Jan 16, 2021

Brick Paver Patio Repair in High Demand for 2021

Canton, Plymouth, & Northville bids for patio repair & restoration soars 

Due to the pandemic, homeowners are requesting more than ever to have their brick paver patios updated, repaired, and restored to accommodate more entertaining and their family relaxing outside.  Brick pavers patios are the most popular outdoor living space throughout Southeast Michigan.  

The most popular style of brick paver patios is the Raised Paver Patio.  This patio is raised off the ground or grade level and is usually supported by modular retaining wall blocks & caps. The are very attractive and functional, but they do require more ongoing maintenance & repair than the basic ground level (grass level) brick paver patio.

The Raised Paver Patio was on fire during the 1990's and 2000's replacing wooden decks as the most designed outdoor living space extension in Metro Detroit.  During my company days, we removed more decks and cement patios than I can count.  Rarely did a homeowner request for a ground level patio.  The Raised Paver Patio design offered a more prominent structure and elegance.  I often would design a Multi-Level Raised Patio that offered some height variety & function for improving the landscape and home appearance.

As 15 years has past, the long-term feedback became apparent with Raised Paver Patios.  They require more upkeep than the traditional ground level paver patio.  The main culprit is the natural climate.  In Southeast Michigan, winter ground frost is that culprit.  Assuming the brick paver contractor installed the paver patio to the standard specifications, routine maintenance & repair like all outdoor structures is still needed. 

Homeowners wanting to entertain for this coming Summer and future years, need their brick paver
patios
in top notch condition.  Appearance, safety, and functionality is paramount. Years of neglect and tolerance have gone out the window since this pandemic started in Spring 2020.  Creating an improved outdoor experience and necessity for 2021 is soaring as restoration contractors are overwhelmed with early season leads.  Homeowners are smart to get a jump on having this brick paver repair & restoration work contracted early so they can enjoy their Spring and Summer outside.

Jun 3, 2020

Raised Brick Pavers Patio and Walk in Canton Restored

Patios, Walks, Steps, and Pool Areas Repaired and Restored



In Canton, MI there are 1,000's of raised paver patios that need some serious attention.  This homeowner said the original installing contractor did not instruct him to sweep joint sand in the paver joints or do any routine maintenance. The contractor also did not prep him for the event of the outside row of brick pavers settling behind the raised wall caps.  If unattended, the wall blocks & caps will begin to settle and lean out, leading to a more costly paver repair work.  

This brick paver patio wall blocks & cap had started to sink in one area and the rest of the patio walls were at risk because 3 to 4 rows of  brick pavers were sunken below the height of the wall caps.  The homeowner made contact at the right time to repair this patio before the cost became more expensive. If rebuilding the outside wall blocks & caps can be avoided, the cost of repair is substantially less.


The brick pavers were lifted up and relaid 1.5-2ft of brick pavers behind the entire raised paver wall caps, re-leveled @6ft of wall blocks & caps that were seriously dipped, and  then reset some sunken individual brick pavers throughout the entire patio surface. 


The crew power washed cleaned all the brick pavers, wall blocks & caps, steps, and the brick paver joints.  The crew then re-sanded the entire pavers patio and then sealed with a high quality "matte" finish brick paver sealant to complete the restoration!


The paver walkway leading from the dirveway to the patio had become loose, gapped, and crooked from lack of attention over the years.  The crew relaid half of the brick paver walkway to straighten out the crooked lines and gapped outside row of pavers.  The crew ran the power plate compactor over the entire paver walk to help relock any loose pavers. The entire walk was power wash cleaned, re-sanded all paver joints, and then sealed this paver walk.


Now with continued low maintenance steps of sweeping joint sand in each Spring and cleaning & sealing within every 3 years, this pavers patio and walk should perform beautifully for another 20+ years!  


Its important to hire a brick paver company that offers follow up services, like repairs, cleaning, re-sanding, & sealing of brick pavers to insure years of performance and beauty!  

Apr 17, 2020

Brick Paver Patio Services in Michigan

Repair, Cleaning, & Sealing in Canton, Plymouth, & Ann Arbor Michigan


BEFORE
In the past 37 years, brick pavers have evolved as one of the most popular application for brick paver patios and walks in Michigan. Brick pavers have become the most widely used Outdoor Living area product throughout the country.  Many brick paver contractors only focus on the design and installation of brick pavers.  Thus, leaving the homeowner with the burden to maintain or educate themselves to the needs of brick pavers each Spring in Michigan.

We are only focused on the repair, restoration, and maintenance of existing brick pavers applications to insure client education, expert evaluation, timeliness, and affordability for your brick paver patio, walk, driveway, and pool areas. All of our resources and knowledge is geared for the repairing, cleaning, sealing, and yearly maintenance of your brick paver structures.

AFTER

We run a yearly brick pavers maintenance program that is unmatched in the industry.  We start every Spring servicing our existing clients first! before taking on any new clients for the season.  Brick pavers require routine maintenance each Spring in Michigan after winter ground frost & freeze thaw cycles. Our clients always get first priority if any repairs or re-leveling is required each Spring.

