Paver patios were invented to adapt to ground conditions where freezing and thawing occurs. The pavers are made to move with the ground. Concrete, when it moves, ends up cracking. In Northeast Ohio this problems occurs often with concrete. When water gets under concrete and freezes it causes movement. The concrete can only move so much before it gives way and there ends up being a crack. Once this crack occurs, water will continue to compromise the area and the problem then begins to escalate. At this point, there is no easy fix. With pavers, if water gets under the paver, it may cause some sinking of the paver or movement but the issue can be fixed.
The base for the pavers to sit on is extremely important. The way many companies install pavers is by using fabric, limestone base, sand and then pavers sit on top. This way is no longer the correct way. Our base is 100% permeable and the water completely drains through. There is no way in our patios for water to cause the patio to fail. Some companies set pavers on top of concrete. What happens here is the water gets trapped between the pavers and concrete. This causes a breeding ground for mold and algae to occur. Also, if the concrete cracks below the pavers, there is no easy fix. Now if you are installing a Unilock Fireplace, Outdoor kitchen, massive seating wall, etc., then a concrete base in that area is necessary for proper support of the weight. Other than that, the pavers should always be set on a permeable base. That is the purpose of pavers. Concrete is being used by many companies to speed up installation. It takes time to level the permeable base which also is more cost. The cost of fixing an improper installation in the beginning could outweigh the cost of installing the pavers properly the first time. Make sure your contractor is an Authorized installer as well.
Photo courtesy of Silca System
If you have a patio that is on a hillside or uneven ground, there is a new product on the market to help with proper installation, Silca System. This allows for a paver patio to be installed without worrying about settling and major excavation work having to be done. Also in Northeast Ohio customers do not want to maintain a deck. Silca System allows for pavers to be used instead of wood on top of a deck. Azek Composite allows for a maintenance free deck as well, but in the heat of the summer, the pavers stay cooler and are a bit less cost. Tab Property Enhancement offers both options so the customer has the flexibility to choose what is best for their application.
Please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or if you are interested in an estimate. We service all of Northeast Ohio.