Homeowner Paver Stone FAQ’s
Residential and Commercial FAQ Page for Sacramento (Zone 9B) Paver Stone Applications
Below are a few of the common questions we hear at The Paver Company in Sacramento, If there is a new question, please Contact Us and we will do our best to help. Thank you for considering The Paver Company as your Paver Stone Contractor of choice here in the Sacramento area.
What stain remover is safe to use on my pavers?
In general, replacing any stained pavers is the best option. Some pavers are made in such a way that they can simply be flipped over instead of being replaced altogether. These types of pavers will be solid and have the same look on both the top and the bottom. If removing or flipping the pavers is not an option, there are cleaners that include precise blends caustic solvents, such as muriatic acid, that will remove stains while not damaging your paver. If this is the way you decide to go, be very aware of the warning labels, because these are industrial strength acids and can not only harm you, but your garden beds and lawn, as well.
How do you fix damaged pavers?
The overall best option for fixing damaged pavers is to replace them with new ones.
If the paver is chipped on a corner or edge and the damage does not go all the way through, it is possible to flip them, being careful to add a bit of packed sand to shore up any potential hollow areas that can lead to erosion. If not done properly, this can create a pothole effect in your paved area as the surrounding pavers begin to sink into the ground around the affected area after rain.
Some homeowners are concerned when they notice cracked pavers. Though cracking is rare, cracked pavers, as long as they aren’t sinking or shifting are perfectly fine. It can actually be disadvantageous to pry them up and change them, simply because this process may unintentionally disturb the packed sand and gravel beneath and allow for erosion to begin.
Is sealing my pavers recommended?
In most circumstances sealing is not necessary. In fact, for brick pavers, sealing is not recommended. However, depending on your specific application, you may desire the benefits that sealing can offer for concrete pavers. These benefits include:
- Easier cleanup of oils and other liquids.
- Reduction of stains and easier stain removal.
- Mold and mildew resistance.
- Weed resistance.
- Decreases risk of chipping, flaking, and spalling.
- Increases the longevity of your paved area.
Sealers are applied like paint to clean, dry pavers. When applied, attention is especially paid to allowing the liquid to enter into the cracks and joints. This prevents weeds from growing as well as giving extra stability to the actual paved structure. If your pavers are installed around a swimming pool, sealer is highly recommended because neglecting to seal in this case will dramatically decrease your pavers’ life span.
What are the downsides to sealing?
Sealing is generally a good practice, but only for concrete pavers. Brick pavers do not need to be sealed. There are a few things to keep in mind about sealing your concrete pavers. The first is that sealing is not a ‘one and done’ operation. Just like your pool and deck, concrete pavers need to have sealant reapplied at regular intervals, generally every three to five years. The exact interval can vary for different climates. There are many types of sealants available, so make sure that you get one specially formulated for concrete pavers. One issue, though not a disadvantage, but rather a word of warning, would be that if improperly applied, sealers can bubble and look awful. Be sure to fully read the instructions and follow them properly or you could create a hassle that won’t be fun to fix.
I keep reading this term, ‘interlock.’ What is that?
Interlock is simply the work we use to explain that a paver is ‘locked’ together with all the other pavers. It means the pavers are tight and, because of this, the loads they bear are better distributed. It also means that they will not easily become loose and wiggle around, which can cause the entire structure to lose its coherence or ‘togetherness’.
Should I use limestone screenings under the pavers?
This is a resounding no. Limestone screenings and stone dust are detrimental to a paved space because they prevent the free flow of water underneath the structure. Homeowners should even be picky about the type of sand they use, as all sand is not created equally. Beach sand or common play sand is not the same thing as concrete sand. In fact, concrete sand is the only recommended sand to use during the application of pavers. This is for two reasons. First, whereas common sand particles are smoothed and rounded, concrete sand is sharp and rough. When laying pavers, a rough sand is more desirable because it grips the paver and locks it into place. This is not true of other types of sand. In general, these sands act more like tiny marbles, allowing the paver to roll around, without latching on or locking it tightly into place. The second reason to be careful when choosing your sand is because general purpose sands are like tiny marbles, they don’t cling to one another, but are easy to wash away, thus eroding the underside of your pavers.
Should I use geotextile? What is it?
Geotextile is a fabric made out of plastic threads. It is used as a filter to allow water to pass through freely without allowing the paver base layer to wash down into the soil. Over time, soil builds up, or pushes its way up. This is a natural biological process caused by microbiota present in the soil. In general, this is a very slow process, but can happen at different rates. Over time, this process eats its way up through the underlayment beneath your pavers and subsumes it. This can reduce drainage, cause potholes or unevenness, and loosen your pavers. Geotextile slows or prevents this process, adding many years to your paved space.
Geotextile is recommended for silty and clayey soils. In general, sandy soils and soils that naturally drain very well are less likely to need an application of geotextile.
Can I use weed barrier fabric from my garden store instead of geotextile?
While it may seem similar to geotextile, weed barrier cloth is not the same and does not have the same properties as geotextile. Substituting these two is not recommended.
What should I use as a base material?
Gravel. This is usually crushed stone around three-quarters to one inch in gauge. Acceptable base material can usually be found at local concrete dealers. On rare occasions you may find concrete bases, but these are expensive and only necessary for the worst draining soils. Keep in mind that the best base material is going to fulfill two purposes:
- Allow drainage
- Create a strong, stable foundation.
Crushed gravel is perfect for this because, when it is spread and compacted, its rough edges lock onto one another tightly, locking it into place. In this form, gravel also has gaps and spaces for water to drain freely.
What materials do I need for concrete paving?
First, you need create your underlayment, or base layer. This is done with ¾”-1” crushed gravel spread evenly into a dug out area and then compacted. This layer should be at least four inches thick for patios and sidewalks, but for more heavy duty uses, you will want to make it thicker. You need to also consider what you are going to use for edging along the sides of the paved area. This could be a concrete curb or metal or plastic edging material, depending on how you are going to use the area and what you want the final look to be.
Second is the bedding sand, into which the actual pavers are laid, with sand in their joints to help lock them into place.