Interlocking concrete paving stones have a wide variety of benefits compared to other types of paving materials. These include:
* A vast variety of paving stone styles
* Wide number of color possibilities
* Easy to create your own design
* Low cost and no maintenance
* A 50 year + life expectancy
* Paving stones don't crack
* 3 times stronger than poured concrete
* Paving stones move with soil conditions or changes
The many shapes, patterns, and colors of concrete pavers allow for much greater design creativity than other paving methods. You can also use the colors and designs to delineate pavement areas for different purposes, such as parking lanes, crosswalks, and intersections. The classic beauty of pavers adds value and curb appeal to any property.
Suppliers stock everything from rustic stone-like pavers to those that look like clay brick. Colors range from light to dark gray, various shades of red and burgundy, and light tan to orange to brown. Many types of pavers come in combinations of colors that can be used together tastefully in one installation. Light colored pavers offer a cooler surface around patios and pool decks.
Initial Paver Installation Cost
Concrete pavers are generally less expensive than clay pavers, granite pavers or sandstone pavers. When considering maintenance and replacement costs, pavers offer an economical long-term alternative to other types of pavement.
Concrete paving stones possess exceptional strength and durability, superior stability under severe loads, and are unaffected by the extremes of heat and cold. Each paving stone unit has joints that allow for a small amount of movement without cracking. Factory made pavers last for decades.
Manufactured to tight dimensional tolerances, pavers are stronger than regular poured concrete surfaces and more durable than black asphalt. Whereas concrete is tested to withstand 2,000 PSI, paving stones are tested to withstand in excess of 8,000 PSI. Concrete pavers can take more abuse and last for generations. A paving stone installation allows for expansion and contraction without producing surface cracks, unlike concrete surfaces and stamped concrete.
Ease of Repair and Maintenance
You can remove and reinstall the same pavers with no ugly patches, after repairs to the base or underground utilities. This is not true for asphalt, concrete, and stamped concrete. Pavers are low-maintenance and offer low costs over the long life of the installation.
Stained or broken pavers (which are rare) can be easily replaced without patches. Dark colored pavers can help hide stains. Ants and weeds in joints can be prevented with sealers or herbicides. Pavers can be repaired by lifting the affected area, re-grading and re-compacting the base and bedding sand and reinstalling the same pavers. It is an inexpensive procedure leaving no unsightly repair patches.
Pavers are easy to maintain, with regular sweeping and occasional rinsing usually being the most maintenance needed. For heavy soiling, pressure washing with appropriate cleaning solutions or simple treatment with a brush, cleaner, and water will solve the problem. Applying new sand to the joints between the pavers will be necessary.
Interlocking concrete pavers are a flexible system and allow for movement. They are almost indestructible. The pavement system moves in unison with the earth's usual tendency to swell and contract, thus avoiding any serious damage.
Pavers can be applied in both residential and commercial settings, including driveways, parking lots, walkways, sidewalks, pool decks, patios, streets, and golf cart paths. Interlocking concrete pavers are a classically beautiful choice for all outdoor surfaces.
On both vehicular and pedestrian surfaces pavers have a non-skid surface. Even when wet they are safe to walk or drive a vehicle over them.
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Terry Morrill is President of Pacific Pavingstone (www.pacificpavingstone.com), a company that installs paving stone driveways, patios and pool decks in Southern California. He also owns California Waterscapes (www.californiawaterscapes.com), specializing in designing and installing ecologically balanced ponds, streams and waterfalls, and Pacific Outdoor Living Pro Division (www.propondswest.com), a nationwide distributor of Aquascape pond products.
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