BEFORE


We recommend cleaning, re-sanding of joints, and sealing of your brick pavers every 2-3 years to protect & enhance their appearance and function.  After 37 years, we are constantly educating and evaluating brick paver performance and products to better meet the needs of our clients.


AFTER

Here is some additional information about Brick Pavers Myths & Facts that you may find useful.  Also, you can view here some BEFORE & AFTER projects to give you a better understanding on how your brick pavers can be brought back to life and beauty!



                  

Feb 27, 2020

Michigan Brick Pavers Myths & Facts

Brick Paver repair, cleaning, sealing, & maintenance 2020


After being in the brick paver business for 37 years now, I have been able to experience the true facts and results of sealing or poly sanding brick pavers & paver joints. The number one request in our industry by clients is that they want a "permanent" solution for paver joint sand. Unfortunately, this request is not totally achievable or feasible with any brick paver joint approach.

Lets start by saying that brick paver joint sand is the most essential part of brick pavers. Paver
joint sand is the essential part that keeps brick pavers "locked up" laterally and helps reduce the erosion or deterioration of the sub base (below the brick paver).  Keeping brick paver joints filled with joint sand also "helps" and "inhibits" the growth of organic materials like weeds, grass, moss, etc.. . this is NOT absolute.  Paver joint sand is the number one maintenance need for brick pavers and also the most neglected!

Prior to the last 15 years, using just "regular" paver joint sand was the norm. Like any industry, the development of products has evolved.  Brick paver sealants and polymeric (bonding) sands were developed to meet consumer demands and help improve performance of the brick pavers & paver joints.  In this post, I will help guide you to a educated decision of which process or product may work best in your individual situation.

Below are my opinions and conclusions from "real" results over the past 37 years of experience and research using these products. My results are drawn from executing decades of paver maintenance programs.  My goal is for you to make an informed decision on which approach is best for you and the optimum performance & appearance of your brick pavers.  I have done brick paver work in both Michigan & Florida and though the climates are extremely different, the performance of brick paver joint sand is very universal.  I understand there are many varying opinions from other contractors, product manufacturers, and online posts that may contradict with my assertions.  As I have always told my customers & potential clients, if you agree with a contradicting opinion, please move on or hire the contractor that best fits your own conclusion.


FICTION: There is a "permanent" solution for my brick paver joints so I do not need to sweep sand or I will never get any weeds, grass, or moss in my brick paver joints again!

FACT:  There is NOT a "permanent" solution for brick paver joint sand!  Routine joint sand maintenance for brick pavers is essential and required for optimum performance of your brick pavers.  The whole brick paver system is based on a flexing and floating system whereby it moves to the effects of winter frost/freeze thaw cycles, water erosion, wind, foot or vehicle traffic, and slight earth movements.  The brick paver joints take the brunt of these movements and climate effects.  This is an outdoor structure that will require joint sand replenishment on a routine maintenance program. In Michigan, you will need to have Spring sand sweeping maintenance done each Spring to fill any voided paver joints.


FICTION:  Sealing my brick pavers & paver joints or Poly sanding my paver joints, I will not have to maintain my brick pavers anymore!

FACT:  Again, there is no permanent solution to brick pavers joints, but sealing or poly sanding your brick paver joints will "help, reduce, or inhibit" the need for frequent paver joint maintenance or the occurrence of weeds, grass, & moss in the joints.  Sealed or Poly sanded paver joints will still slowly settle, erode, crack, and disappear as time goes on.  In Michigan, winter freeze thaw cycles are the biggest culprit.  In Florida, heavy thunderstorms are their demise.  Water erosion over your pavement (brick pavers) is the biggest contributor to paver joint sand maintenance.

FICTION:  If I have both sealing and poly sanding done for my brick pavers, I will have better results!

FACT: WRONG!  It is highly recommended not to do this process.  Here are few reasons why.
  • You never want to mix sealer with poly sand. You never know if the chemical make up of these products will be adverse.  If there is an adverse reaction, it will not be reversible without total replacement of the damage brick pavers and paver joints.
  • Sealer can improperly puddle and cloud up.  If you were to use poly sand in the joints, you must properly wet the poly sand to let it set up.  You cannot use the sealer as the wetting agent for poly sand!.  Once the poly sand is set, sealer cannot properly soak into the paver joints and will puddle or accumulate in the paver joint which will lead to clouding and/or yellowing.
  • Using both products is redundant.  Both sealers and poly sands are made to work strictly on their own. Using them together does not add any additional performance.
  • Cost vs Benefit:  If you are to use both these products together, the cost of doing both options far exceeds any benefit you would get.  

FICTION:  I do not have to CLEAN my brick pavers &  pavers joints prior to re-sealing or re-poly sanding joints

FACT:  FALSE.  You always have to CLEAN your paver joints prior to applying sealer or re-
sweeping in poly sand.  The only time you do NOT need to prior clean paver joints is when you are doing "touch ups" within a couple months of the initial work.  When it comes to re-sealing, you cannot just seal the brick pavers and paver joints with dirt, soot, and organic matter on the surface of the pavers or in the paver joints.  The same holds true with poly sanding the paver joints.  Crumbling, cracking, molding old poly sand needs to be removed and remaining poly sand needs to be cleaned thoroughly. The degree of cleaning for both options will depend on the current condition of the brick pavers and paver joints.  Our customers that stay on a 2-3 year cleaning and re-sealing (or re-poly sanding) maintenance program reduce the cost of cleaning from the initial restoration because the cleaning time is faster and less invasive.


