Roots vs Pavers

Roots vs. Pavers…Who Wins?

It’s a simple truth. Over time, roots from trees and larger bushes can damage your brick paver patio, walkways or landscaping elements. Most people think about tree roots and roots from larger bushes when it comes to potential damage to the foundation of their home; in actuality they are not the direct cause of foundation damage – it’s the condition of the soil that has changed that causes the foundation to be compromised.

That being said, roots from trees and larger bushes can be strong enough to create force that can move smaller retaining walls, so yes, the brick pavers around your home can also be affected greatly if not installed properly.

The Solution

The simple solution of cutting the problem-area roots might seem ideal, but that would put the tree or large bush in jeopardy, causing tree rot to occur and spread throughout the tree or shrub. This can also weaken a tree to the point that it may fall over.  If your brick pavers are affected by root systems to the point that they are cracked, tilted or misplaced, these can cause safety issues in addition to being an eyesore. But there are solutions.

The pavers can be removed, and the roots covered with a new layer of setting material. Setting materials include sand or stone dust, which covers the area while creating a flatter surface to work with when re-installing the pavers. Another solution is to replace the pavers with pea-stone, lower maintenance in general while greatly adaptive to the movement and growth of most root systems.

Additional Options

Additional options include replacing paves with an on-grade deck. This installation can be complicated, as you need to carefully place the footings to avoid any large roots. You can also look into moving your patio to a different area of the yard, away from the larger root systems, then hiding the roots with a flower garden.

So if you’re thinking of installing (or repairing) a paver patio or walkway around root systems, it’s best to consult a professional brick paver installation company who can assess and offer the best solutions for your landscaping moving forward.

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Beautify Your Home

How To Make The Neighbors Jealous

Make Your Home Look It’s Best

As the old saying “keeping up with the Joneses’” goes, it’s probably important to you to make your home look the best that it can – for a variety of reasons. You take pride in your home, work hard to maintain it, invest a lot of time and money into making it look beautiful. The front of your home is the first impression that anyone will have of your home. And if you’re trying to one-up the neighbors in the home landscaping area, there’s a great way to beautify your home and functionality at the same time.

Brick Pavers Enhance your Home

Most homes will have nice lawns and colorful trees, flowers, bushes and plants that are designed to enhance a home’s outside finish. Pavers can be an excellent addition to your existing landscape, complementing the landscaping elements you already have in place. And there are many options in terms of how to utilize pavers. You can create an inviting front path to your porch, or a walking area to the backyard, as well as an entire driveway if so desired.

Selecting Pavers

Pavers come in a variety of sizes, shapes and colors, allowing you to work with small to large spaces while matching the color of your home or other focal points in your front yard. Pavers also come in brick and concrete options, as well as cobblestone. Depending on where you are wanting to add pavers, the type of paver is important. Cobblestone pavers, for example, are the most durable and best suited for driveways, while brick pavers are less durable and better for walking paths. Concrete pavers offer the greatest variety when it comes to color options.

Use a Professional Paver Company

Because there’s a lot involved with the planning and installation of pavers, it’s usually best to utilize a professional paver company – one who can take you through the entire process from planning to installation and completion. The end result? You’ll have pavers that accentuate your home, and just possibly make your neighbors a little jealous in the process.

Related Article: Travertine Tile Benefits

Differences In Pavers

Differences In Pavers

What Are They?

If you’re thinking about adding pavers around your home, whether in the backyard, front or side, it’s important to understand the differences in pavers that are available to select from. Pavers are mainly broken down into two categories – concrete pavers and brick pavers. Both offer great solutions to add to the beauty and functionality of your outside space, but there are some major differences between them that you should be aware of.

Concrete pavers are available in a variety of sizes and shapes, including smaller 4” x 8” and 6” x 6” sizes, and up to 24” slabs. These pavers are available in irregular and plank shapes. Brick pavers, made of clay, typically only come in a 4” x 8” size. Brick pavers also have very similar faces, while concrete pavers are available in a vast selection of finishes, including smooth finishes, cobbled styles, natural stone textures, antique tumbled finishes and more. Concrete pavers also can have stylish faces created using special aggregates and tools.

