There are several things to consider when laying paving slabs. They include the thickness, the surface area, and the subsoil. In addition, you need to keep your paving slabs in good condition.
Choosing the best area
There are many options in the paving arena, be it travertine, porcelain, or limestone. One of the more mundane tasks is choosing suitable paving material for the job. To do this, one must be aware of the best time to do the task and the type of material suited for the job. For instance, if the weather is nice, it is better to lay paving materials on a warm day than on a cold night, as the sand is sure to be a little more prone to the ensuing chill. Moreover, if you are considering laying paving material on a budget, it is best to shop around and compare paving materials beforehand.
Choosing the right thickness
Choosing the right thickness of paving slabs is essential for your hardscaping project. You will have better durability and fewer maintenance costs with thicker slabs. However, they are more expensive. To get the best value, you need to consider the type of traffic you expect to use them.
The ICPI recommends using units at least three and a half inches thick for driveways. That way, they can withstand the increased weight of cars and trucks.
Thinner paving slabs are not suitable for vehicular applications. They are prone to breaking. Using lighter stones can also add to the overall cost. It is best to choose stones with a minimum thickness of three and a half inches.
Alternatively, you can opt for a multi-piece random laid system. This type of paver offers a unique look that can create interest in small areas. These products come in a variety of colors and textures.
Checking the level of your slab
If you are installing new paving slabs, you will want to ensure they are level. You can do this for a variety of reasons, including safety.
A good starting point is to use a laser level. This is the easiest and most cost-effective way to do this. It is also a great way to measure soffit forms, falsework, and other reinforcement levels. First, however, it is best to have a few more options for assessing your leveling needs.
Before pouring concrete, check your subbase and formwork for proper alignment. You may need to enlarge the base by digging up to six inches.
Once you have completed the excavation, you can measure the slab’s bottom. For example, if your slab is 10 feet long, the lowest point will be the corner.
Preparing the subsoil
If you plan to lay paving slabs, you must first prepare the subsoil. This can be a complex process, especially when trying to avoid damaging the surface. You can start by removing vegetation that is growing around the area. Then, you can begin to compact the soil.
You may need to add a gravel and geotextile fabric layer before laying your paving. This will help prevent silt from fouling the paving stones and stabilize the surface. Depending on the conditions of your site, you can also use an air-reacting jointing product. Most builders’ merchants have these products.
To determine the correct level for your paving slabs, you can check the moisture content of the soil. If the earth is too dry, add some water to the area.
Maintaining your paving slabs.
One of the best things about paving slabs is that they last a long time. This makes it easy to replace them when they’ve seen better days. That said, it’s still a good idea to keep your slabs looking fresh.
There are several ways to do this, but the first and most obvious is to use a pressure washer. Doing this regularly will keep your patio looking its best. The key is to be careful, as using a high-powered pressure washer on a delicate paving stone could cause damage. It’s a good idea to spray down only the areas that need it. Likewise, be sure to keep the nozzle a reasonable distance away from the paving.
For the more adventurous, you can try a steam cleaner. However, beware of acid-based cleaners. They may leave a nasty streak.