stabilize the bedding and joint sand so you don’t end up re-doing the space later on. And if you’re looking at removing concrete pavers to accommodate utility repairs, a professional will ensure they’re re-installed correctly with stable bedding underneath.