Frequently Asked Questions
What are Interlocking Concrete Paving Stones (Pavers)?
Pavers are individual precast concrete units. They are produced on specially designed paving stone machines. This specialized manufacturing process ensures an exacting quality controlled environment that produces pavers of higher strength and durability than normal concrete. Pavers are a minimum of 8000 psi, compared to about 2500 psi for poured in place concrete.
How Long Have Paving Stones Been in Use?
The original paving stone solution was put in place by the Roman armies of early A.D. They built roads using an aggregate base with the placement of stones on top. These roads are still in place today and wind their way through the European countryside.
Following World War 2 there was a dire need for reconstruction. To facilitate the construction of roads the Dutch needed to use a product that was in plentiful supply, the clay brick. These bricks had to be mortar set. This methodology progressed to a point that reached the technology and experience that led to the use of sand set paving stones today.
In the early 70's the popularity of paving stones reached the shores of North America and have gained prominence ever since.
How Does The Interlocking System Work?
Pavers are placed on one inch of bedding sand over a compacted aggregate base. The thickness of the base will vary depending on its application. Paving stones are retained using edge restraints. Commonly used edge restraints include concrete curbing, plastic edge restraints, aluminum edge restraints, and concrete slurry mixes.
Once the pavers are placed and restrained the compaction process may begin. The pavers are compacted while fine masonry sand is swept into the joints. The compaction process may take 3 or 4 passes before full interlock is achieved.
Upon completion of this compaction process, the area is ready for immediate use. Unlike asphalt and concrete, no curing or setting time is required for interlocking concrete paving stones.
What Types of Areas are Appropriate for Interlocking Pavers?
Interlocking concrete paving stones are used at airports, container facilities, railway container facilities, municipality streets, plazas, parks, driveways, walkways and patios. Pavers are the perfect solution for almost any applications because of their high quality, aesthetic value, and lower life cycle cost in comparison to asphalt or concrete.
How Does The Weather Affect ICPS?
Pavers are your all weather solution. In intense heat they will not soften as asphalt does. Upon experiencing freeze/thaw cycles pavers will not crack or spall as normal cast in place concrete does because of the joints between the pavers allows for flexibility. During periods of rain the joints will help slow the run off of water easing erosion. Concrete Pavers shed about 95% of the water that lands on them. As the proper movement of water is imperative, a consistent grade must be established. The grade is established by the aggregate base.
Are Paving Stones Slippery?
No. Interlocking Concrete Paving Stones actually surpass the standards for slip resistance established by the American Disabilities Act.
Do I Have to Seal My ICPS?
No, but it is strongly recommended. Using a high solids content, gas and oil resistant sealer will achieve 5 goals.
- The pavers will be protected from gas, oil, grease, food and leaf stains.
- The sealer will help maintain and protect the original colors.
- Limits vegetation growth.
- Prevents efflorescence from recurring.
- Helps with general overall maintenance.
The sealing process can take place immediately upon completion of installation or at anytime in the future provided you have 4-5 days of warm dry weather. The area to be sealed should be cleaned with an approved paving stone cleaner and allowed to dry 4-5 days before the application of the sealer can take place. (Please be sure to shut off automated sprinkler systems). Although pavers may appear dry on the surface, it is very important to wait the prescribed drying time before the application of the sealer. This will allow adequate evaporation from the capillaries beneath the paver surface to ensure sufficient sealer penetration.
NOTE: Caution should be used when cleaners are applied near vegetation. Do not use muriatic acid, as it will damage the color of the pavers. Consult with your Abbotsford Concrete dealer for more information.
Will Weeds Grow From Underneath?
No, vegetation requires an appropriate amount of sunlight. Growth of vegetation occurs when airborne spores infiltrate the sand joints. If the pavers have been sealed there is minimal opportunity for the spores to infiltrate the sand joints. However, if the pavers aren't sealed, a good stiff brush, power washer or approved herbicide will eliminate vegetation. Any joint sand removed in the cleaning process must be replaced.
Can We Overlay ICPS on Pre-existing Asphalt or Concrete?
Yes, you can. Follow the same guidelines as with the aggregate base installation model. Establish the grade and fill in any voids/potholes with an aggregate base material. Compact the aggregate base. Install edge restraint and screed into place one inch of sand.
Once base preparation is complete, place and compact the pavers while sweeping sand into the joints.
Can I Drive on the HydraPressed Slab?
No, you cannot. The slabs are strictly designed for pedestrian areas such as plazas, patios and walkways. This restriction is based on the aspect ratio, any pavers larger than 10 by 10 by 2-3/8 inches thick is deemed to be unsuitable for vehicular traffic due to flexural issues, by ASTM, and CSA specifications.
What is the White Stuff on My Pavers?
The whitish deposit is called efflorescence. Efflorescence is a natural by-product from the cement hydration process.
Calcium oxide inside the paver reacts with water in the capillaries and forms calcium hydroxide. This seeps to the surface, and reacts with the carbon dioxide in the air to form calcium carbonate, a whitish residue. When moisture on the surface evaporates, the white efflorescence becomes visible.
If efflorescence is present, it will wash or wear off over the course of time. If you wish to become more aggressive in the removal of efflorescence, there are cleaners available that are designed to remove efflorescence.
What are Paver Lights?
Paver Lights are lights that installed into your paver pattern. The paver lights have a plastic case and a high impact plastic lens. The lens plate can be driven or walked on. The amount of light emitted from the 11-watt bulb is bright without being intensive, emitting a soft glow. Any rain that occurs will be funneled through the case and allowed to seep into the gravel. The only placement not recommended for the Paver light is in shallow areas where standing water will accumulate.
Where can I find an ICPI Accredited Installer?
When choosing an installer for your project, it is advised that you choose an ICPI (Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute) accredited installer. See our List of Accredited Installers from our menu on the left.