Block Paving

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

While every effort has been made to include the most frequently asked questions, we may have omitted something. If you have a question not listed, please contact us and we will be happy to assist you!

A. The brick industry uses forty years as their basis of determining life cycle costs of clay pavers. This is believed to be an ultra-conservative figure as there are many clay paver systems still in service well after one hundred years. As with anything, proper design and installation play the biggest role in extending or reducing life span.

A. No. In fact, there are applications of clay paving pavements that have been in service for more than one hundred years. This is however a common fear. It is not uncommon for a homeowner or builder to have extra bricks lying around that do not have holes through them like a regular wall brick. Since they are solid, it appears to be a good use by putting them in the ground and making a decorative pavement. However, most wall brick do not have the same characteristics as a paving brick. When a wall brick is used in place of a genuine clay paving brick, it doesn’t take very many years before it becomes evident something is wrong.

A. No. With proper design and installation, the only maintenance issues you need to consider are sweeping sand replenishment, possible moss growth, and vehicle fluid stains. Sweeping Sand – The elements of rain, wind, and sunlight keep your clay pavers clean. They also tend to displace the sand between your pavers which could ultimately lead to a failure of your pavement. Be sure to check your sand annually and re-sweep new sand into the voids if necessary. TIP: This maintenance can be eliminated by the use of polymeric sweeping sand. The particles of this special sand bind together virtually eliminating sand loss as well as weed growth! Moss Growth – If your pavers get very little sunlight and a lot of moisture, moss growth is inevitable. For some folks, this is a desirable characteristic that adds to the old world charm of a genuine clay paver. However, if your design is more contemporary, you should try to reduce the moss inducing factors or plan for annual cleaning with a mild bleaching solution. Vehicle Fluids – If you are using your clay pavers for a driveway area, it is safe to presume that eventually you will have oil spots. These can be cleaned with a mild detergent, or if they are extremely stubborn, replaced.

A. It is most likely efflorescence. Efflorescence is nothing more than salt that has wicked its way up through the pavement and solidified on the surface of your brick. While it is unsightly, it is not physically harmful to your clay paver in any way.

A. While there are multiple causes of efflorescence, the most common and toughest cause to deal with is salts in your base materials. Read our design guide to make sure you or your contractor select the proper materials. The next culprit in line is de-icing salts, particularly calcium chloride. Safety is always paramount, so their use may not be an option. However, there are de-icing salts that will greatly reduce, if not eliminate, springtime efflorescence. One particular brand name is Chinese imported rock salt On the rare occasion, some salts may be present in the native soil. While possible, it is indeed very rare that this form of salt introduction will cause any visible efflorescence.

A. Once the salts are introduced into the pavement system, the only way to remove the efflorescence is to get rid of the salts. For this reason, to develop a plan, you must first determine the source of the salts and eliminate them if possible. Once the salts are gone, the efflorescence will stop with time as nature cleanses your pavement. The amount of time it takes is directly proportionate to the amount of salt in the pavement. To further understand this, please review our chart of how efflorescence works. While the efflorescence you see can easily be washed away with clear water and a brush, any remaining salt in the pavement will resurface after the next rain. Salts introduced after the pavement is installed such as winter time de-icing products, will typically be washed away naturally rather quickly, perhaps after a few good spring time rainfalls. However, if large quantities of salt were introduced by the base material, it could be a few seasons before it is all cleansed away naturally. Understandably, this may not be acceptable. If this is your situation, the Prosoco Company has developed a product called Salt Guard. This product acts as a total barrier to salts. If your salts are in the base material, this product traps the salt below the surface, preventing their appearance on the surface of the clay pavers. Because the salts do not affect the pavers physically, this is a highly effective remedy. Another advantage is that application of this product will prevent salts from de-icer products from soaking down into the pavement, thus making the natural cleaning process in the spring time go much faster.

A. No. In fact, it is strongly recommended not to seal a clay paving brick. Because your clay paver is baked in a kiln at extreme temperatures, the clay particles are fused together in a process called vitrification. This is why the surface of your clay paving brick will not wear down and the colours do not fade. If for some reason, you still must seal your pavers, be sure the sealer you select a breathable sealer. DO NOT USE AN ACRYLIC BASED SEALER! Acrylic sealers do not allow moisture to “breath” through them. Make sure the selected sealer is siloxane based. One particular brand to look for is Weather-Guard masonry sealer.

A. This depends on many factors. Installing brick pavers is a task usually within the realm of capability, but it does involve a lot of heavy work, specialty tools, patience, and attention to detail. A handy homeowner certainly has the ability; you simply need to determine if you want to undertake the task.