FICTION:  Sealing or Poly Sanding is most of the cost of restoring my brick pavers.

FACT:  Excluding any repair or re-leveling work, cleaning (or prepping) the brick pavers and paver joints is a little over half the cost of a restoration project. In particular, the paver joints are the hardest and messiest work.  The more severe the paver joints that have grass, weeds, moss, etc.. the more time, effort, and clean up is involved.  Prepping for sealing or poly sanding is more time consuming than actually sealing or poly sanding the joints.


FICTION:  Once I seal my brick pavers, I have to seal every 2-3 years.

FACT:  FALSE.  If you decide that you did not get the benefits of sealing that you envisions, you can just let the sealer wear off your brick pavers.  Most brick paver sealants last 18-36 months depending on weather & climate during this time period.  The biggest reason for re-sealing on a routine schedule is to keep the appearance of the brick pavers consistent.  Areas that are exposed more to sun, wind, rain, traffic, etc.. will wear quicker and areas that are protected will last much longer. This same process will hold true with poly sand in the paver joints.  To keep your brick paver structure protected and the appearance even, the recommendation is to re-seal (re-poly sand joints) every 2-3 years.  The difference from 2 to 3 years really falls on the customer's preference.  We routinely contact customers the 3rd year as we feel this is the optimum time to have this service performed.  Many customers like the fresh look done every 2 years to keep a new appearance up to date or they have a special event that year.


FICTION:  Sealing my brick pavers will make them shiny and slippery.

FACT:  This is not true if you use the right brick paver sealants. High gloss solvent (chemical based) brick paver sealants are no longer the norm.  Over the past 5 years there has been an increased movement to use high quality "water based" sealers.  Water based sealers are not only environmentally safer, they produce a more natural appearance and perform much better with paver joint sand stabilization.  The brick paver sealants are less slippery as they do not create a heavy pills on the surface.  Any wet surface can have some slip but water base sealers help keep the texture of the surface in tact.  The "matte" finish is the normal now for outdoor brick paver structures.  In 2017 and 2018, we used 100% water based "matte" finish brick paver sealants.


FICTION:  After having my initial restoration work done on my brick pavers, I can wait until 2-3 years later to have any maintenance work done.

FACT:  Paver joint maintenance is an ongoing process with brick pavers.  The "in between years", the seasons between cleaning & sealing (poly sanding), should have seasonal (usually Spring) sweeping of regular paver joint sand to keep voided joints filled.  This maintenance program service is our largest brick paver service.  Except for customers that do it themselves, most of our customers take advantage of this seasonal service.  We begin every Spring in Michigan with this service for our current clients before taking on any new clients!


FICTION:  Sealing my brick pavers and paver joints is more expensive than just poly sanding the joints!

FACT:  FALSE.   I have done a cost analysis of both processes over the years using product cost and labor time that concludes the cost is about the same .  The cost of cleaning & prepping is the same in both options.  You cannot just clean the joints for poly sanding and not the brick pavers too.  So, the cost of cleaning in either restoration choice is constant.  Without going into complicated details, the cost per square is very close when using either product. This is why we charge the same restoration cost whether you use sealer or poly sand for your brick paver structures.  Keep in mind that poly sand is not used for modular retaining wall systems (block & caps for steps, walls, & patio retaining walls) but with sealing you get the added value.


SEALER vs. POLY SANDING:
I usually advise my customers to do the sealing option for their brick pavers & paver joints.  The main reason is that you get the same results with paver joint sand stabilization but sealing gives your brick pavers added surface protection and color enhancement.  The costs being pretty much the same, this is a no brainer decision.   For customer who are concerned about having too much "sheen" to the appearance, we are able to dial in the mix of the high quality brick paver sealant we use.  We can reduce the solids in the sealer somewhat to give a more "natural" appearance to the brick paver surfaces but need to make sure a good balance in the mix so not to deter the joint stabilization effect.  There are some circumstances where the poly sanding option fits best but this is on an individual basis.


