Trinity Lutheran Cda

Historic Lutheran Church in downtown
Coeur d'Alene Idaho

The Basics of Paving

Paving is the process of applying a hard surface such as concrete, bricks, tiles or asphalt to a path, walkway, driveway or other outdoor area to make it suitable and durable for walking or driving on. It enhances the aesthetics of the surrounding environment and increases the value of your property.

Choosing the right material for your paving project is important, as different materials have different benefits. For example, some natural stones are less prone to cracking or breaking than other types of paving material. Some are also easier to clean than others, meaning that they require less maintenance. When choosing the material for your paving, it is also a good idea to consider its appearance and texture when wet. For instance, rounded cobblestones and flagstones with polished or honed surfaces can be difficult on the ankles and slick when wet, while pavers that have a naturally-cleft surface are more comfortable on the feet and offer some grip or texture.

Before laying the paving, it is essential to prepare the surface by excavating and grading it to the desired level. This will allow the paving to be set on a solid and firm foundation that will be able to withstand the weight of vehicles, people and their accessories, as well as any future landscaping or gardening you plan for the area. Once the ground has been prepared, a layer of coarse bedding sand is added to provide a stable base for the pavers. This sand should be compacted with a vibrating plate compactor, which looks like a simplified push mower but is designed to compress and tightly pack the sand so that it does not move underneath your pavers over time. Slightly wetting the sand may help speed up this compaction process.

The next step is to add a binder layer. This is a mix of large aggregate and oil that creates a solid surface for the paving to adhere to. This layer is then covered by a thick layer of fresh asphalt that provides a smooth surface for the road to drive on.

Another benefit of paving is that it prevents weed growth and other unwanted plants from damaging the surrounding soil. It also helps to protect the surface from rain and other harsh weather conditions that can wash away sand and damage surfaces, making them dangerous for people and animals to walk on.

In addition, paving is environmentally friendly because it reduces the amount of oil-based substances that can wash into streams and rivers. These pollutants can harm wildlife and pollute fresh water supplies, so paving reduces the risk of them reaching the ecosystem. It is also a cost-effective alternative to other forms of surfacing, such as tarmac and bitumen. This makes paving the most practical choice for both residential and commercial properties.

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