Concrete paver driveways – The low down on the pros and cons
The materials used for a driveway can have a huge impact on its longevity and overall appearance. An affordable and equally attractive paver choice is concrete. If you are researching the different driveway paver choices, this post aims to deliver the low down on the pros and cons of concrete pavers to help you decide if they are the right fit for your project or not.
What you need to know about concrete pavers
Concrete pavers can be used for an array of applications, driveways included. They sometimes get called cement pavers but this term is inaccurate because they are constructed from a variety of materials not cement alone. A combination of sand, cement, water aggregate, and other components are used to make concrete pavers.
These components are typically mixed to create pavers. Once combined, it gets poured into a mould. The mixture is usually vibrated to remove any air bubbles before compressing it and allowing it to dry. Concrete pavers of the right thickness are more than capable of handling the weight of vehicles driving and parking across them.
Ensure the concrete pavers you choose are of high quality to ensure they won't be prone to cracking or deterioration sooner than you'd like.
Factors to consider when installing a new concrete paved driveway
Some patterns are better suited than others when installing pavers on a driveway, this is particularly true if your driveway is sloped. Interlocking pavers offer more stability and will prevent the pavers from moving when a car drives over them.
Drainage always needs to be integrated into the layout of your driveway, if it's not water can run off your driveway and onto areas you don't want it to when it rains subsequently causing major damage.
Driveways are subjected to heavier loads than other paved areas such as patios and walkways and therefore they need to have a thicker paver to accommodate such conditions. As standard, concrete driveway pavers should be 50mm thick at the minimum. Using a thinner paver may result in them cracking.
Whether you want to lay them yourself or hire a professional
If you are an avid DIYer, you may find laying your concrete pavers a straightforward task, on the contrary, if you have no experience or you don't feel confident completing the task yourself, it's probably best to speak to a professional. Your pavers need to be laid properly to ensure a long-lasting finish.
Pros of concrete pavers for a driveway application
First, let's take a look at the pros of concrete pavers for a driveway:
Robust and long-lasting
A driveway is a high-traffic area and it needs to be able to withstand heavy loads and the elements without cracking. Concrete pavers are exceptionally hard-wearing and can tolerate conditions such as these with ease. You can be sure that when you choose concrete pavers you are getting your money's worth and they are going to last.
You are unlikely to get pesky weeds protruding through the joints of your pavers if you've set them on a concrete slab. When it comes to maintenance, concrete pavers are one of the easiest paver types to maintain. To keep them looking their best, all they need is a weekly sweep over with a broom or a quick rinse with a garden hose. If spills or stains appear on your concrete paved driveway, ensure you clean these off immediately to prevent them from damaging the paver and its appearance.
Concrete pavers are available in a variety of forms, shapes, colours and sizes making them extremely versatile. Some types of concrete pavers mimic natural stones for a fraction of the cost. The only difference is you won't get the natural formations that are found in natural stone pavers as they are man-made.
Concrete pavers are one of the most affordable paver types when compared to natural stone, so if you are looking for a cost-effective option that still looks good, concrete may be the answer. On average concrete pavers can last for around 30 years so you most certainly get bang for your buck when choosing this type of paver.
Can add value to your home
A concrete paved driveway can enhance the value of your home by giving your driveway a high-end look. As there are so many colours and types to choose from, you can easily find one to complement the rest of the exterior of your home.
Cons of concrete pavers for a driveway application
Now, let's take a look at the cons of concrete pavers for a driveway:
The colour of concrete pavers can fade over time
The pigments in concrete pavers can fade over time and this will inevitably affect their colour. They will fade much faster if they are in full sun. Some people don't mind this as it can give the pavers a more subtle hue and an aged effect whereas others prefer the vibrancy remain as is. This is worth considering if you choose concrete pavers for your driveway. You can preserve the original colour of your concrete pavers by sealing them every 3 or so years but this requires more effort and more money on your part. While it's not much, it's still worth factoring in when making your choice.
Concrete pavers can be porous
While concrete pavers aren't as porous as many types of natural stone, they are still porous to a degree. If you don't seal your concrete pavers you may find that they stain easily. Ensure that you are making the effort to clean up stains immediately to avoid them becoming permanent. If this happens and you have tried to remove the stain to no avail, you may need to replace the stained paver.
Concrete pavers – Is it a yes or a no for your driveway?
There are numerous factors to think about while planning your driveway. We hope our post has provided you with some clarity on concrete pavers and their pros and cons. Are they the right paver for your driveway? If you have any additional questions about paving your driveway, don't hesitate to contact the paving experts at Bonita Stone. We'd be more than happy to help with your paving queries.