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Rainbow Sandstone

Homeowners all across the United States are beginning to appreciate the beauty and uniqueness of natural stone paving. Granites, limestones, flagstones, sandstones, marble, bluestones, and travertines increase the aesthetic of patios, walkways, and driveways. They are also low-maintenance, durable, and offer versatile styles.

Natural stone paving is a more prestigious, durable, and stylish hardscape option than colored concrete because it was created by minerals that took thousands of years or longer to form. It is a choice for creating a genuinely distinctive outdoor living environment. Instead of requiring high-energy, fuel-burning processes that release significant volumes of CO2 into the environment, it can be extracted from the ground and processed using low-energy technology. This means natural stone pavers are recyclable in a way that concrete ones aren’t; in our eco-friendly world, this is a big deal.

Outdoor paving made of natural stone is often used for patios, driveways, and sidewalks. The materials are made by the forces of nature, as the name suggests. Choosing between natural stone and concrete would become even simpler because, in this article, we explore how to lay your natural stone paving, the benefits and why it is better than concrete.

What is natural stone paving?

Natural stone paving involves using slabs made from natural rocks to pave outdoor areas. So what are natural stone pavers? 


Stone pavers are made from rocks, and they have different characteristics. Natural stone pavers include but are not limited to granite, sandstone, limestone, flagstone, travertine, bluestone, and rainbow sandstone. Natural pavers come in various colors, shapes, textures, and sizes.

How to lay natural stone paving?

Below is a step-by-step guide on how to lay your natural stone paving.

Choose Your Natural Stone paver

The first step to laying your natural stone paving starts with a choice. Deciding on the best natural stone paver can be stressful. You might be caught in between limestone or granite, sandstone or flagstone. The first step to laying your natural stone paving starts with making a choice.

The first step to laying your natural stone paving starts with making a choice. Mark The Area You Want To Pave 

When you have decided on the paving stone to use, the next step is to define the area to be paved. You can do this with spray paint, grade stakes, or a string. 

Dig Out The Area

The next step is digging out the area to be paved. Before digging, ensure you take out all obstacles. Ensure you dig a good and well-leveled hole. 6-8 inches of topsoil is needed to give it a base.

Lay your base material

Crushed rocks or gravel with moisture makes your work easier to carry out. Use crushed rocks about 3-4 inches for workable surfaces. When laying a base for a driveway, you need 5 inches or more.

Prepare Your Sand Base

The next step is to pour your second layer, the sand base. Your sand base is the strata between your base and your pavers. Pour about half an inch of sand on your rock and lay it out smoothly. 

Lay Your Pavers

The final step is to lay your pavers gently. It’s good to start laying your stone slabs on a straight edge. Keeping your edges straight will determine the result.

If you notice a depression after laying your pavers, fill it up with more sand and if the stone pavers look a little bit higher than the rest, use a rubber mallet to level it carefully. A hammer, chisel, or diamond blade will help you do the work. 

Restrain The Edges

The moment you are done laying your pavers, you will need to restrain the edges. This process is done with plastic, concrete, or steel strips. They prevent your stones from sliding apart.

Natural stone paving: how to clean and how to lay it

How to clean natural stone paving?

Simple cleaning routines will help your natural stone pavers stand the test of time, look beautiful and remain clean. The number of times you will need to clean your natural stone paving depends on several factors, including the season you are in. In the fall, your stone pavers need to be cleaned regularly to reduce the number of fallen leaves and ensure they don’t decompose on your stones. 

Use the Right Cleaning Product

Using the right cleaning substance is the first step in cleaning your natural stone paving. Avoid harsh substances in the quest to get your natural stone pavers looking neat and spotless. Go for a cleaning agent that has a neutral pH level.

Regular Sweep

A good sweep once a week will boost the lifespan of your landscape. Clean off the debris and keep fallen leaves away from your patios or driveways.

Clean Up Spills

Stone pavers are susceptible to damage from high or low-pH; when you spill juice or food, ensure that you clean it off. Also, clean off any stain before it settles on your natural stones. If your stone paving is installed over a large area, employ ride-on cleaning machines or pressure cleaners to do the job for you and remove debris where your brooms can’t reach.

