Common failures in the installation of pavers, hardscapes, and patios [part 3 of 3]
Ways to address the common failures
Prevention- The axiom an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure certainly holds here. Understand the purpose of the hardscape, be sure to choose the right materials (paver, geotextile, base, etc.), and work with knowledgeable installers.
Inspection – All the certifications and regulations in the world will not prevent an installer from being rushed or using an inexperienced crew member. It’s very important to keep an eye on the installation process. If constant (and qualified) observation is not possible. Post-installation testing and observation is highly recommended. Look for small or loose pavers, and check that there is a sufficient and uniform grade for handling water. Removing a few pavers to check the base compaction is a great way to avoid problems the often expensive problems that arise from settling.
Maintenance- After installation it’s important to maintain any and all types of hard surfaces. Weeds and other debris need to be removed from the surface. Cracked or damaged pieces need to be replaced. Even the best made systems will fall into disrepair if given enough time and abuse (see the Roman Colosseum). From the outset be sure to pick materials that match your willingness and budget to perform maintenance. Lower maintenance solutions, typically have higher initial costs, but often are a lot cheaper over the long-term.
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