Q: What is efflorescence? A: “Eﬄorescence” is a white substance that is sometimes seen on concrete products like cast-in- place concrete, pre-cast concrete, pavers, retaining wall block, roof tile, masonry block, grout, brick or block mortar (see ﬁgure 1), etc. The Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute (ICPI) deﬁnes eﬄorescence as “A white deposit of calcium carbonate on concrete surfaces. It results from the reaction of calcium hydroxide with carbon dioxide from the air. The calcium hydroxide is a byproduct when cement hydrates. It is slightly soluble in water and migrates to the surface through capillary action. The calcium hydroxide remains on the surface, reacts with carbon dioxide, which forms calcium carbonate and water. This conversion, depending on weather conditions, will dissipate over time. Calcium carbonate is the most common type of eﬄorescence.
Q: My pavers are spreading, what’s wrong? A: Paver installation should start with the proper base material for the job. Crushed rock with concrete or paver sand is recommended. Installation of proper edge restraints is key to preventing spreading of pavers.
Q: How can I stop the ants and weeds? The best way to control ants and weeds growing in your pavers is to seal your pavers and use a Polymeric Sand or Joint Sand Stabilizer. You can also use a weed killer, or an insecticide. These will not stain your pavers
Q: Should I choose a color or a blend? A: We feel it is almost always best to select a blend, as it will help hide dirt. But keep in mind that there is no way to control the amount of each color used to make the blend. If you select a Red/Tan/Charcoal blend, some of the brick will look solid Red, some solid Tan, some solid Charcoal but most will have portions of each. There is no way to determine how much of each color you will receive.
Q: Can I replace my pavers if something was to chip or damage them? A: A paver or group of pavers can be removed and replaced if needed with minimal disturbance to the rest of the surface.
Q: Is it necessary to seal my pavers? A:Using a sealer on a paving installation is a matter of personal preference. A sealer does not affect the overall durability or performance of the paver or tile but may enhance the color of the product and offer some protection against stains. Before sealing an installation for the first time, any stains should be removed and the entire surface cleaned with an efflorescence cleaner. Use only cleaners and sealers specifically formulated for use on concrete pavers and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Always test the cleaning product on a small, inconspicuous area first. Sealers can be either solvent or water based. Solvent based sealers are available in either a flat or a gloss finish. Water based sealers typically leave less gloss on the surface and are an environmentally friendly choice. Be sure the sealer you choose meets local environmental laws prior to use. We recommend cleaning paved surfaces yearly to remove impurities and maintain the overall appearance of the paving stones. Spills should be treated immediately to prevent staining. For stubborn stains that just won’t come clean, individual pavers can easily be removed and replaced with new ones. It is recommended that you reserve a small quantity of paving stones or tiles at the time of installation for this purpose.
Q: What are thin pavers? A: Thin pavers are a thinner version of concrete interlocking pavers. They are generally about n inch thick and are commonly used as an overlay for poured concrete pool decks, sidewalks, patios, and driveways.
Q: Can thin pavers be installed on top of a cracked concrete surface? A: Yes, this is one of the most common uses of thin pavers. However, it is important that the integrity of the existing surface be sufficient. This means that cracks larger than 1/4″ must be patched first. If the surface has a number of cracks larger than 1/4″, or if the surface is generally uneven, demolition of the existing surface may be necessary.
Q: Pavers or Concrete? A: Pavers are environmentally friendly. If you have a repair to do underground, simply remove the pavers in the area, complete the repair and replace them. With permanent concrete that would not be so easy. Pavers are a flexible pavement, you will not have surface cracks that usually occur with the use of regular concrete. Pavers also add resale value to your home.
Q: Are Pavers stronger than Concrete? A: Pavers are stronger than regular poured concrete surfaces and are more durable. It can last for generations to come with little maintenance.
Q: What else do I need to know? Pavers are manufactured in batches. A batch is approximately 300 to 500 square feet. It is possible that colors may vary slightly in a batch.