Seal Your Patios Or Driveways Regularly

Sealing your natural stone paving will do more good to your driveways. Sealing protects your pavement from cracking easily and prevents moisture from settling into your stone pavers. 

Replacement 

Sometimes, the only choice you will be left with is to replace the severely damaged or stained areas or stones. Replacing just an area or stone won’t cost a hand and a leg. 

Should natural stone be sealed?

Like other materials, sealing helps maintain and protect your patios or driveways from cracks, dirt, and stains. Sealing also improves the aesthetic of your paved surface and prolongs the lifespan of your natural stones.

Natural stone pavings should be sealed?

How to seal natural stone paving?

Using a sealant can improve the lifespan of your natural stone pavers and your patios, driveways, or walkways. Ensure that you choose the most suitable sealant for your natural stone pavers. Once you’ve purchased your sealant, you can carefully follow these steps to seal your pavement

Clean The Surface To Be Sealed

To seal your natural stone, you must ensure that your walkways, patios, or driveways are clean and free from debris. 

Check Your Weather Forecast

Sealing must be done on a dry surface. An unexpected rain will destroy your work. It would help if you had a temperature range of 5°c – 20°c.

Protect yourself

If you easily get upset by smell, wear a mask and protective clothing. 

Test your sealant

Using a small area, seal gently to ensure you have a suitable sealant. Once you have confirmed that you have a suitable sealant, apply the first coat of sealant around the paved area. This is the impregnation coat. 

Apply the second coat 

Apply the second coat of sealant, surface protection; you must let it dry. To get a fine finish, walk back in the opposite direction and ensure you don’t seal any patches or debris.

Allow To Dry

Allow drying for 3-4 hours. And your natural stone paving is dried and ready for use. 

Natural Stone Vs. Concrete

There is no doubt that choosing between concrete and natural stone can be a bit confusing for many. Although concrete is inexpensive and appears colorful, they have several backlashes that make natural stone paving stand out. 

Maintenance 

Maintaining stone pavers is less difficult compared to concrete. Stone pavers barely develop cracks; they are easy to fix if they crack. The repair cost is not as expensive as the cost of repairing concrete. 

Style choices and Aesthetic

Because stone pavers are natural rocks that come in different natural colors, sizes, and shapes, you wouldn’t have to worry about installing a boring style. Your style choices are versatile to fit the project you have in mind. 

Easy Installation 

Installing concrete is quite demanding; labor, grading, and backfilling will stress you out. And because concrete easily cracks, you must be super careful and diligent. On the brighter side, stone pavers will always save the day. You can install your stone pavers by yourself. The time and effort it takes are enough to allow you to have fun on your patio. 

Durability 

Natural stone pavers or rocks are eco-friendly and 100% sustainable. Stone pavers look beautiful as they age. 

Limestone is a natural stone used for paving

Is natural stone cheaper than pavers and concrete?

Concrete is less costly than natural stone. This is because they require fewer resources to manufacture and are more affordable per square foot. 

Natural stone is more expensive than concrete and other paving materials. Stone pavers require more time and resources to manufacture; however, the overall cost of natural stone paving depends on the size of the space to be covered and your budget. 

The average cost to install natural stone pavers is between $17.17- $22:89 per square foot, and the total cost will depend on other factors. Location, area covered, e.t.c. 

Conclusion

Natural stone paving is one of the best methods of paving your patios, walkways, or driveways. Natural stone pavers will stand the test of time when it comes to your patio, walkway, or driveway lifespan.

Patio drainage options

Anyone who’s ever dealt with a flood knows the value of proper drainage. Whether from a downpour, a burst pipe, or another type of flood, drainage will eventually be an issue. When it comes to your patio, a fully functioning drainage system will keep the water where it should be and protect your home’s foundation from water damage. 

Patio drainage options are the choices you make about the direction of stormwater and runoff on your property. Improper drainage can leave standing water on your patio and cause long-term damage. Avoid future damage and maximize the use of your outdoor space by including a patio drainage system in your construction plans.

