Whether you’re a landscaper who installs paving professionally or a DIY-er trying your hand at paving for the first time, it’s essential for great care to be taken during each stage of the installation process. Any mistakes, regardless of how minor they might seem, can have a big impact on the appearance and durability of the paving.
Not all mistakes will be immediately visible, some might take months or even years to surface, but in most cases, the issues that arise can be attributed to the original installation.
Paving should look great, and remain in a reasonably good condition for decades if it’s installed properly. To ensure your paving project reaches its full potential, make sure you plan for the long-term and avoid the following mistakes.
The ground is in a constant state of flux, which means it expands and contracts with the seasons in response to temperature, humidity and moisture changes. Invasive plant roots can also wreak havoc on paved surfaces if the paving’s placement is not taken into consideration.
While our paving materials all boast excellent strength and durability, they are still susceptible to expanding, contracting and warping due to these fluctuations. This means that before installation can begin, care needs to be taken to plan where the construction joints, contraction joints and expansion joints are placed.
All you need to do is make a simple plan of the area that’s going to be paved and determine the structural profile of its foundation. Once you’ve determined where the expansion joints will go, make sure you put them in the right place. It might be tempting to refrain from installing them so you don’t break the flow of the paved surface, however, in doing so, the pavers, especially large-format ones, will be subject to cracking and shifting. It’s also important that joints are placed both longitudinally and transversely, so they’re running in both directions. If you’re unfamiliar with where to place your joints, it’s best to consult a professional or colleague for their expert advice.
When installing large format pavers, especially those that are 600mmx600mm and above, mortar additives are essential to improve the elasticity, workability and adhesion of the mortar. When the correct adhesives are used throughout the installation process a higher quality finish will be achieved and there will be less risk of the pavers unsticking from their foundations.
Mortar additives can be used to improve the durability of both natural and engineered stone over long periods of time.
It’s also worth noting that large format pavers shouldn’t be installed in the exact same way as smaller format styles, as there are differences between the two, and extra considerations need to be made to ensure larger stones are installed properly, and do in fact, adhere to their foundations properly.
If stone pavers are stored incorrectly before they’re installed, they are subject to irreversible damage and staining, despite their durability. If you handle them and install, clean and seal them correctly, you shouldn’t have any problems.
Want to avoid any preventable issues? Get your pavers delivered when you actually need them, and if they come wrapped, leave them like that until you actually need them. Engineered stone is usually more susceptible to damage than natural pavers, but it never hurts to be careful.
If you want to keep the stone looking its best for years to come and minimise any maintenance requirements, it is advisable that you seal the stone. Unsealed stone will be prone to discolouration/staining and will be prone to growing weeds that can be difficult to keep under control.
If you need stone sealant, Australian Slate & Stone offers a high-quality stone sealer service.
Want to know more? Contact us today!