Just like the home is a statement of the person owning it, so do the driveways, walkways, and patios through which the world comes to your home. Hence, they need to be given the same attention as you give your home. One of the most important things you will need to decide about the paving areas of your home is choosing the right kind of paving product.
Paving bricks have a natural tendency of having earthy blends or tones of colors such as brown, red, tan, greenish gray, and cream. These colors are typical of the various regions or areas that the clay is mined from.
The ones that have darker shades or blends of light and dark occur due to the flashing process, by which they get a permanent color. Because of the high temperature that is used to fire them, the color they are imbued with lasts forever, without ever fading. Here are some brick paving tips:
Mark Out the Area
Begin by outlining the path to be paved with marking paint. This will let you view the flow of the pathway or driveway, which in turn will help you in planning the landscape plants around it.
Since it will also demarcate the shape of the path to be paved, it will also give you an idea about how difficult the process will be, to a certain extent. For instance, a curved pathway usually requires the need to cut many bricks.
Dig Out the Paving Area
You will have to dig to a depth of 6-8 inches lower than the final grade of your pathway. This will enable you to have 4-6 inches for the compacted base, made up of stone dust and quarry-processed stone, that you need to lay and level beneath the brick paving layer.
Most brick pavers are about the thickness of 2¼ - 2½ inches. Also ensure preparing an extra 6 inches on either side of the pathway for the material that will be used as edging, in order to hold in the pavers.
Put in the Base Layer
You will need a vibratory plate tamper for this step. These are usually available on rent per day from any local rental shop. This layer of quarry-processed stone needs to be laid in increments of two inches, and wetted and tamped as thoroughly as possible.
Create the Pitch
One of the most important factors is creating the correct pitch for the water to drain out. If you do not deal with the pitch, there are high chances of your pathway getting damaged due to waterlogging.
In order to prevent this, you have to ensure that the pathway slopes away from the foundation of the house as well as off the brick paving. About two to three inches of pitch for each ten feet of brick paving would be enough. By following this rule, the life of your brick paving pathway increases tremendously.
Using strings will be a helpful way to make straight lines, which you can follow along the length of the brick paving pathway. Once the pavers are laid, the bricks at the edge will probably need to be cut. You will require a concrete saw for this.
Lay Edging Material for Holding the Brick Pavers
Edging material is essential to hold the tightness and form of the brick paving. This is particularly required in climates that are colder, since thawing and buckling can result in the bricks pushing apart, thus creating gaps.
Mixed concrete can be used beneath the top surface, which can be an invisible edge, or use aluminum or plastic edging materials equipped with spikes, which you can find at the local brick supply store.
Stabilize the Brick Pavers
One of the latest materials used for filling in the joints in brick paving is polysand. When this material gets wet, it gets activated, becomes like glue, and hardens when it gets dry. This will create a very tough bonding agent for your brick paving and will also prevent weed from growing.
One of the best parts about brick paving is the innumerable options of designs available because of the patterns that can be created by using various textures, colors, shapes, and sizes of bricks.
Hence, there is a diversity of products that lie within the broad scope of brick paving, which range from the extruded brick of these days, well-known for the preciseness of their looks, to the old-fashioned charm of waterstruck brick made by hand.