Read on to learn:

  • Why does your patio need a drainage system?
  • What are the main patio drainage options?
  • Common patio drainage problems and solutions
  • 10 Patio Drainage Ideas
  • Popular patio drains and drainage products
Why does your patio need a drainage system?

Why does your patio need a drainage system?

Whether you have an existing patio with standing water after a storm or you’re planning to construct the patio of your dreams, proper drainage should be a priority. If you wanted standing water on your patio, you’d have built a pool. 

Ensure the health and longevity of your patio and home by installing and maintaining a proper drainage system. Your foundation benefits from the protection, and your wallet is spared expensive repair costs to fix avoidable damage. When you question whether your plan is sufficient, consult the experts. 

Further Reading – Tips for Hiring a Local Paving Company 

whatConsequences of Poor Patio Drainage
ErosionWithout a system to keep water in the right place, it can erode the soil under your patio. If too much soil washes away, your patio may become unstable and dangerous to use.
Water DamagePoor drainage allows water to seep into your foundation, crawlspace, or basement, creating the potential for water damage. A damaged foundation puts your entire home at risk.
Insect InvasionStanding water attracts insects, particularly mosquitos, which are enough to ruin any outdoor experience.
MoldPoor drainage seeping water into basements or crawlspaces will create mold, leading to poor air quality and damage to structural elements. It also causes mildew, which could damage your pavers.
Drowned PlantsPlants need water, but too much will kill them. Poor drainage can cause root rot and plant death.

Further Reading – How to Clean Pavers – Tips for Cleaning Patio or Driveway

What are the main patio drainage options?

  • Slope 

Why not use nature’s advantages when designing your outdoor space? If you set a proper slope and grade of at least a quarter-inch per linear foot, water should flow away from the areas you need to protect naturally without much more work on your part.

  • French drain

If your patio site doesn’t have enough natural drainage, consider adding a French drain to channel the water where you want it. A French drain is a covered trench holding a perforated pipe and aggregate (gravel) to redirect water. 

A French drain is an excellent option if you’re concerned about the aesthetics of your patio. You can match the aggregate to the rest of your patio, and the drainage trench adds an attractive border to your outdoor area.

  • Permeable pavers

For your patio, permeable pavers are another way to integrate drainage into your aesthetic design. Take advantage of the land’s natural water absorption for sustainable landscaping choices. You also have the option to use permeable grass pavers, which incorporate living plant material to help harvest and recycle rainwater while preserving green space. You can also include permeable pavers in French drains.

Further Reading – How Long Before You Can Drive on Pavers?

Common patio drainage problems and solutions

Further Reading – How to Drain Asphalt Driveway Puddles

Improper pitch

While a completely level surface for your patio sounds ideal; it’s actually a recipe for disaster. Runoff water has nowhere to go on a level surface, leaving you with standing water to cause water damage. Plan a gradual slope while designing your patio to avoid this problem before it starts. 

Clogged drain system

Especially with older patios, leaves and debris may clog an existing drainage system. Depending on the severity of the clog, the fix could be as simple as clearing a grate cover. 

Further Reading – Ultimate Guide to Storm Drain Repair – 8 Essential Elements

Badly placed downspouts and roof overhangs

Your patio is near your house, though not necessarily built simultaneously. If you don’t consider the placement of roof overhangs and downspouts when planning your patio drainage, you may face future problems. Simply reroute the water flow to the drainage system. 

Sinking pavers

Erosion is one of the problems you may face from improper drainage on your patio. Pull up the pavers in question and examine the base underneath. You should excavate down past the top layer of soil and lay a base of gravel or crushed stone to help control drainage and soil erosion. 

Further Reading – Alternative Driveway Materials – Considerations for Your Next Project

Drainage ideas for your patio

10 Patio drainage ideas

1. Dry creek bed xeriscaping


Direct stormwater away from your foundation with dry creek bed xeriscaping (landscaping requiring little or no irrigation). Using rocks of various sizes, build a channel for rainwater to move along, letting you control the course. As an added design element, you can add solar lights. 

