Paved surfaces are a common sight in the modern landscape. But the materials they’re constructed from can make a big difference in the look and longevity of your landscape.
Asphalt requires a compacted sub-base to provide durability and serve as a frost barrier. It’s then covered with a binder layer of large aggregate mixed with oil.
Concrete requires more up-front investment than asphalt, but a properly designed, constructed, and cured concrete surface can last close to a lifetime. This longevity translates into significant savings in resurfacing, repair, and maintenance costs.
The durability of concrete depends on its ingredients, proportioning, and interactions, as well as the environment it will be exposed to. Concrete must resist internal forces from freezing and thawing, wetting, drying cycles, and external loads such as traffic.
Creating and constructing asphalt surfaces to sustain the traffic volume and climatic circumstances unique to a parking lot or road is possible. Using a mix design that provides proper aggregate particle size and gradation, voids, and strength, asphalt can withstand rutting during the summer and the harsh freeze/thaw cycles of winter. This durability also translates to an uninterrupted, smooth ride for drivers that reduces vehicle wear and tear. Moreover, asphalt can be paved and open to traffic much faster than concrete.
Paved surfaces in a parking lot paving Elkhart IN can require different maintenance techniques. Still, the most crucial factor is keeping moisture from penetrating the surface and into the base materials beneath. Moisture intrusion leads to substantial damage, deterioration, and potholes over time. Crack sealing is one of the most effective ways to minimize moisture intrusion.
Gravel is an affordable option that can be used in driveways and other short-term paving solutions. It has a natural, attractive texture ideal for informal landscapes and can be used with other paving materials to complement an existing design. However, it is not a good choice for areas subject to harsh winter conditions, as it can become brittle and crumble easily in the freeze-thaw cycle, especially when salt and other de-icing products are added.
Asphalt is an efficient option that can be constructed in less time than concrete. It may be as durable as necessary to withstand any traffic load and has a lower starting cost than other paving techniques. It also requires less maintenance than other paved materials, reducing life-cycle costs.
The type of paving materials and techniques you choose for your driveway, sidewalks, or patio affects the durability of your paved surface and its aesthetics. The suitable paving material complements the architectural style of your home and contributes to a welcoming atmosphere.
Natural stone comes in various colors, patterns, and textures that suit rustic and contemporary styles. It is long-lasting, responds well to heavy foot traffic and weather fluctuations, and requires minimal maintenance.
For a more traditional look, limestone pavers have a velvety finish and come in earth tones that work with plantings. They are nonslip and can be textured for added grip. Porcelain paving, on the other hand, suits contemporary and European-style gardens with its clean lines and sophisticated palette. Its surface is smooth and cool underfoot, and it can be tinted to match or contrast with the surrounding landscaping. Ensure you see a dry sample of tinted concrete before it’s poured, as pigments can change dramatically when wet.
The great range of paving materials on the market makes shopping fun but can also make choosing the suitable material challenging. The correct choice depends on the weight the paved surface will bear, the kind of traffic, and soil conditions.
Concrete is an excellent material for paving because it’s solid and can be molded into different shapes and textures to match various aesthetic preferences. It also retains its color well, especially with high exposure to sunlight.
It’s also very resistant to frost-thaw cycles, which makes it a good option for cold climates. Another benefit of concrete is that its textured surface offers better slip resistance for pedestrians and vehicles, improving safety.