WARNINGS & ADVICE:
  • Make sure when restoring your brick paver structures you contract with a qualified "brick paver contractor" to perform this task.  Using a landscaper, lawn service, or handyman service can be a disaster.  Lake of experience, knowledge, and patience can result in a poor or non-reversal effect that you will pay for dearly.  In our case, we actually are solely focused only on brick paver repair & restoration services, no longer design & installation.  Our resources, training, and scheduling adhere to this specific service. Flexibility & patience is key to a good sealing or poly sanding job especially with weather variables.  Larger companies want your business, but due to the lower profits of your work, they do not prioritize in their schedules.
  • Sealers and Poly Sand products should NEVER be purchased at big box stores!  Not only are they inferior in quality but they are not totally specific to high density concrete brick pavers. We purchase, as you should if doing yourself, sealers & poly sand from brick paver specific manufacturers and suppliers.  If your brick pavers are sealed or joint sanded with inferior cheap products, the bad results may be irreversible. 
  • Make sure that the contractor you are using does a 2 coat process when applying sealer.  This 2 coat process is NOT sealing twice (returning when first coat is dry).  This 2 coat process is spraying a "flood" coat first to allow the sealer to properly soak into the paver joint sand.  Then shortly after, spraying a second coat to adhere to the surface of the brick pavers.  Keep in mind this is using a high quality "water based" sealer.
  • Make sure that the contractor is NOT using a Poly Sand product with "cement" used as the major bonding product in the sand. This is a complete NO NO! Products using Portland cement as the bonding agent will surely leave a "haze" on your brick paver surfaces. We use a high quality polymer bonding agent based product that does not leave any "hazing" appearance and gives the best joint stabilization in the market!
  • The level of joint sand is always "down" in the joint, NOT flush with the top of the brick pavers.  Optimum is 1/4" down from the chafer but this level varies due to the levelness of your brick pavers and the style of brick paver.
  • Joint sand is for the brick pavers to keep them locked up, NOT wall caps seams & gaps which are glued in place.
  • Make sure the contractor you are using does a "follow up" service! A couple of years ago we decided to improve our customer service to include a one-time follow up and inspection service to do some touchups after the initial work is done.  Because there will always be some initial settling of joint sand when cleaning & sealing (or poly sanding), we return within about a month to inspect and touch up any problem areas.  The other benefit is we are able to see if there is any concerns from water run off.  We routinely find spots where water from the roof, gutters, or landscape exceedingly erode the joints.  We are able to inform customers of an issue so they can address appropriately.

Sep 21, 2019

Old Brick Paver Patio & Steps Replaced in Ann Arbor

Updated Pavers Patio & Steps will improve house value




Brick Doctor Bill and Team replaced an old dilapidated and neglected brick paver patio and steps in Ann Arbor, Michigan this past week.  This old paver patio was sunken and was taken over by organic matter which inhibits the performance and appearance.


Like many clients we do work for, this homeowner inherited this neglected paver patio when they recently purchased the home.  The homeowner was embarrassed by the appearance and frustrated by the lack of its functionality.  It was time to have us perform a solution!

This client had done some good research and had set a reasonable budget for us to replace the unusable brick paver patio and install an updated outdoor living space they could be proud to use.



We took a simple traditional Holland 4X8 brick paver and improved the appearance by laying in a 45 degree herringbone pattern.  With modern color choices and detailed design patterns, we greatly improved the visual appeal of this brick pavers patio.





We did a simple paver block & caps paver step structure that will need less maintenance over the years.  35+ years of experience and analysis has showed us that step structures that are of solid blocks  & caps, no use of actual brick pavers, hold up much better. Paver steps and landings in rectangular designs are structurally stronger and more functional. Also, we have moved away from 1/2 circle or curved paver steps that require frequent maintenance and repair.

The final installed new brick paver patio and paver step is simply spectacular! We set them up on our yearly brick paver maintenance program.  Now our client will no longer be embarrassed to have friends & family over and the function of this pavers patio will be enjoyed for many, many, years to come!


Sep 4, 2019

Raised Brick Paver Patio Rebuild in Plymouth MI

Experience is essential when doing Brick Paver Patio rebuilds



This past month we did a total rebuild and restoration of a Raised Brick Paver Patio in Plymouth, MI.  After 15 years of brutal winter frost / freeze thaw cycles, poor original installation, lack of routine maintenance, and just plain total neglect, we were able to bring this brick paver patio and steps back to life!
All the brick pavers and paver blocks & caps were lifted up and rebuilt to similar shape, design, and dimensions.  Any loose original base material was re-compacted and additional base material was added to raise, relevel, and properly repitch from the house.  

Deconstructing the current brick paver patio is a planned method and a strategy that we have developed over the years to maximize the re-use and function of the current products.  



Great care is taken to insure that products can be re-utilized and properly reconstruct the paver patio to its original design and beauty.  





After careful base prep and optimized heights are determined, the original brick pavers and paver blocks & caps are re-installed.




After the raised brick paver patio was totally reconstructed using the same brick pavers and paver blocks & caps, we cleaned and sealed to complete the restoration project.  See the results that you can have for your brick paver patio, walk, steps, driveway, and more!


Our brick paver company is one of the top rebuild and restoration brick paver contractors in Metro Detroit.  This is our signature work and our specialty.  Hiring the right brick paver company is essential for getting the best work & service done when repairing & restoring brick pavers.

Dec 4, 2018

Paver Patio Restoration in Canton, MI

Cleaning and Sealing Brick Pavers Patios

Our most common brick paver restoration service is cleaning and sealing of brick pavers patios.  This brick pavers patio we restored in Canton, MI this past Fall. The pavers patio had some minor touch up repairs but for the most part it needed some attention to its appearance and paver joints.


Mold and organic growth had overtaken over the brick paver joints and surfaces. The paver joints had many voided spots due to lack of maintenance and attention over the years. The brick pavers and paver joints were thoroughly cleaned and then we re-sanded the joints with regular paver joint sand.

