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Old 07-05-2014, 05:20 PM   #1
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Pavers

I have a 30 year old deck that is reaching the point where it should be replaced in the next year or two.
It is made of treated wood and has held up well considering that it is in a very damp area that rarely dries out completely.

I have been considering replacing it with pavers instead of another deck (wood or artificial planks). I am told that pavers are low maintenance, a power wash once a year. Also that they are self draining and will easily outlast a deck.

I am interested in peoples's experience using pavers over a piece of ground that is slightly sloped and rarely dries out even in the summer.
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Old 07-05-2014, 05:48 PM   #2
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We had our patio done in pavers in 2008. About 14' by 21'. We love it. The first few years, sweep a little sand to replace what settles washes out between the pavers. Have not done anything but sweep it and maybe hose it down. Ours gets some shade and some sun. Fairly well drained. A few weeds to pull out, spray, or pour boiling water on if they grow between the pavers.

Nice not to have to worry about sealing or staining. Everything has stayed level and even, except for a few feet where we had a new foundation put in for an addition, but I just pulled those up, back-filled and replaced them. No problem.

If you have leaves or stuff that stains it, a power wash should do the trick. We haven't bothered. I can't speak specifically to very damp places, we even get a little moss in the cracks in the shadier spots (I like the look of that), so I'd expect you'd get that unless you do something to control it if you don't want that look. But I'd expect it to last a lifetime. I think you did good to get 30 years out of a deck in those conditions.

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Old 07-05-2014, 05:55 PM   #3
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> A few weeds to pull out

Sprinkling Preen on the pavers (right before a rain) can help minimize weeds.
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Old 07-05-2014, 06:47 PM   #4
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That's how we would replace the current decking. Right now we are just having the deck stained every 2 years or so. Unless you are not at ground level it seems that some sort of permanent paving is better: concrete with pebbles or some such design medium, pavers, flagstone, etc.

In a previous house we had concrete that was split from tree roots. Had a guy brick it over with nice used bricks (they have a nicer patina) after cutting the tree roots. He did great work, British and trained in bricking.
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Old 07-05-2014, 07:41 PM   #5
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I have a paver patio deck but living in Arizona it's anything but damp, the ground here is like cement. You'll need to make sure you have a proper base (gravel and sand) for your area and that it's compacted real well. If the patio deck is up against your house it should be sloped away from your house so that water drains properly.
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Old 07-05-2014, 09:37 PM   #6
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I installed a paver courtyard. Gets high praise from neighbors.
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Old 07-06-2014, 05:54 AM   #7
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That is what my son does for a living,he owns a landscape company.
To do it right it is not cheap,lots of labor involved.
Good compacted stone base,with the proper slope.
Find a good company with experience.
When the pavers are laid,then polymeric sand is spread to fill the cracks,this
is then compacted again to fill all the voids.
Then water sprayed,which activates the polymer,which hardens and keeps the sand
in place,and not growing weeds for a few years.
If done right should last many years without problems.
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Old 07-06-2014, 06:53 AM   #8
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Our patio is half concrete (35 years old) and half pavers (15 years old). Both need to be pressure-washed annually to keep them looking good.

Annual Preen treatment of the paver portion in the spring is vital to keep them free of vegetation, along with occasional sprays of Roundup during the summer.

On the whole, it's a good solution for us. But I really like the sound of that polymeric sand mentioned by mf15. Ours was just done with ordinary sand, and this sounds like a big improvement in technique.
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Old 07-06-2014, 07:32 AM   #9
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We have a paver patio and sidewalks (20 years old). I do a yearly power washing and fill in the joints with polymeric sand. Little weeds sprout up, but can easily be kept in check with roundup.

Part of my front sidewalk is in somewhat of a wet area, but it's not too bad - maybe settled a little. Also have a upper level deck that I had to replace a few years ago. My experience is that a paver patio would outlast a deck.
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Old 07-06-2014, 07:33 AM   #10
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We installed a paver brick patio and front sidewalk about 15 years ago. There are both good and bad points about them.

I would never install pavers if it is near any new construction where the subsoil has recently been disturbed (foundation work). The ground needs a couple of years of weather changes and settling to provide stable foundation. The normal compacted base of sand and gravel chips cannot overcome this.

Second, if you are in a moist area you will likely get a lot of moss growing between the pavers even with the polymerized sand and using Preen. I have yet to find a product that will get rid of the moss. A yearly pressure wash and resanding will keep the moss as bay but it is a lot of messy work.

A paver patio absorbs and retains a lot of heat and can be more uncomfortable on a hot day.

A paver patio will likely cost more than a good quality deck but properly installed and maintained they really look great.
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Old 07-06-2014, 07:35 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by braumeister View Post
..... But I really like the sound of that polymeric sand mentioned by mf15. Ours was just done with ordinary sand, and this sounds like a big improvement in technique.
One thing to be careful of with polymeric sand - it has epoxy or whatever that really holds it together after it gets wet. So the sand should be worked into joints well without leaving a lot on the pavers. It's not easy to sweep once it gets wet
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Old 07-06-2014, 07:52 AM   #12
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Thanks, that's a good tip.
I guess my leaf blower should remove the overlaid sand from the bricks before I wet it.
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Old 07-06-2014, 11:42 AM   #13
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Yep the leaf blower will work fine. I usually broom the sand into cracks leaving as little sand as possible on the pavers, then leaf blower it. I made the mistake of leaving some extra polymeric in the joints thinking it would settle with water. It solidified into a wider unattractive joint. Now I add a little sand at a time


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Old 07-07-2014, 03:12 PM   #14
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Thanks for the advice. I will certainly look into pavers. I have probably spend the best part of 40 hours over that last six weeks, repairing, scraping, priming and now re-staining my deck. After 30 years it is requiring more work, which is understandable. But, alas, I am also 30 years older.
'
And now, it's back to finishing the re-staining work. Hopefully, I will be able to use the deck later this week.
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