3 tips to make your home pavement last

There's no reason why your driveway, patio or walk shouldn't last a long time, as long as it's paved right, preserved and repaired as needed. Here are a few tips to ensure your pavement lasts a long time.

3 tips to make your home pavement last

1. Get the right pavers

Whether you choose brick pavers, concrete pavers or tile for your new patio or walk, it's crucial to use paving units that are designed to withstand your climate. Here are some guidelines:

  • No matter where you live, don't try to pave with building bricks, also often called common bricks. Even building bricks designated for severe weather applications aren't designed to hold up as pavers.
  • If you live in a freezing climate, make sure you get pavers designated as SX. If it doesn't freeze where you live, you can use MX pavers. NX pavers are for indoor use only, where freezing conditions are not present.
  • Concrete pavers are the most durable type of paving unit — and usually the cheapest, too. They are made of a dense, pressure-formed concrete that will hold up in any climate.
  • Tile usually needs to be set in a bed of mortar atop a solid concrete slab. For cold weather climates, quarry tile is usually the best choice. It has a rough surface that makes it skid-resistant — just make sure the tile you buy is designed to withstand freezing. Glazed tiles are also available for freezing climates, but the glossy glaze is slippery when wet.

2. Preserve concrete walkways and driveways

Yes, it looks like it's impervious and will last for ages, but concrete needs care to keep it looking good and to help prevent cracks and flaking. Here's how to add years of life to your concrete walk, patio or driveway.

  • Clean concrete once a year to avoid dirt and grime buildup. Use low-pressure water — from a hose or a pressure washer at 210 kilograms per centimetre (3,000 pounds per square inch) — with a stiff brush or broom (not a wire one). For stubborn spots, use a light-duty cleaner designed for masonry. Avoid harsh detergents.
  • Patch any existing cracks. There are many patching compounds available. Typically, you clean the crack's edges thoroughly and brush on a bonding adhesive prior to applying the patching compound.
  • Seal joints with joint sealant to help prevent too much water from working its way under the concrete, where it can freeze and crack the concrete. Joint sealant is available in cartridges. Apply it with a caulk gun just like caulk.
  • Seal concrete surfaces when water no longer beads up on them. Sealer does many good things: it provides resistance to water infiltration, repels dirt, resists staining and minimizes the damaging effects of de-icing salts, oil and antifreeze. Clean concrete surfaces thoroughly before applying sealer with a brush or sprayer.

3. Seal and patch your asphalt driveway

  • Sealing an asphalt driveway is not difficult, but it takes time. For the sealer to adhere well, wash the driveway thoroughly first.
  • Also, dig out any weeds or grass sprouting from cracks and chop off surface roots from nearby trees that may cause the driveway to crack.
  • Then, patch all cracks with patching compound. Apply at least two coats of sealer for long-lasting results.
  • No time to do the job right away? Dig out the weeds or grass from cracks and patch the breaks.
  • This will prevent further damage until you can reseal it and may save you the cost of a new driveway.
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