We then sealed with a high quality matte finish brick paver sealant which helped stabilized the joint sand and enhanced the color & protection of the brick paver surface.

We educated the homeowner on the the routine maintenance requirements and signed them up for our Spring Service program.  As a new routine customer service policy, we returned approx. a month later to do an inspection and courtesy "touch up" service for the joint sand.

Brick paver patios can be the outdoor living space that you imagined when you purchased your home. Do not give up just get it restored to its original beauty and function!

Nov 16, 2018

Brick Paver Joint Sand: Facts & Fiction

Sealing vs. Poly Sanding brick paver joints

After being in the brick paver business for 36 years now, I have been able to experience the true facts and results of sealing or poly sanding brick pavers & paver joints. The number one request in our industry by clients is that they want a "permanent" solution for paver joint sand. Unfortunately, this request is not totally achievable or feasible with any brick paver joint approach.

Lets start by saying that brick paver joint sand is the most essential part of brick pavers. Paver
joint sand is the essential part that keeps brick pavers "locked up" laterally and helps reduce the erosion or deterioration of the sub base (below the brick paver).  Keeping brick paver joints filled also "helps" and "inhibits" the growth of organic materials like weeds, grass, moss, etc.. . this is NOT absolute.  Paver joint sand is the number one maintenance need for brick pavers and also the most neglected!

Prior to the last 15 years, using just "regular" paver joint sand was the norm. Like any industry, the development of products has evolved.  Brick paver sealants and polymeric (bonding) sands were developed to meet consumer demands and help improve performance of the brick pavers & paver joints.  In this post, I will help guide you to a educated decision of which process or product may work best in your individual situation.

Below are my opinions and conclusions from "real" results over the past 37 years of experience and research using these products. My results are drawn from executing decades of paver maintenance programs.  My goal is for you to make an informed decision on which approach is best for you and the optimum performance & appearance of your brick pavers.  I have done brick paver work in both Michigan & Florida and though the climates are extremely different, the performance of brick paver joint sand is very universal.  I understand there are many varying opinions from other contractors, product manufacturers, and online posts that may contradict with my assertions.  As I have always told my customers & potential clients, if you agree with a contradicting opinion, please move on or hire the contractor that best fits your own conclusion.


FICTION: There is a "permanent" solution for my brick paver joints so I do not need to sweep sand or I will never get any weeds, grass, or moss in my brick paver joints again!

FACT:  There is NOT a "permanent" solution for brick paver joint sand!  Routine joint sand maintenance for brick pavers is essential and required for optimum performance of your brick pavers.  The whole brick paver system is based on a flexing and floating system whereby it moves to the effects of winter frost/freeze thaw cycles, water erosion, wind, foot or vehicle traffic, and slight earth movements.  The brick paver joints take the brunt of these movements and climate effects.  This is an outdoor structure that will require joint sand replenishment on a routine maintenance program.


FICTION:  Sealing my brick pavers & paver joints or Poly sanding my paver joints, I will not have to maintain my brick pavers anymore!

FACT:  Again, there is no permanent solution to brick pavers joints, but sealing or poly sanding your brick paver joints will "help, reduce, or inhibit" the need for frequent paver joint maintenance or the occurrence of weeds, grass, & moss in the joints.  Sealed or Poly sanded paver joints will still slowly settle, erode, crack, and disappear as time goes on.  In Michigan, winter freeze thaw cycles are the biggest culprit.  In Florida, heavy thunderstorms are their demise.  Water erosion over your pavement (brick pavers) is the biggest contributor to paver joint sand maintenance.

FICTION:  If I have both sealing and poly sanding done for my brick pavers, I will have better results!

FACT: WRONG!  It is highly recommended not to do this process.  Here are few reasons why.
  • You never want to mix sealer with poly sand. You never know if the chemical make up of these products will be adverse.  If there is an adverse reaction, it will not be reversible without total replacement of the damage brick pavers and paver joints.
  • Sealer can improperly puddle and cloud up.  If you were to use poly sand in the joints, you must properly wet the poly sand to let it set up.  You cannot use the sealer as the wetting agent for poly sand!.  Once the poly sand is set, sealer cannot properly soak into the paver joints and will puddle or accumulate in the paver joint which will lead to clouding and/or yellowing.
  • Using both products is redundant.  Both sealers and poly sands are made to work strictly on their own. Using them together does not add any additional performance.
  • Cost vs Benefit:  If you are to use both these products together, the cost of doing both options far exceeds any benefit you would get.  

FICTION:  I do not have to CLEAN my brick pavers &  pavers joints prior to re-sealing or re-poly sanding joints

FACT:  FALSE.  You always have to CLEAN your paver joints prior to applying sealer or re-
sweeping in poly sand.  The only time you do NOT need to prior clean paver joints is when you are doing "touch ups" within a couple months of the initial work.  When it comes to re-sealing, you cannot just seal the brick pavers and paver joints with dirt, soot, and organic matter on the surface of the pavers or in the paver joints.  The same holds true with poly sanding the paver joints.  Crumbling, cracking, molding old poly sand needs to be removed and remaining poly sand needs to be cleaned thoroughly. The degree of cleaning for both options will depend on the current condition of the brick pavers and paver joints.  Our customers that stay on a 2-3 year cleaning and re-sealing (or re-poly sanding) maintenance program reduce the cost of cleaning from the initial restoration because the cleaning time is faster and less invasive.


