Pavers

In the midst of our record-setting drought, necessity has dictated that we conserve water. Since watering our lawns is one of the chief culprits for wasting water, many have turned to low-maintenance landscaping solutions. One solution we recommend is the use of pavers — durable blocks that come in a variety of shapes and are used to build walkways, driveways, and patios (and decrease the amount of grass in your yard). Although they come in a variety of materials, concrete pavers provide several advantages. Denise Brown, writing in the San Francisco Chronicle, describes 5 benefits of concrete pavers:

1: Versatility

“The wide variety of pavers means you can create patterns in your walkway or driveways. Some pavers have smooth edges, while others have [a] tongue-and-groove design that make them interlocking. When creating a walkway or patio with pavers, you can cut the pavers to fit your pattern using a wet saw with a diamond blade.”

2: Cost

“The manufacturing process makes pavers less costly than poured concrete or asphalt. Concrete pavers cost even less than comparable pavers made of sandstone, granite or clay, and are more durable, especially when used in driveways. The cost of repairing pavers is much less than concrete because you typically only remove the damaged pieces and reset new pavers in their place. When you consider many pavers have a life expectancy of more than 30 years, they are an economical choice.”

3: Strength

“Concrete pavers are made in a mold the packs the aggregate, cement and sand much tighter than you can ever achieve with poured concrete. This means the pavers are sturdier than poured concrete. Concrete pavers expand and contract with the seasons, but do not crack like slabs of concrete. Joints between the pavers allow for any seasonal or seismic movement. It’s not necessary to add reinforcement material or rebar under pavers to strengthen them.”

4: Low Maintenance

“Routine maintenance includes regular sweeping or rinsing with a garden hose. If the sand in the joints rinses out, you simply sweep more sand into the joints. Any weeds that grow between the pavers are easy to remove. If necessary, you can pull up a paver to expose a weed’s roots to destroy it. Heavy rains may occasionally cause the sand bed under the pavers to shift, which causes the patio or walk to be uneven. Leveling the sand underneath the pavers and compacting it prevents the problem from happening again.”

5: Weather Resistance

“Concrete pavers are ready to use as a driveway or patio as soon as you set them, unlike concrete, which much cure for several days before you can use it. Pavers have a rough surface that makes them naturally slip resistant. Deicing salts don’t affect the surface of the pavers. You can shovel or plow snow from them. They also won’t crack in a minor earthquake, like poured concrete does.”

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