Brick Color Selection

Color is also a consideration when trying to decide between concrete pavers and brick pavers. Clay brick pavers are usually available in a somewhat limited number of color blends and shades. On the other hand, concrete pavers have a larger footprint within color tones, shades and what are known as variegated color blends. This offers much more flexibility within the design area, and allows to create more coordinated designs and patterns. Most concrete pavers are resistant to fading.

Brick or Concrete Pavers?

Most pavers are very resilient in general, although brick pavers are more prone to cracking in climates where freezing and thawing occurs. Concrete pavers are better suited to handle all weather conditions. Because of the many differences in pavers, it’s best to contact a professional when it comes time to consider adding them to your home.

Related Article: Travertine Tile

Brick Paver Maintenance image

How To Prevent Weeds Around Pavers

Care For Your Brick Pavers

When it comes to yard maintenance, nothing can be more frustrating than battling those pesky weeds that grow in between your pavers on your patio, driveway or pathway. They can be difficult to remove, and stubborn to eliminate. But there are solutions.

Properly installed pavers to start with are usually more resilient to weed growth. Also important – selecting the right materials for your project, as weeds tend to grow quickly and spread out even faster. Using the right contractor, or doing your homework before tackling one of these projects is essential. Another key tip? It’s important to make sure there is a sufficient slope for water to drain when it rains. Weeds tend to thrive in cool, damp environments, and proper drainage can help eliminate growth and spreading.

Paver Maintenance

Regular maintenance is also a must-do. This includes sweeping your paver stones so that seedlings don’t settle, while simultaneously disrupting new weeds from growing between pavers. It’s important to remove any new weeds you see as quickly as possible. Pulling them does work, as do organic solutions sprayed between the pavers. It is not recommended to use harsh chemical solutions as they are damaging to both people, animals, plants, trees and the surrounding ground areas. You can try white vinegar, or even boiling water to start. Search online as well for additional spray solutions. You can also pressure wash the spaces in between your pavers, and refill with new stabilizing sand. The proper sand between your pavers is a critical step to battling and eliminating those pesky weeds, as it doesn’t allow seedlings to fall between the pavers.

Related Article: Roots vs Pavers

Contact West Coast Pavers For a Brick Paver Installation Estimate>>

Patio Pitfalls Shifting Pavers

Paver Patio Pifalls

Pavers Shifting & Misaligning

You’ve installed a beautiful paver patio or walkway, and are ready to love and enjoy it for years to come. Then suddenly, you notice pavers shifting, misaligning, sinking and more, including becoming a harbinger for weed growth. What went wrong? Plenty.

A paver patio can be a relatively easy and inexpensive addition to your home landscaping, but if not installed correctly, can present a myriad of challenges that end up costing you more in the long term. Paver installation requires detailed planning and careful consideration, from the design phase to material purchase down to the installation and maintenance. This is often a process best left to the professionals to handle.

Pre-Installation & Planning

Before pavers are installed around your home, the areas of installation should be carefully examined, including understanding slopes and drainage areas, the type of soil, and other elements that may be surrounding the finished project. These include grills, plant beds, tree roots and existing lawns. Precise measurements should be taken and strictly followed. The depth of the foundation is important, as is the compacted material that will lie beneath your pavers. Any oversites in these areas can cause critical paver problems.

Improper compaction of soil is another reason why pavers will fail. This is because the soil will settle, sometimes dramatically depending on the climate you reside in. Utilizing proper compaction tools are a must in any installation project. The lack of a solid edge around a paver patio can also result in shifting and misaligned pavers. An improper type of sand spread between the pavers during installation can also cause damage.

If you’re looking for a quality, professional and lasting paver patio, consider using licensed professionals with the experience required to navigate the numerous paver patio pitfalls.

Related Article: Brick Paver Maintenance

Brick Paver Installers

Professional Brick Paver Installers

Why Use Professional Brick Paver Installers?

Many people have tried to lay a brick patio themselves with minimal success rather than having  professional brick paver installers do the job. The main reason is that doing it yourself you can save some money up front. And in some cases the finished product doesn’t look too bad in the beginning.