FICTION:  Sealing or Poly Sanding is most of the cost of restoring my brick pavers.

FACT:  Excluding any repair or re-leveling work, cleaning (or prepping) the brick pavers and paver joints is a little over half the cost of a restoration project. In particular, the paver joints are the hardest and messiest work.  The more severe the paver joints that have grass, weeds, moss, etc.. the more time, effort, and clean up is involved.  Prepping for sealing or poly sanding is more time consuming than actually sealing or poly sanding the joints.


FICTION:  Once I seal my brick pavers, I have to seal every 2-3 years.

FACT:  FALSE.  If you decide that you did not get the benefits of sealing that you envisions, you can just let the sealer wear off your brick pavers.  Most brick paver sealants last 18-36 months depending on weather & climate during this time period.  The biggest reason for re-sealing on a routine schedule is to keep the appearance of the brick pavers consistent.  Areas that are exposed more to sun, wind, rain, traffic, etc.. will wear quicker and areas that are protected will last much longer. This same process will hold true with poly sand in the paver joints.  To keep your brick paver structure protected and the appearance even, the recommendation is to re-seal (re-poly sand joints) every 2-3 years.  The difference from 2 to 3 years really falls on the customer's preference.  We routinely contact customers the 3rd year as we feel this is the optimum time to have this service performed.  Many customers like the fresh look done every 2 years to keep a new appearance up to date or they have a special event that year.


FICTION:  Sealing my brick pavers will make them shiny and slippery.

FACT:  This is not true if you use the right brick paver sealants. High gloss solvent (chemical based) brick paver sealants are no longer the norm.  Over the past 5 years there has been an increased movement to use high quality "water based" sealers.  Water based sealers are not only environmentally safer, they produce a more natural appearance and perform much better with paver joint sand stabilization.  The brick paver sealants are less slippery as they do not create a heavy pills on the surface.  Any wet surface can have some slip but water base sealers help keep the texture of the surface in tact.  The "matte" finish is the normal now for outdoor brick paver structures.  In 2017 and 2018, we used 100% water based "matte" finish brick paver sealants.


FICTION:  After having my initial restoration work done on my brick pavers, I can wait until 2-3 years later to have any maintenance work done.

FACT:  Paver joint maintenance is an ongoing process with brick pavers.  The "in between years", the seasons between cleaning & sealing (poly sanding), should have seasonal (usually Spring) sweeping of regular paver joint sand to keep voided joints filled.  This maintenance program service is our largest brick paver service.  Except for customers that do it themselves, most of our customers take advantage of this seasonal service.  We begin every Spring in Michigan with this service for our current clients before taking on any new clients!


FICTION:  Sealing my brick pavers and paver joints is more expensive than just poly sanding the joints!

FACT:  FALSE.   I have done a cost analysis of both processes over the years using product cost and labor time that concludes the cost is about the same .  The cost of cleaning & prepping is the same in both options.  You cannot just clean the joints for poly sanding and not the brick pavers too.  So, the cost of cleaning in either restoration choice is constant.  Without going into complicated details, the cost per square is very close when using either product. This is why we charge the same restoration cost whether you use sealer or poly sand for your brick paver structures.  Keep in mind that poly sand is not used for modular retaining wall systems (block & caps for steps, walls, & patio retaining walls) but with sealing you get the added value.


SEALER vs. POLY SANDING:
I usually advise my customers to do the sealing option for their brick pavers & paver joints.  The main reason is that you get the same results with paver joint sand stabilization but sealing gives your brick pavers added surface protection and color enhancement.  The costs being pretty much the same, this is a no brainer decision.   For customer who are concerned about having too much "sheen" to the appearance, we are able to dial in the mix of the high quality brick paver sealant we use.  We can reduce the solids in the sealer somewhat to give a more "natural" appearance to the brick paver surfaces but need to make sure a good balance in the mix so not to deter the joint stabilization effect.  There are some circumstances where the poly sanding option fits best but this is on an individual basis.