Block Pave – Driveway Annual Maintenance Tips

When was the last time you did any maintenance to you Block Paving Driveway or patio? Don’t be surprised if brick pavers look worn out, dirty, or even weedy if you have not done anything to prevent that. Did you know that brick pavers can even start to shift if not properly maintained?

So what do you do? Here are tips of how you can help restore the condition and looks of your brick paver walk, patio or driveway:

  1. Check if there has been any movement or settling of pavers. Repair these areas according to the brick paver manufacturer’s specifications. This will require digging up an area to confirm that the base was done correctly in the first place. If not, you have bigger chore on your hands of redoing the base of that area or possibly the entire brick paver Driveway or Patio.
  2. Power wash brick paver areas using a 3200 psi power washer or greater. You may or may not need to use a paver cleaner during this process.
  3. Sweep the zone 2 dry kiln silicon joint sand into all the joints of the brick pavers and compact lightly with a plate compactor, Sweep sand a second time to ensure joints are full of silicon joint sand after water down with a light spray from a garden hose.. Once dry confirm joints are full with joint sand and move on to the next step. Having these joints completely filled and compacted will help maintain paver stability.
  4. Apply a joint stabilizing sealer on all the brick paver areas. The sealer hardens the sand which helps prevent water intrusion in the joints and insects digging through it! Follow the instructions of the manufacturer on how to apply the sealer.
  5. Apply a brick paver sealer if applicable and if desired. There are many options when choosing brick paver sealers. Some will have a glossy wet look which often darkens the colour of you pavers (which you may or may not desire). Some paver sealers have a matte finish while others are completely invisible. The sealer creates a durable barrier against liquid absorption on the brick paver itself (as opposed to the joint stabilizing sealer which hardens the joint sand). Brick paver sealers will help prevent staining and will keep your pavers looking cleaner for a much longer period of time. Some high end pavers have a stain resistant surface and this step is unnecessary. Follow the instructions of the sealer’s manufacturer on how to apply it properly.

By following this tips you will enhance the look, help maintain the structural integrity, and lower the amount of yearly maintenance on your brick pavers. Contact Pathwise Driveways has extensive experience in both brick paver installation, brick paver repairs, and brick paver maintenance.

Brick Paver – Patio Annual Maintenance Tips:

Brick paver Driveways and Patios are becoming more and more popular each year. Our customers like the appearance, texture and charm of the many styles and colours offered in brick.

As with almost everything, brick pavers do require some maintenance to stay looking nice. Each year we suggest our customers sand the joints in their brick paving. Sanding the joints will help prevent erosion between bricks. Erosion between brick joints exposes the compacted base material and can lead to settling. Without sufficient joint sand, brick pavers can and will settle over time. The expansion of ice and snow as it freezes during a cold winter is enough to cause movement in brick pavers. Remember, moisture and water can be detrimental to a brick paver walk or patio. If you keep the joints sufficiently sanded you can help prevent brick movement and settling.

If settling does occur in your brick pavers – don’t get overly concerned. Brick pavers are designed to be reset and re-leveled as necessary. This is why bricks were so popular in road building years ago. If you don’t want to tackle a project like re-leveling your brick contact us

There are a few different types of brick sand on the market. Standard silicon zone 2 dry sweep sand is the most popular. All you need to do is pour the dry sand over your pavers and sweep it in place. If you are going to seal the brick, be sure to sweep any remaining sand off the brick paving faces.

Another sand that was very popular for a few years is called poly sand or polymeric sand. Poly sand has a binding agent (polymer) in it that helps keep it in place and offers resistance to moisture. Poly sand can be a great product if it is properly installed. If improperly installed, it can leave a haze or film on the pavers. Poly sanded bricks must be gently flooded with water to thoroughly hydrate the joints and to rinse the fine powder off of the brick faces. It is very important to remove any hazing before the brick is sealed.

Brick paver sealer or joint stabilizing brick sealer is highly recommended on all brick paver applications. A quality brick sealer will protect the brick from weathering and help retain its colour longer. Brick sealer comes in gloss and matte finishes. Joint stabilizing sealer will seal and protect the brick while hardening standard sweep sand between the joints, locking the bricks in place.

Pathwise Paving is a We Hire Limited Company
Company Number 09921879

Areas we cover

  • Bristol
  • Cheltenham
  • Gloucester
  • Bath
  • Stroud
  • Tewkesbury
  • Ross on Wye
  • Lydney

Areas we cover

  • Newport
  • Cardiff
  • Cwmbran
  • Monmouth
  • Swansea
  • Bridgend
  • Carmarthen
  • Llanelli
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