Special Equipment Needed

The project will require some special equipment which you will need to rent or purchase if you don’t have them. Trying to do a project like this without the proper tools will end up costing you in the long run. Professional brick paver installers have the equipment and knows how to use it . They will get the job done efficiently the first time around.  If you’re not moderately experienced with these tools, as a result you might be better off hiring a professional brick paver contractor.

The base of the the patio or driveway will need to be dug out several inches to lay a gravel base. Once that is done then a layer of  sand over gravel is needed. So proper preparations and specs are required if you want your investment to last for the next many years to come.  If the base is not properly prepare, it can literally ruin your brick driveway or patio project. Just hauling in the gravel and sand is going to a challenge for some people.  There’s nothing worse that having a great looking driveway or patio and a couple years later, the brick pavers start shifting or separating.

Do Your Research on Brick Paver Installation Requirements

Before deciding whether you want to take on such a large project yourself, do some research. See what all is involved in a properly initiated brick paver installation. When you hire professional brick paver installers to do the job, you’re usually going to have some kind of warranty if something goes bad. Watch Our Video.

If your brick pavers are done right, your project should last at least 25 years or more. You can ensure a longer life, by sealing the bricks after each pressure washing. If left unsealed, clay brick can flake and peel over time.

Thinking of doing a Brick Paver Installation? Give us a call and we’ll give you a free quote. We have been doing this for over 20 years and pride ourselves in the quality of our work and designs.

CALL 239.590.9834

 

Concrete Pavers

Brick Pavers or Concrete Pavers?

Advantages of Concrete Pavers

Concrete pavers are made from cement that is poured into forms, compressed, and air cured. As a result concrete can be formed into all sorts of shapes and sizes and made in a wide range of colors which can give you a wider selection.

Concrete Bricks Are Less Expensive:

Concrete pavers are less expensive than clay brick, due to the lower cost of raw materials.

Concrete Bricks Offer More Choices:

Concrete bricks offers far more design options and colors than clay bricks. If you can imagine it, you can make it happen with concrete pavers.

Brick Design Innovation:

New and better concrete pavers are being designed all the time, so you might even find choices that correct the known downsides of concrete brick.

Advantages of Brick Pavers

The advantages of using Brick Pavers are that they are made from clay that is shaped and cured by baking in a kiln (like pottery).

Longer Color Retention:

Bricks are naturally colored by mixing in various types of clays, so they retain color better than concrete bricks, particularly when exposed to the harmful rays of the sun and weather.

Brick Pavers Tend To Last Longer:

Bricks may chip or crack over time, but they last for generations. Brick pavers tend to break in response to stress (such as ice, traffic or moisture) while the surface on concrete pavers can erode and fade over a period time.

Brick Pavers Require Less Maintenance:

Clay brick pavers resist staining and require less maintenance and cleaning than concrete pavers.

Clay Bricks Have A Timeless Style:

Clay Bricks have a distinct edge in looks and style compared to concrete bricks. An aged, worn brick walkway retains its charm while cracked or chipped concrete merely looks worn out and in need of repair.

Related Article: Differences in Pavers

Paver Replacement image

Brick Paver Replacement | Brick Paver Restore

Considering Paver Replacement?

Or Just Restore Your Existing Pavers?

When considering paver replacement vs just restoring your existing pavers, an assessment of the current condition of your pavers is necessary. It is usually much cheaper to restore your pavers than to replace them. So long as the pavers are in good structural condition and you still like the color and patter of the pavers, with a little work, they can be restored and made to look almost as they did when they were new.

The structure of the base of the brick pavers is very important to check when you’re considering paver replacement.  If you see a lot movement in the pavers and there are large gaps or areas that have settled or raised and is uneven, then you could have a serious problem with the base that is going to be difficult to remedy without a total brick paver replacement. If you do,  then any repairs may be short lived and will continue to fail costing you more money and time.

Keep in mind that any brick paver patio, walk or driveway is designed as a complete unit that must built properly in order to provide a beautiful, long lasting surface that requires little attention and care. It starts with the initial excavation and compaction of the sub-base. Then a base with a minimum of 4-6” of crushed stone must be spread and compacted in several intervals to achieve the proper density. Once the pavers or brick are laid and cut in, an edge restraint (usually concrete) needs to be installed around the entire perimeter to keep the brick pavers from spreading or moving. The pavers then need to be vibrated with a plate tamper to set them in place and even the brick surface. The final process is to spread sand (preferably polymeric sand) over the pavers and vibrated into the joints to create interlock between the brick pavers.