Further Reading – Best 20 Driveway Lights – The Ultimate Buying Guide

2. Build a yard drain

If you’re already familiar with the parts of your lawn or patio prone to flooding, try installing a yard drain. A network of buried pipes will carry the water away from the drain. 

3. Install a rain barrel

Put the excess water collected by your downspouts to good use instead of wasting it. Place a rain barrel next to your downspout and use it later for your garden. Some states have made rainwater collection illegal, so please check the law before putting a rain barrel in your yard.

4. Build a French drain


A French drain offers a long-lasting drainage system that is not likely to clog when built properly. With a trench, perforated PVC pipe, and permeable aggregate like gravel, you can build an effective and attractive drainage system for your patio. 

5. Replace concrete with drainage materials

If your concrete or asphalt patio consistently holds standing water, consider replacing it with permeable pavers to distribute the water properly while still providing a usable space. 

Further Reading – Residential Asphalt Paving – Everything You Need to Know

6. Install a catch basin

If you notice water pooling frequently at the base of your gutter downspouts, consider adding a catch basin beneath them to protect your foundation. Collect the excess stormwater and allow it to flow into buried PVC pipes away from your home. 

Further Reading – How to Build A Concrete Catch Basin – 8 Steps to Follow

7. Build a dry well

If you have the potential for a large volume of stormwater, you might want to build a dry well as a failsafe for your patio drainage. A dry well is a large underground basin filled with rocks of various sizes. It collects large amounts of water and slowly distributes it to the surrounding soil. 

8. Use downspout extensions

If stormwater overtakes the ability of your downspouts, add extensions to divert the water flow further away from your foundation. Downspout extensions are one of the fastest, least expensive ways to boost your patio drainage. 

9. Add a channel drain

If your current drainage or slope sends water in the wrong direction, use a channel drain to divert the water to your chosen path. 

10. Use permeable pavers on paths as drainage


Add proper drainage to your patio or lawn with permeable pavers over a French drain. You will add attractive paths to your outdoor space while ensuring proper drainage protects your foundation.

Further Reading – Asphalt Water Guide – Prevent Your Asphalt from Water Damage

Popular patio drains and drainage products

This 6”x6” insert fits 3” and 4” drainpipes and is perfect for adding a drain to any drainage system. Reviewers gave overwhelmingly positive ratings, saying they liked the look and the ease of installation. The design also allows easy grate removal to clean and maintain your drain. 

This easy 3-inch interlocking trench system is a popular choice for anyone wanting to add a channel drain to their yard or patio drainage system. The kit has five pieces, including two end caps and the bottom outlet adapter. Customers said it was easy to use and worked well. 

The geogrid design is perfect for either sloped or flat land. The pockets allow you to choose loose aggregate or soil and grass seed. The recycled polyethylene grid virtually eliminates erosion and is an excellent choice for poor or unstable soil areas.

Ensure your patio works with your drainage system with these interlocking patio deck tiles. They allow water to drain underneath, and customers love how fast and easy it is to use them. The set contains nine 11.75”x11.75” tiles. 

Why worry about designing a catch basin when you can use this ready-made option? Convenience meets function with this catch basin drain kit. Reviewers said it was easy to use and worked as expected. 

Drainage solutions for your patio

Conclusion

It’s important to know your patio drainage options and to pick one that suits your location. Proper patio drainage will help protect your home’s foundation and basement from water damage while giving you full use of your outdoor space. No matter what style you choose for your patio, there are drainage options to fit seamlessly with your design.

How to clean pavers

If your pavers on your driveway or patio are starting to look old and worn, they might be due for a cleaning.

There are plenty of effective ways to clean pavers, which can save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars on potential replacement costs in the long run. They include pressure washing, dish soap and Simple Green.

Come dive in with us as we explore how you can clean and revitalize your pavers to get them looking brand new. 

Effective Ways To Clean Pavers

The first thing you need to do is determine how you want to clean your pavers. There are many effective methods you can use to bring your pavers back to life. Let’s go through a few.

Pressure Washing

One of the most popular ways people approach cleaning their pavers is with pressure washing. You can use a pressure washer to break down any buildup or get rid of tough stains. All kinds of things can leave stains on your pavers over time, including dirt, debris, grass, and leaves. 

