Emerald Landscaping serving Penticton and the South Okanagan
Advantages of using paving stones over concrete, stamped concrete, flagstone, gravel, or asphalt
As a home or business owner you want high assurance that the type of hard surfacing that you choose for your walkway, patio, driveway, pool deck or parking lot will have a aesthetically pleasing look, will require little upkeep, be weather resistant, and have a good investment return if a future property sale is desired. Hard surfacing that is able to be easily repaired and cleaned is an asset as well.
For this reason, the popularity of properly installed paving stones is rising exponentially, and for good reasons. We at Emerald Landscaping have the most up to date and improved methods and skills required for preparing the paving stone base materials and installing the paving stones themselves. Paving stones provide top-notch beauty, strength, and true long term cost efficiency if they are installed in a way using the highest of the paving stone standards for installation and preparation.
Here are some paving stone comparative descriptions of different paving materials:
Gravel: Gravel surfacing is typically defined as crushed rock from a maximum of three inches in diameter or less. Gravel, no matter what colour it may come in, will parallel the beauty and functionality of the other listed surfacing materials. Gravel is typically used in low traffic areas and where beauty is of lesser importance. The main disadvantage of gravel is you need to regularly re-grade it and add gravel to ruts or potholes created from weather and usage to maintain a good appearance. Worldwide gravel is the most commonly used road surfacing due to its inexpensive nature when compared to other types of surfacing.
Asphalt: Asphalt is the most common pavement in North America and Europe; however, it is less durable than other paving materials. Asphalt has less tensile strength, also in the hot temperatures, it becomes soft, it marks easily, and pressures can deform the surface of the asphalt. An environmental issue with asphalt is that it continually releases oils into the surrounding base materials and is a source of hydrocarbon pollution in soil, waterways, and groundwater. Asphalt is very apt to cracking due to freeze/thaw cycles, the asphalt base settling, and salt applications, wear and weather erosion. Another disadvantage is that typically a seal coating is required every two to three years to keep it looking good. If an area of asphalt needs to be repaired, it begins to have a very unsightly patch look to it and because asphalt eventually erodes you end up replacing the entire paving job eventually or overlaying it with new asphalt.
Flagstone: Flagstone has a gorgeous appearance but often is cost ineffective due to the shipping costs of hauling flagstone from quarries that are far away. Typically, this trouble is run into if someone wants to use flagstone with certain colour types in it. There are two different methods of using flagstone for hard surfacing. One is to ‘dry’ set the flagstone into a sand or gravel base and the other is to pour a concrete slab and mortar or ‘wet’ set the flagstone onto the slab into a desired pattern. Flagstone is a beautiful type of surfacing but typically is, due to prices, ineffective due to the costs of stone and their installations as well as the colour choices are limited as well.
Concrete: Concrete is the second most common pavement in North America and Europe. Unfortunately it comes it comes in the typical grey colour only unless you add a colour die to the cement mix in the correct proportions so that the colour is consistent for the entire project. For sidewalks and driveways concrete is usually the preferred choice for businesses and homeowners due to the initial low cost per square foot. However, concrete inevitably cracks and its long-term cost is far higher than installing paving stones and you lose the other benefits of installing paving stones such as the beauty and longevity. Cracks appear in concrete within two days of the pour and over time as concrete dries and shrinks even more, even more cracks appear. Expansion and contraction joints are placed in concrete for this very reason. Over time, the cost of upkeep, repairs, or replacement of cracked concrete soon overtakes the price of installing paving stones for your initial paving requirements.
Stamped Concrete: Stamped concrete is typically used as a cheaper method of hard surfacing than paving stones yet it is subjected to the same faults as regular concrete, which are listed above. Often stamped concrete is even more prone to cracking then regular concrete paving due to the ridges and texturing from the “stamped” in rubber moulding mats. Expansion and contraction joints are a necessity as well in stamped concrete. Repairing cracked portions of stamped concrete is expensive and difficult to match the colouring of the existing stamped concrete and for each repair required the uglier the stamped concrete looks. Again, over time the cost of stamped concrete quickly overtakes the price of installing paving stones as your initial hard surfacing.
Paving Stones: We at Emerald Landscaping have the most up to date and improved methods, skills, and techniques required for installing paving stones for strength, longevity, and unrivalled beauty that will last a lifetime. Paving stones come in a huge variety of surface finishes, shapes, colours and patterns to lay the paving stones in that will complement any existing buildings and architecture that exists at the paving site. An average paving stone has a rating of at least 7500 psi, which makes paving stones the strongest of all the listed paving materials. A big advantage of using paving stones is that if a repair is ever required or a stone becomes stained or broken, replacement is done easily and there is no ugly scarring or patches to look at. Obviously, the traditional use of gravel, asphalt, and concrete in use for paving is far less desirable than paving stones and should be considered as the primary option of your paving project.
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