We often see where the previous contractor or homeowner took shortcuts in this process reducing the life span of the surface consistency.

Occasionally, we see such poor construction that we recommend the entire brick paver area be reconstructed. This can be more expensive initially, but over the long haul its a better investment than restoring a poorly constructed project.

Related Article: Patio Paver Pitfalls

Contact West Coast Pavers for a FREE Consultation at 239-590-9834!

Brick Paver Maintenance image

Brick Paver Maintenance

Is Brick Paver Maintenance Important?

When was the last time you thought of brick paver maintenance for your driveway or patio? Don’t be surprised if brick pavers look worn out, dirty, or even weedy if you have not done anything to prevent it. Brick pavers can even start to move and shift if gone neglected.

Brick paver restore tips for driveway & patio

  • Determine if there has been any movement or settling of pavers. Repair these areas according to the brick paver manufacturer’s specifications. This will require digging up an area to confirm that the base was done correctly in the first place. If not, you have bigger chore on your hands of redoing the base of that area or possibly the entire brick paver walk, patio, drive, etc.
  • Pressure wash your brick pavers with about 2700 psi power washer or greater. You may or may not need to use a paver cleaner during this process.
  • Spread joint sand into the joints of the brick pavers and spray the driveway or patio with a light spray from a garden hose. Sweep sand and spray with water a second time to ensure joints are full of joint sand. Once the bricks are dry, make sure the joints are full with joint sand. This helps with brick stability.
  • Next apply joint stabilizing sealer on the brick pavers. The sealer hardens the sand and helps prevent water intrusion in the joints.
  • If desired you can apply a brick paver sealer. There are many options when choosing brick paver sealers. Some will have a glossy wet look which often darkens the color of you pavers (the choice is yours). Some paver sealers have a matte finish while others are completely invisible. The sealer will create a durable barrier against liquids on the brick paver itself. Brick paver sealers will help prevent stains and will keep your pavers looking cleaner much longer.  Some high end pavers have a stain resistant surface and this step is unnecessary. Follow the instructions of the sealer’s manufacturer on how to apply it properly.

By following this tips you will enhance the look, help maintain the structural integrity, and lower the amount of yearly maintenance on your brick pavers.

Related Article: Preventing Weeds

Contact West Coast Pavers of Fort Myers for professional brick paver maintenance.

Cleaning Brick Pavers is required

Brick Paver Maintenance

Facts About Cleaning Brick Pavers

Regardless of how well a pavement might be installed, or how much was spent on quality materials, all pavers require basic maintenance.  Proper care to keep them looking their best is very important. Companies that promise “maintenance-free” paving of one form or another are not being entirely truthful. A regular routine of cleaning brick pavers keeps paving in prime condition and looking good for years. Lack of care will deteriorate your investment very quickly.

Even if it’s just a basic wash-down with soapy water, all types and forms of paving will look so much better with a little effort.  Furthermore, certain types of paving tend to need a bit more care and attention to ensure they always look as smart as possible. The good news is that cleaning is usually simple and even the most neglected pavers can often be given a new lease of life with just a little effort.

Weeds

Weeds can usually be pulled off the surface of most pavers, or scraped off using a hoe or similar tool. Where roots have been sent down into the jointing, removal of the weeds often removes some of the sand. This should be replaced as soon as the surface is clean. Partially-filled or empty joints are detrimental to pavement performance. Weed sprays are one of the easiest ways to control this as well as a good quality brick paver sealant. Sealant will also protect the brick pavers against stains, mildew and other elements that discolor the bricks.

Basic Cleaning

The simplest and safest way to clean paving is to scrub it with soapy water. Some people will swear that hot soapy water is more effective than cold, but in reality, any  soapy water will do. Use wash-up liquid or an acid-free soap-based floor cleaning product. Other than a bucket or pail in which to keep the soapy water, the only equipment needed is a stiff brush. Use one that is tough with thick bristles rather than the finer bristled types which we refer to as soft brushes.

Related Article: Roots vs Pavers