WARNINGS & ADVICE:
  • Make sure when restoring your brick paver structures you contract with a qualified "brick paver contractor" to perform this task.  Using a landscaper, lawn service, or handyman service can be a disaster.  Lake of experience, knowledge, and patience can result in a poor or non-reversal effect that you will pay for dearly.  In our case, we actually are solely focused only on brick paver repair & restoration services, no longer design & installation.  Our resources, training, and scheduling adhere to this specific service. Flexibility & patience is key to a good sealing or poly sanding job especially with weather variables.  Larger companies want your business, but due to the lower profits of your work, they do not prioritize in their schedules.
  • Sealers and Poly Sand products should NEVER be purchased at big box stores!  Not only are they inferior in quality but they are not totally specific to high density concrete brick pavers. We purchase, as you should if doing yourself, sealers & poly sand from brick paver specific manufacturers and suppliers.  If your brick pavers are sealed or joint sanded with inferior cheap products, the bad results may be irreversible. 
  • Make sure that the contractor you are using does a 2 coat process when applying sealer.  This 2 coat process is not sealing twice (returning when first coat is dry).  This 2 coat process is spraying a "flood" coat first to allow the sealer to properly soak into the paver joint sand.  Then shortly after, spraying a second coat to adhere to the surface of the brick pavers.  Keep in mind this is using a high quality "water based" sealer.
  • Make sure that the contractor is NOT using a Poly Sand product with "cement" used as the major bonding product in the sand. This is a complete NO NO! Products using Portland cement as the bonding agent will surely leave a "haze" on your brick paver surfaces. We use a high quality polymer bonding agent based product that does not leave any "hazing" appearance and gives the best joint stabilization in the market!
  • The level of joint sand is always "down" in the joint, NOT flush with the top of the brick pavers.  Optimum is 1/4" down but this level varies due to the levelness of your brick pavers and the style of brick paver.
  • Joint sand is for the brick pavers to keep them locked up, NOT wall caps seams & gaps which are glued in place.
  • Make sure the contractor you are using does a "follow up" service! A couple of years ago we decided to improve our customer service to include a one-time follow up and inspection service to do some touchups after the initial work is done.  Because there will always be some initial settling of joint sand when cleaning & sealing (or poly sanding), we return within about a month to inspect and touch up any problem areas.  The other benefit is we are able to see if there is any concerns from water run off.  We routinely find spots where water from the roof, gutters, or landscape exceedingly erode the joints.  We are able to inform customers of an issue so they can address appropriately.













Jan 15, 2018

The Function and Beauty of Brick Pavers is in full effect!

Repair & Restoration services for brick paver patios is soaring!


The ground is freezing in Michigan and the ever expanding nature of pavements, such as, interlocking brick pavers, begin to stress under this Winter occurrence.  Pushed to the limit, brick pavers will look wavy, pushed up, or contorted.  Our clients who we educate that this is a normal and natural event needs to exhibit some patience before getting discouraged about the performance of their brick paver patios, walks, steps, driveways, etc.. 

As Spring approaches, we will begin the inspection and bidding process. To properly assess any need for paver repairs to damaged or failed brick pavers, the ground frost must have exited the ground below to make an accurate estimate.

Brick pavers maintenance is a growing need for our clients and we reward them (and us) by contacting them each March regarding our yearly brick paver services available.  We start every Spring by offering to service OUR CLIENTS first!  We contact our clients prior to doing any estimating of new business to allow them to get on our schedule.  Aside from touch-up repairs or the releveling of the pavers, we offer the following brick pavers services each Spring: 

We begin each Spring season offering our valued clients our Spring Sand Sweeping and Compacting service.  We re-compact their brick pavers using a plate compacting machine or tamper to help re-lock the brick pavers and hopefully knock back down any pavers left sticking up.  We then finish with sweeping regular paver joint sand over their pavers to help refill any voided joints from the Winter snow, ice, & thaw.  Keeping paver joints filled is the number one maintenance need of brick pavers to help avoid erosion, shifting, & weed growth.

The next popular service we offer each Spring is Cleaning, Sanding, and Compacting of our clients brick paver patios, walks, driveways, etc..  This valuable service just adds cleaning of the brick paver surface and joints.  Clients usually take advantage of this service every 2 years as dirt, moss, mildew, or vegetation growth may reappear.


Brick Paver Sealing is becoming our largest growing service over the last 5 years as customers want to restore the original look and preserve the appearance of their paver patios, walks, and driveways.

Cleaning, sanding, & compacting is always included in this sealing service, so basically, its a total restoration of your brick pavers. Sealing of brick pavers is usually performed every 2-3 years depending on your personal preference of  their appearance. 

We offer these valuable services to ALL clients, old and new.  Once you have become one of our clients, you will get priority each Spring to have your brick pavers maintained and preserved to your liking for many years to come!  This is our goal and this is our business!We service Canton, Plymouth, Northville, Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, and Belleville, Michigan areas.

Nov 10, 2017

Brick Pavers Patio and Steps repair, restoration, and maintenance

Pavers Patios, Steps,Walkways, Driveways, Entrances, and more!


Brick Doctor Bill and Team are wrapping up the 2017 season for brick pavers repair, restoration, cleaning, sealing, and maintenance services as the weather changes in Michigan. 2017 was a promising season for brick pavers as the economic conditions and education about maintenance for brick pavers grows.
Repair & Cleaning

Homeowners not only have some expendable income to restore their brick paver patios, walkways, driveways, or more, they also are receiving better education and knowledge on the yearly maintenance needs for maintaining their brick pavers.  Many homeowners that were able to purchase homes the past five years inherited many neglected and dilapidated brick paver structures that were not maintained over the many years.

These outdoor brick paver structures become a major priority for homeowners as they complete interior projects and these outdoor living spaces not only are a visual blight but become a serious hazard to use.  The outdoor living space is becoming the biggest growth in home improvement projects that homeowners consider in there home projects.


