Interlocking pavers are a great way to add curb appeal to your property. Not only do they look great—adorning homes with a lovely and timeless European feel—but they also serve a functional purpose, establishing a visually pleasing path from your home to the street via the driveway or walkway in question.
Interlocking pavers have been a choice material for centuries. In fact, this technology dates all the way back to Ancient Rome. Tired of ‘muddy, cumbersome roads that slowed down their troops,’ the Romans developed a new method for roadmaking using six-sided paving stones which allowed for proper drainage and reduced dust and drag from wheels.
The Via Appia, or Appian Way—one of the earliest and strategically most important Roman roadways constructed between 312-264 BC—remains well-preserved. While more than two-thousand years of use has worn the stones smooth, tourists continue to flock to Rome to marvel at this remarkable feat of engineering and human ingenuity.
Paver technology has continued to advance in the last two millennia, spreading throughout Europe and North America. According to stats by the Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute (ICPI)—which is indeed a real thing—the popularity of interlocking pavers have continued to skyrocket since the 1970s, covering more than 755 million square feet of ground by 2005.
Although they cost slightly more than standard concrete or asphalt, interlocking pavers can be installed quickly and efficiently in any climate. Additionally, unlike the former materials, their interlocking features allow them to be installed sturdily without the use of mortar which requires time to set, so you can access and use your driveway or walkway immediately after installation.
However, the greatest asset of interlocking pavers is their durability. When installed properly, interlocking pavers can last upwards of 40 years with proper maintenance according to manufacturers.
There are a few common issues that can affect interlocking pavers. Luckily, they can all be easily remedied!
Sometimes, pavers can come unlocked, causing them to appear uneven or sunken in. This is usually because of uneven drainage beneath the stones. In the winter months, water can pool on top or underneath the pavers, sometimes causing them to dislodge, especially if water is trapped underneath.
To remedy this, remove the paver or section of pavers that have become unlevel and add enough sand that the paver or pavers will become level upon reinsertion. Using polymeric sand, which hardens in the joint, can not only form a stronger seal, but can also help prevent sand loss and weed growth as well.
Over time, paver joints can lose sand, usually as the result of natural phenomena like wind, rainfall, weed and ant infestation.
To prevent mother nature from snatching away your valuable sand, using sand with larger particles in applications with larger joints or polymeric sand can help to achieve greater stabilization.
While crevices between stones are integral to the process, they can also bring with them nasty weed infestations.
Weeds can be removed manually, but we advise preventatively using natural remedies to stop weed growth—baking soda, vinegar, salt, or safely applied herbicides or weedicides.
While it is possible to remedy these situations, sometimes you want to entrust these tasks to a professional. For detailed and precise repairs on interlocking pavers, or to take the plunge on pavers to beautify your home exterior, give us a call at (905) 468-9557 or visit our website to get an accurate quote from the Tree Amigos team!