When planning your backyard oasis, don’t overlook the driveways and pathways that take you there – the journey is just as important as the destination.
Many homeowners have to make a choice in which materials to use for their walkway, patio, or driveway.
The attraction to concrete is usually due to the lower installation cost. Two very important factors to consider are the durability of concrete, and repair costs due to cracking. For many concrete pads and walkways, it is not a matter of if the concrete will crack but when. It is inevitable that concrete will crack over time. Cracking can occur because of settling, heavy loads or shrinkage and one of these is likely to happen in the next five years. Consider the costs of concrete repairs before you invest in this type of material for your walkway or patio.
Why consider paving stones? Simply put, there are many different styles of paving stones to choose from, allowing for flexibility when it comes to both color and texture.
When installed properly, paving stones are:
- Low maintenance
- Beautiful many years from now
Paving stones can handle the heaviest of loads. A cracked paving stone is very rare (they are much harder than poured concrete) but also very easy to replace, and unlike stamped concrete, the repair itself is barely if at all noticeable. If repairs are needed, the main advantage is that any alterations, additions or repairs can be done in small sections, instead of having to re-do an entire concrete surface.
There is no question that paving stones out last just about any other surface material. The Cavalry Construction Group will work with you to design a look that works perfectly for you and your family.
Concrete sidewalks and/or driveways are often expected to be maintenance-free, so eyebrows are often raised when the subject of maintaining concrete is brought up. New concrete sidewalks and/or driveways should be sealed with a concrete sealer before being exposed to traffic. Properly maintaining concrete can greatly extend its life and beauty: plain concrete can look clean and bright, instead of oil stained and grimy. Properly maintaining your concrete sidewalk and/or driveway protects your investment.
- Cleaning concrete on a regular basis: This should be done at least once per year to remove normal dirt and grime build-up and to remove rust or other stains.
- Repairing cracks in concrete: Repairing cracks in concrete maintains a structurally sound surface and minimizes water intrusion through cracks, which can cause problems with the subgrade.
- Sealing joints in the concrete: Sealing joints minimizes or eliminates water intrusion through the joints, helps prevent dirt from collecting in the joints and helps prevent weeds sprouting up through the joints.
- Sealing the concrete surface: Sealing and periodic resealing of the concrete surface not only reduces moisture infiltration into the concrete but also helps reduce staining.
Although concrete can be appealing, over the long-term and even in the short-term, if cracks appear, you may find that concrete maintenance can be quite costly. In some cases, the repair costs combined with the initial installation costs will cost you much more than paving stones.
Paving stone maintenance is a relatively simple task. Little maintenance is needed depending on the type of stones that have been used. In essence, different types of paving stones will require different levels of maintenance. Some stones are more susceptible or resistant to colour fading, and for others, removing grime and dirt is easy.
- Cleaning paving stones on a regular basis: Taking simple care of your paving stones can be achieved by sweeping or hosing on a regular basis. To achieve the best results possible, use a moderate strength pressure washer to remove algae, weeds, grime and dirt. Then replace any joint sand that was also washed out of the cracks, and you’re done.
- Sealing the paving stone surface: It is also recommended that you seal your paving stones straight after installation and every 2-3 years following that. The use of a sealer will help you maintain the colour, that “new look”, and stains and spills will be much easier to remove, ensuring that your patio, walkway or driveway will be aesthetically appealing for years to come!
Patios, walkways and driveways can be enhanced to be a part of your entire project. The Cavalry Construction Group provides you with the best of both worlds, the advantages of solid concrete with the flexibility of paving stones.
Call 604-551-8993 to get started or sign-up for our newsletter to receive landscape inspiration throughout the year.