Paver patios are recently a very popular backyard landscape enhancement. They are the perfect option for people who want to spruce up an outdoor living space. Here is what no one tells you about pavers before you make up your mind:
Advantages of Pavers
A paver is a stone made of concrete, natural stone, clay brick or even porcelain. Typically, they are small pieces that vary in size. Homeowners have a choice of various colors, textures, and patterns. Some of the best characteristics include:
- They are durable and long-lasting
- Pavers adapt to climate variations and seasonal changes
- Low maintenance
When properly installed, they create a strong and flexible interlocking pavement system. They are not prone to breaking or cracking and are three to four times stronger than the concrete foundation of a home!
Many manufacturers offer lifetime warranties. Also, unlike color added to poured concrete that fades, it is not necessary to reapply color every year or two.
Don´t forget to consider that winter weather affects patios. The ground contracts and expands and the moisture freezes and thaws. Depending on where you live, it can happen between ten and 100 times per year. The expansion and contraction move the patio which causes weak spots of solid surfaces like concrete to crack easily.
There are also more seams across the surface of paver patios that allow individual pieces to flex and settle in the original position. Professionally installed patios have minimal movement with the use of proper construction practices.
Additionally, pavers upkeep is minimal. Blow or sweep debris off the surface as needed. You can add a protective sealer to make cleaning and maintenance even easier, protecting your pavers from wear. If a repair is ever needed, it will be seamless and more effortless to perform than those of concrete patios.
The Downside of Pavers
Installation, cost, and some maintenance issues have homeowners concerned about a patio of this sort. The small downside factors include:
- Longer installation time
- Might initially seem like a more expensive option
- Weed can go out of control
It takes an experienced crew three to five days to install an average sized paver patio from start to finish. In contrast, concrete patios take only hours but require one to three days to cure. The process of paver patio installation is more in-depth than concrete installation. Some of the steps involved include:
- Removing dirt and grass from the area
- Leveling the subsoil
- Pouring and leveling gravel
- Installing bedding sand
- Installing the pavers
- Laying out and holding the edging in place
- Filling the joints
- Cleaning and sealing the patio
Initially, it might seem that paver installation costs more than other options. However, you will save money in the long run with less costly and easier maintenance. The cost of a paver installation is about 30 percent higher than a stamped concrete patio. Ongoing maintenance of concrete will eventually cost more than a paver patio.
Also, consider that weed seeds will very likely work their way into joints not topped with sand. Unattended, they will take over your paver patio. To completely renovate a weedy patio cleaning out the joints and new poly sand installation is required.
Keep in mind that professional services are available for the cleaning and restoration of paver patios.
Whether or not to install a paver patio is a decision made after weighing the pros and cons. There are advantages and disadvantages. Talk to an expert and do research to find the patio that fits your durability and design needs.