Driveways make for paths to your garage and your front porch from the road, and make for hard surfaces that can take all the vehicular traffic, that driveways will see. Driveways are made of concrete, asphalt, gravel or have pavers laid on them over compacted earth. Pavers are mostly interlocked and make for the strongest driveways. We recommend Driveways by Design for driveway paving.
What is Block Paving?
It is a method of paving that creates hard standing areas though the use of blocks or bricks. The products used and the method of construction actually used, makes block paving able to withstand regular vehicle overrun, even where traffic is very heavy. It is a form of paving that can can be used anywhere, and is not restricted to driveways. They can be used on patios, walkways, and any part of the landscaping that you want a surface that can be easily walked on. You can even use it in courtyards and other open spaces.
Pavers come in many shapes and sizes, and some of them can even have intricate shapes, that make them even ideal for interlocking. When pavers interlock with each other, they create a surface where the individual pavers always act in concert with the others surrounding them, thus giving them a better capacity to take on the loads imposed on them. Pavers can be square, rectangular or of other shapes. They can be made of concrete, or stone. Ordinary bricks can also be used as pavers, and will function equally well, though the they may have lesser crushing resistance as compared to concrete or stone. Some pavers are even made permeable so that they help in draining any water that falls on them and are well suited to water conservation ideas.
Pavers can be made of various thicknesses and this can vary from 2 inches to 6 inches. The thicker pavers will be better suited to driveways that are expected to see constant and very heavy traffic. Domestic driveways that may not see the movement of more than one or two cars can be of 2″ thick pavers, and function as they are required to, without problems.
Stone pavers are often of irregular shapes, but this does require every block to be cut to fit into the pattern of the driveway, and this can greatly increase labour costs for installing them, as each stone will require to be individually shaped, dressed and then put into position. This crazy paving pattern has its own beauty and will function equally as well as other interlocking pavers.
When pavers are made of concrete, it is possible to add any colour to the concrete to add variety to the paver blocks. It is also possible to use pavers of different colours to form patterns and designs that can add further character to a driveway, though this is more a practice followed when pavers are used in patios, walkways and other open spaces.
Advantages of Pavers for Driveways
Pavers offer a great many options for choosing their design, colour and overall appearance. Professionally installed paver can go a long way in increasing the curb appeal of your home. A paved driveway makes your home and garage easy to approach and even allow for the parking of vehicles. Pavers are often installed with open joints that are filled with sand, and this does allow the water that falls on them to soak down into the ground. Some of them are even constructed of concrete that is porous and permeable and this can help in water harvesting.
Brick pavers are the most fragile as they are made of baked clay, but even these pavers can last for two decades or more, if they are properly maintained and the traffic on them is light. Concrete and stone pavers will last for a lifetime.
Proper Construction Is important for Paver Driveways
Paver driveways can turn out to be more expensive than driveways made of plain concrete or those that are asphalted. One reason for this is the high labour costs that come from the installation process that itself is quite time consuming. It is a physically demanding job installing each individual paver, though it is a job that is not too complicated. Make sure to have a professional surveyor company to have the area assessed before building commences.
Paved driveways will have a certain thickness that combined the paver blacks and the base support. It is important that this be taken into consideration when you are first deciding the level of your driveway, besides its path. You need to take the drainage of your yard or property into consideration, as a raised driveway, may function very well, but it can cause water to build up and lead to waterlogging in the surrounding areas. Once you have decided the right levels, you may need to prepare the earth base to conform to these levels, by filling, cutting or dressing the earth. This soil surface must then be thoroughly compacted with rollers or compactors.
A stone base is often used as a foundation for the pavers and this can be a two or three inch layer of crushed stone or gravel that again needs to be properly consolidated. Motorized plate compactors are best for this, though you can always use a hand held tamper. A layer of sand is then added over this stone base to form a surface on which the paver blocks can rest.
The pavers should be laid from one side or from the center if this is the pattern that you want. Ideally, pavers function best if they are restrained at the sides by curbstones or some other restraint that will prevent them from moving out under the influence of traffic. Once the pavers are laid in the desired pattern, or interlocked with each other, use must again be made of compactors to vibrate the pavers. The joints must be then filled with sand followed by further compaction. Your paved driveway is then actually ready for use, as there is no curing period or any other need.
It can be of help if you use sealers over the surface, as these can help to protect the pavers from the weather and the forming of stains. You will now have a driveway that will give you many years of service.