How Unilock Authorized Contractors Ensure the Longevity of Paving Stones in Ramsey, NJ
Concrete pavers are a popular choice for driveways, patios, pool decks, walkways, and entryways—and for good reason. They are versatile, they complement any architectural style, and they can add a lot of value to your home. As wonderful as quality pavers are, shoddy installation can completely ruin a project shortly after it’s completed. Proper installation is the key to a long-lasting hardscape. Here’s how Unilock Authorized Contractors ensure the longevity of paving stones in Ramsey, NJ.
Related Read: What Makes Unilock Concrete and Stone Pavers so Trusted?
Confidence in Installation
Concrete slabs offer a telling example of the importance of good installation. The ground beneath any hardscape will shift, settle, or otherwise change over time. That’s to be expected. The secret to a long-lasting hardscape, then, is the care the installers take in preparing the site. This includes leveling, ensuring proper drainage, using the right mix of crushed rock and sand that will support the weight of the hardscape while allowing water to drain away, and establishing a sturdy perimeter.
Over time, the weight of a concrete slab will cause it to settle. If the substrate supporting the slab is not perfectly level (or not able to support the weight)—or if the crushed rock “weeps” into the surrounding soil, the weight of the concrete slab can cause uneven settling, which will result in unsightly cracks. Once cracks appear, the life span of the concrete comes to an end, and the entire surface may need to be redone.
Setting a Proper Base
Paver surfaces are considered more forgiving because the surface is not one unified mass; however, proper site preparation and the use of the right substrate will help to keep the surface from shifting.
Paver surfaces actually get stronger with settling, and they are highly resistant to the freeze-thaw cycle. Of course, this is also dependent on proper installation—specifically, the right substrate that allows for slight movement of each paver, but is strong enough to support the weight of pavers evenly.
Choosing the Right Jointing Compound
Once a paver surface is installed, there is one final consideration—the jointing compound. The sand used as “bedding” for the pavers is not the same as the sand used between the joints. The bedding sand is coarse and granular. When compacted, this type of sand will move together to create an almost solid surface that is resistant to erosion and movement. By contrast, the sand used between paver joints is a modern remedy for the age-old problem of loose fill sand washing out of paver joints.
Polymeric sand is regular sand with the addition of a water-activated polymer that hardens when wet to create an almost concrete-like joint (without cracking). Polymeric sand is so durable it can actually be power-washed with care. Polymeric sand should be applied during dry conditions to prevent pavers from migrating.
There are no shortcuts to installing a paver hardscape. Great care must be taken in preparing the site, ensuring the use of the right substrate, as well as proper installation of the substrate, pavers, and jointing compound.
The installation of pavers requires specialized tools, materials, and expertise. Not all contractors have this expertise, but you can be assured that Unilock Authorized Contractors have the training, product knowledge, and hands-on experience to create a high-quality paver hardscape that will look as good decades after installation.
The title image features Beacon Hill Flagstone pavers.