The Process of Interlock Paving
The installation of interlock concrete paving is a precise and systematic process that must be performed correctly for it to maintain lasting quality throughout the years. The procedure begins with the excavation of the area and most importantly the preparation of the foundation. The process is completed when the jointing sand is installed and compacted and clean up of the site is performed. Upon completion, you can depend on your interlocking paver installation to last a lifetime.
Step one is the planning process, taking your dreams and making them a reality. The area to be paved is decided and the design is sketched out and measured. The topography of the site must be assessed to provide the best drainage options. Once the project layout is determined a design professional will recommend the best option for paver type, pattern selection and review color options.
Step two is project implementation. Removal of the existing surface and excavating to the proper depth for your application, driveways require additional excavation for proper foundation requirements. We determine the exact height of the finished project and dig to the proper depth to accommodate the Class II aggregate base rock, sand, and paver. The native soil must be compacted and completely level to accommodate the buildup of the project material. Any uneven areas or raised soil areas will cause uneven base depth and can potentially cause failure of the installation; this is especially true with driveway applications.
Step three involves installation of the geotextile fabric, an interwoven polyethylene membrane, and the Class II aggregate base rock. The use of geotextile fabric provides the ability for the foundation to spread the surcharge loads across a wider area while preventing the migration of any base material into the native subsoil. The foundation base preparation and depth requirements are the most critical aspect when installing pavers that will be stable enough to support increased vehicular loads. Multiple layers of crushed rock are installed and compacted in lifts. In Northern California, due to specific clay soil types, it is recommended that excavations for residential driveways are a minimum of 11 inches with at least 7 inches of Class II aggregate base rock. Pedestrian areas require less excavation and base preparation due the reduced loads applied to the surface area of the installation.
Step four is placement of the sharp angled bedding sand. For interlocking pavers, concrete or stucco sand is best. The bedding sand layer should be installed at a minimum 1 inch depth, increasing this elevation will cause instability of the paver surface. The bedding sand is the layer the pavers are set upon and when compacted, the bedding sand will migrate up into the paver joints from below.
Step five is the placing of the actual paver stone, this process is usually done by hand and proper fitment of the paver in the pattern selected is another critical step in the installation process. Other processes take place during this step such as cutting the paver stone and border alignment. Again a compactor is used to secure the stones firmly into the bedding sand.
Step six requires the installation of the border restraint, there are many available options such as plastic or metal paver edging, in Northern California both of these options are inferior to the concrete foundation beam or submerged curb. In this application the base and sand are combined with Portland cement to create a very dense concrete mixture, the pavers are then wet set into this concrete mixture to cure and provide the restraint your project requires.
Step seven is the installation of the jointing sand, we use a clean washed 30 mesh sand to provide the final step in the installation and interlock process. Sand is forecast onto the surface of the installation then compacted for the last time to manipulate the sand into the joints of the pavers.
Proper implementation of this systematic installation process is critical to assure the lasting quality of your paver driveway. It is labor intensive and requires an precise level of craftsmanship and skill, and when finished will enhance the aesthetics of your home for many years to come. Best yet, dollar for dollar interlocking concrete pavers add more value to your curb appeal than any other product you can install for your driveway.