Concrete Pavers

How to Installing And Maintaining Concrete Pavers?

Property developers, architects and landscapers rely on paving to enhance the overall appearance of residential and commercial property around the globe. Modern-day paving provides a practical solution to creating an attractive living or working environment.

Quality concrete paving is durable and requires little maintenance if correctly installed. This is why property developers often choose to install paved roads instead of tarred roads in business parks and residential developments. The industrial sector has also caught on to this trend as concrete paving, specifically designed and manufactured with this segment of the market in mind, can easily handle heavy traffic such as trucks and cranes. Because of the low maintenance required, the total cost of paving is more affordable than tar over the long term.

Product Selection

According to Bosun Brick, a leading manufacturer of pre-cast concrete pavers and kerbs, the selection of the correct product for your application is essential for the long term durability of the paved area.

Pavers are generally categorised as follows:

40mm height – pedestrian traffic; domestic applications.
50mm-55mm height – driveways, patios, pathways; domestic applications
60mm height – light to medium vehicle traffic; residential and commercial applications
70mm-80mm height – heavy vehicle traffic; commercial and industrial applications
100mm height – very heavy industrial applications, such as ports and airports.

Selecting a paver too “light” for your application will result in failure of the paving, initially by cracking of the paving blocks, followed by subsiding of the paved area.

The manufacture of concrete paving blocks is a highly specialised process. Concrete pavers need to be dimensionally accurate and meet the required compressive strengths and abrasion resistance standards. Product should ideally be sourced from a SABS accredited manufacturer. (SABS 1058 sets out the standards and tolerances for concrete paving blocks.)

Installation

A professional contractor will ensure that:
the sub-grade, which will support the loads transmitted by the paving, is well drained and compacted;
the base course is made from the correct materials and also well compacted;
the bedding sand used is a well graded, washed river sand that is slightly moist when the pavers are laid on it;
the correct method of grouting is used for your application.

Maintenance

The golden rule to remember when it comes to maintaining paving is that prevention is better than cure. Concrete is porous and can absorb various substances. It is therefore best to try and avoid spilling oil, grease, cement powder, concrete, plaster, clay, paint or harsh chemicals like acid onto the paving. Do not use high pressure cleaning apparatus as this will damage the pavers and the grouting.

Consumers should sweep and hose the paved area down regularly to keep it free of debris and stop the build up of dust and grime. It is also wise to fill the areas in between the pavers with plaster sand once every year. This will ensure that the paving remains rigid and does not shift.

During installation and other construction processes, paved areas should be covered to protect the paving against damage and possible cement/concrete staining or paint spillage.

Stains
There are various methods of cleaning concrete pavers, dependent on the type of stain:

Oil, grease and clay:
As soon as the stain appears sweep away dry excess, remove with soap, water and a brush, then rinse.

Cement powder:
Brush or blow off dry cement powder. Do not use water to remove cement as this will result in the concrete hardening and bonding with the concrete pavers

Concrete, plaster and paint marks:
Call in a paving professional to assist with the cleaning of the paving. While not recommended, consumers can use a diluted acid-based cleaning product, available from hardware stores. It is also extremely important to follow the chemical manufacturer’s instructions, specifically regarding the dilution. After using the acid-based dilution, wash it off thoroughly with water as quickly as possible in order to prevent damage to the pavers.(By: Jonathan Morleson)

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