While the pandemic doesn’t yet seem ready to give out, neither are you- and with summer approaching, that means you want to get outside and enjoy the beautiful weather in the safety of your own backyard. That means this is a great time to start thinking about installing some new pavement. When leaving your home is a less viable option than usual, installing a new slab is a great way to create a fun area for BBQ, for sports, or as a children’s play space. You could even use it as an outdoor automotive workspace and no longer worry about spilling oil on the ground. Whatever you do with your concrete or paver slab deck, you will also have the option of building a roof over it for extra shade and shelter for any type of activity you prefer.
But when it comes to materials, you have more options than you might think. Maybe you’ve considered a standard concrete slab, but aren’t excited about the grainy surface, and the cracks that are sure to develop in time. Fortunately, there is a good concrete slab alternative. Here, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of standard concrete, bricks, pavers, and more.
Your Paving Options
Brick is a great choice for many types of projects. It looks terrific. It’s durable. Repairs are fairly easy. Bricks are recyclable, and it adds to the curb appeal of your home. The downside to brick is that it can get fairly expensive rather quickly. Brick paving, walls, and other structures will need to be sealed periodically. The installation is a major undertaking. Design options with brick are limited, and the material is vulnerable to frost heaving. If you have an old installation needing repair, pouring concrete over brick can be a decent option.
We think brick is a great choice for a path or small retaining wall. But if it’s going to have to withstand a lot of traffic, it will break down rather rapidly. Fortunately, there are still better paving options available.
Concrete is the backyard and ’round the house pavement material of choice for many, if not most, people. It has great compressive strength, especially when reinforced. It can be made to suit just about any design and it is fairly inexpensive, and any problems that arise can usually be fixed by pouring more concrete, although that’s not an ideal solution. A brushed concrete patio can look terrific and be a decent medium-term solution to your outdoor needs.
However, the tensile strength of concrete is very poor. That’s why it inevitably will crack in time. If a tree root grows underneath it, it will crack and form a ridge. Weeds will grow up through any cracks that appear, and it will crack under the weight and pressure of any kind of regular use in time. Building a concrete patio against the house will eventually become a problem when it gets cracked. This is because a damaged concrete patio can damage your foundation in a number of ways such as hiding water ingress and concealing tree roots as they grow under your foundation.
Once these cracks appear, there are few viable repair options. There are sealers on the market, but they are usually more brittle than the original concrete itself. You can resurface a concrete slab with another top layer of concrete, but this will crack in time as well, and usually faster than the original slab. What’s more, concrete becomes more brittle over time as it slowly loses its elasticity. Once this happens, there’s little that can be done to restore it.
However, if you’re looking for the fastest, cheapest solution, concrete is not a bad choice. If you aren’t bothered by the cracks and other imperfections that will develop, a concrete slab might be for you. But if you want a better-looking and longer-lasting solution, there is still another option.
Pavers have been around since the Roman Empire, and they are still a great way to pave any outdoor space. They create a great looking space for any type of use from outdoor activities to path formation, to automotive repair, or whatever you have in mind. Pavers are the most durable paving option on the market and are sometimes referred to as a better form of concrete. This is due to the fact that they are fabricated for strength and aesthetics. Best of all, pavers are easy to repair and they can last for more than half a century, or longer if used gently and cared for well.
Paver slabs and square paver designs can be made with more drainage features more easily, and they can even be less expensive over time since they need less maintenance. Pavers are specially designed to use a sand based support which makes them extremely resistant to cracks and it also makes them easy to repair. If you go with interlocking paver tile, you can more easily replace sections to restore your paver slab or deck to its original glorious state with ease. Perhaps best of all, pavers can be made to imitate other types of high-quality surfaces like patterned or unpatterned stone or marble.
Going all the way with your paver installation will be more expensive than concrete. However, in time your paver slab will add greater value and superior curb appeal to your home, which is sure to pay off in time!
To learn more about the advantages of paver slabs, get in touch with the outdoor paving pros at First Class Lawn Care in Wilmington, DE today for your free quote and consultation.