Jan 24, 2010

Avoid Brick Paver Repair :Landscape No No's

Interlocking Pavers and Brick Paving

Everyday I observe what I call Landscape No No's that will result in future Brick Paver Repairs. Most homeowners and landscapers do not consider the design and installation effects their landscaping can have on the performance of their brick patios, brick driveway, and brick walkway. Below is a simple short list Landscape No No's to consider when installing your landscaping around your brick pavers.

Always design your landscaping around your hardscape (pavers, home,fences,walls, etc..). It is important to design your brick paving needs and function first, then optimize your softscape (trees,bushes,beds,etc..) to accent your hardscape and home. Too often, the hardscape is sacrificed for appearance and function for the sake of a small tree or bush.

Long-term growth of trees plays a huge part in brick paver repair. The obvious culprits are roots! Small specimen trees like Japanese maples, dogwoods, or Alberta spruces have little effect, but large evergreens like Pines, Spruces, or Firs and most deciduous trees like Maples, Oaks, and Lindens will have large future roots. These roots will surface under your paver stones and result in obvious lifts. The only way to repair pavers under these conditions is to remove the roots where surfaced but this may affect the health of the tree.

This is one of the most overlooked reason for brick paver repairs. Water and moisture creates erosion, freeze - thawing, and base material settling. Sprinklers should never spray on or over paver walks, paver patios, and paver driveways. The obvious problem can be continued running water over and through the paving stones, therefore exposing the paver joints, base material, and edge restraints to erosion. If any of these three paver items are compromised, the effect will be repairs and excessive brick paver maintenance. It is important to make sure that any and all sprinkler heads are at least 6" away from the edge of the pavers. Also, use drip irrigation inside all planting beds bordered by interlocking pavers patios or walks.

The neglect of homeowners or landscapers to address the water coming off the home roof is a major contributor to patio stones settling or shifting. Again, water erosion of the joint sand, base material, and paver bricks edges will cause your brick pavers to under perform. Gutters need to be redirected or have buried pipe to carry water under or around the paving stones. If you have a drip line of water coming off your roof, siding, or deck, design the brick pavers outside this drip line. You can also install a drip edge strip on your roof, siding, or deck to divert water to another spot to drip or run off.

This is a quick list of pre-design landscape requirements to help insure that you get peak performance from your landscape pavers and landscape blocks. Whether you install brick pavers, stamped or poured concrete, or wooden deck, these same Landscape No No's will apply!