How to clean pavers: start with pressure washing

Dish Soap

One gentle way to approach cleaning your pavers is with dish soap. One reason you might choose to use dish soap is if you don’t want to remove decorative texture or sand. We recommend using gentle dish soap or degreaser, such as those made by Dawn. 

Start by mixing your dish soap with water in a small container and use a rag to lightly scrub away any dirty stains on your pavers. If a rag isn’t doing the job, you can also use the coarse end of a sponge or a bristled brush. 

White Vinegar and Water

One natural method for touching up paver stones or concrete pavers is using a mixture of white vinegar and water. When you spray your white vinegar and water mixture on your pavers, you’ll want to let it sit there for an hour or so. After an hour, you can use mild dish soap and water to scrub it clean. 

Simple Green

One of the great things about Simple Green is that it does not use any harsh chemicals. This near-natural solution can get rid of stains and dirt without ruining or discoloring your stones.

Sweep

Though you only have to power wash your pavers once every year, we highly recommend sweeping them as often as you can. This is one of the best ways to regularly remove dirt from your pavers and keep them from staining. 

Don't forget to sweep frequently your pavers

How To Clean Different Types of Pavers

Concrete

When it comes to concrete pavers, one of the most popular cleaners is hydrochloric acid. This heavy-duty cleaning solution is incredibly effective at removing concrete stains, especially in thick concrete driveways. This solution gets into the binder in concrete pavers and dissolves the acid on contact. While it does a fantastic job at making concrete look super clean, it can also ruin your pavers.

If you don’t need a very aggressive clean, we recommend using detergents or less-aggressive cleaning solutions.

Brick Pavers

Brick is probably the one exception when it comes to most patio pavers, as it needs to be cleaned more than once per year. It is very porous in nature, meaning it takes on stains much more easily. You may need to spend more time cleaning your brick if you want it to retain a clear and clean color. 

You can use any of the solutions listed above, though try and clean every few months if possible.

How to clean brick pavers

Natural Stone

When cleaning natural stone pavers, it’s important to avoid using harsh chemicals at all costs. There’s no faster way to damage natural stone pavers than by using chemicals that are very acidic or abrasive. If you need to treat stubborn stains on your natural stone, we highly recommend going with a vinegar and water solution or a light detergent. 

Further ReadingWhat Driveway Materials Should I Consider For My Next Project?

Things To Avoid When Cleaning Pavers

When cleaning pavers, there are certain things we often see people do that end up doing more harm than good. If you want to keep your patio or driveway pavers clean year-round, here are a few things to avoid when you want clean pavers.

Using Abrasive Cleaning Solutions

The last thing you want to do when trying to keep your pavers clean is using an abrasive cleaning solution, such as bleach. There are many kinds of pavers, such as concrete pavers, that don’t take too well to acidic cleaners. If you’re using concrete pavers, marble pavers, limestone pavers, or other pavers with large doses of calcium, avoid using highly acidic cleaners at all costs.

Using Steel Brushes or Wire

There are certain materials that don’t take too well to wire or steel brushes. When it comes to cleaning natural stone, we recommend avoiding these kinds of tools if you can. For example, if you try and treat sandstone or limestone with a steel brush or wire, you can end up damaging the top layer.

Not Paying Attention To Decorations

If you have plants, pots, water fountains, or other kinds of decor on your pavers that can leave mold or mildew residue, it’s important that you’re consistently cleaning around them to avoid getting stains on your pavers. Make sure to regularly lift up your decorations and clean underneath them.

As a side note, if you ever notice water pooling on your pavers, make sure to clean it up immediately. Pooling water can leave dark stains that can be very difficult to treat down the line.

This paver is finally clean!

Final Thoughts

If you want to make your pavers look brand new again, we recommend cleaning them at least once per year, following our recommendations above. To get rid of pesky stains and mold or mildew growth, one of our favorite natural solutions is mixing white vinegar and water. Not only will it leave your pavers looking fresh and new, but it’s also good for the environment.

We hope that this article was helpful! Make sure to head on over to Paving Finder blog for more expert advice!