Patio Restored
Hiring a qualified brick paver restoration contractor is very important.  It is not just acceptable to hire a contractor that "installs" brick pavers.  Repair, restoration, and maintenance of brick pavers patios, walks, driveways, entrances, requires a specific skill, experience, and knowledge for an effective result. Many landscape and brick paver installing companies are only interested in installing your paver patio, walks, etc.. but do not offer timely or economical follow up services which are essential to maintain the appearance and performance of your investment.  Installing a new brick pavers structure is a much easier task than rebuilding and restoring an existing brick paver installation.

Patio Sealed


Hiring a qualified and experience brick pavers restoration contractor will save you a lot of unnecessary expense by using your current brick pavers, paver blocks & caps, and base material.  We have great expectations for future years as repair, restoration, and maintenance of brick pavers is better understood and utilized by homeowners. 

Jun 28, 2017

Raised Pavers Patio Repair and Restoration

Brick Paver Patio in Canton restored to its original beauty and function


As the 2017 summer continues in Michigan, we are hard at work bringing back some of the original beauty and function of raised brick paver patios.  It has been 20+ years now since the new home building boom in Canton, Plymouth, and Northville, Michigan.

There are many factors over these years that have contributed to the settling, deterioration, and excessive movement of raised brick paver patios.  One obvious reason for settling is winter frost which has ill effects on all pavements in frost states like Michigan.  Also evident for the settling of raised paver patios is the grade settling along the basement foundation of homes over the years.  Another contributing factor of raised paver patios excessively settling was from the original installing contractor not compacting the base in 4" layers or lifts as they built up to
the finish height.  But really the biggest reason for excessive deterioration of brick paver raised patios is the neglect by the homeowner to perform or hire an authorized brick pavers contractor to maintain these structures.

Simple touch up repairs and Spring sweeping of joint sand in the paver joints and periodic compacting will do wonders for maintaining these awesome outdoor living spaces.  Keeping paver joints filled is required for long term performance and compacting the brick pavers to help relock is also essential to the structure.
We also recommend that all brick pavers, especially raised paver patios, are cleaned and sealed every 2-3 years.  Sealing pavers contributes to keeping joint sand harder, thus slowing down any erosion or invasion of foreign organic matter.  Protecting the surfaces of paving stones and  paver blocks & caps will greatly improve the appearance and structural integrity of these popular patio structures.

Feb 17, 2017

Simple Pavers Patio Repair and Restoration in Plymouth

Before

Repair, Cleaning, and Sealing of brick pavers patio brings new life


This simple pavers patio in Plymouth, MI was restored this past summer to the delight of the homeowner.  Once left for dead due to neglect and many years of winter frost damage, this brick pavers patio still had enough life for us to bring it back to its original beauty and performance.



So many of our clients believe there is no hope for repairing and restoring their brick pavers patios, walkways, and driveways but hope can happen and we are just the company to perform this magic! 



 
Before

The biggest selling point about brick pavers is that we can in most cases re-use the existing pavers.  With repair & releveling, cleaning, re-sanding joints, and sealing these brick pavers, we can bring back from the ashes the appearance and strong structure that once graced the outdoor living space. 

 


AFTER
Performing this brick pavers restoration requires experience and more expertise than an original installation.  The challenges for a qualified brick paver contractor are numerous and should not be put in the hands of a handy man or landscaper.  Nothing can replace knowledge and experience when it comes to brick paver repair, cleaning, & sealing

Jan 23, 2017

Brick Paver Driveway Repair and Restoration

Repair, Cleaning, and Sealing of Pavers Driveway


This past week we performed brick paver repairs and restoration, cleaning & sealing, to a pavers driveway and entrance in St Petersburg, Florida.   This pavers driveway and entrance was installed about 7 years ago but never had any routine pavers maintenance performed.  The homeowner was becoming concerned about the appearance and performance of their brick pavers.The paver repair areas were minor so we were able to reset the brick pavers in a few hours.  The biggest pavers maintenance issue that needed to be addressed was cleaning, re-sanding the paver joints, and sealing of the
brick pavers.


This brick paver driveway had a lot of hard water rust stains from the irrigation system.  We were able to get great results cleaning these hard water stains. Other stains, like oil and grease, were reduced but complete removal is very difficult or cost inhibited.  The best approach to these oil & grease stains is replacement of the brick paver itself.  During the cleaning process, we removed most of the paver joint sand that had been compromised by dirt, debris, vegetation, and moss/ mold.


After cleaning the pavers surfaces and paver joints, we re-installed new paver joint sand.  After tedious sweeping, blowing, and joint touch ups, we applied a generous coat of Seal 'n Lock sealer to give the brick pavers a high quality protection and appearance to this brick pavers driveway.  The customer wanted a "matte" non-gloss, non-slippery finish that would further protect the brick pavers from weathering & etching.  It is highly recommended to have your brick pavers cleaned & sealed every 2-3 years for long-term performance & protection.  The improved visual appearance of the brick pavers is the best benefit for most customers. 


Keeping your brick pavers on a routine pavers maintenance program will insure a life time of performance and enhanced appearance.  Most customers are not educated by the brick paver installer or contractor as to the pavers maintenance needs.  In most cases, the first repair and restoration service we perform costs the most due to the current adverse conditions of the neglected brick pavers. Routine pavers maintenance over the future years should cost less as long as you keep on a 2-3 year pavers maintenance program.