How Failing To Compact Will Ruin Your Paver Project

If you have read some of our other blog posts, you know we’re huge advocates of “do it once and do it right.” This is because we have seen too many jobs go awry due to a step being missed during the paver installation process. This critical step is compacting the base. A proper compact will help maintain your project’s integrity,protect jointing material, and keep your outdoor patio or walkway looking sharp for a long time.

Techo Bloc Blu 80 Smooth Compact Base


Interlocking pavers
are made to be flexible, meaning that they will move, mold and mimic to any settling or shifts in the soil or base. If they are installed over  an improperly compacted sub-base  they are not going to stand the test of time.

Not to mention there are other variables that can exacerbate the issue of paver settling and moving on an improperly compacted base,

  • Weather: Freeze/thaw cycles can wreak havoc on a paver installation that was improperly compacted. Each void within the sub-base serves as a place for water to potentially settle. When this water freezes it will expand and cause the pavers to heave; when it thaws, the pavers will settle (but likely not evenly), eventually creating an uneven surface.
  • Car on paver drivewayTraffic: Driveway pavers that sit on top of poorly compacted areas will shift and compress over time. The weight of a vehicle will depress pavers into the weak spots, resulting in unattractive (and potentially dangerous) ruts and grooves on the surface.
  • Joint Failure: While polymeric sand is designed to be self-healing and flexible, it will not perform as intended if it’s installed on an improperly compacted job. Radical shifting and movement of the pavers will eventually cause paver joints to crack and fail over time.

Uneven Pavers from improper compact base

 

As you can see the resulting compression and shifting of the pavers on an awfully compacted base will quickly lead to problems … many of which can lead to redoing the whole entire thing. So do it right the first time to avoid costly repairs in the long run.

 

 

Compact Base with Plate CompactorQuick Tips To Ensure Proper Base Compaction:

  • Have the proper base depth. The guidelines are to dig about 4 to 6 inches for pedestrian walks or patios and 8 to 12 inches for driveways.
  • Use the correct base material. It is recommended to use a granular course stone        0-3 ⁄4″, otherwise known as “dense grade” for the base and to use concrete sand as the setting bed.
  • Don’t compact material all at once. Most  plate compactors will not compact any more than 4” of base. If you try to compact 6” of base, you will only compact the top 4” and the bottom 2” will settle. It is best to compact your base in lifts of 3″ – 4″.

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You can find dense grade, concrete sand, premium pavers, polymeric sand, and all the necessary materials needed to build a successful patio, walkway, or driveway at TLC Supply in Quincy, MA. Please visit our website to see even more hardscape and masonry products!

The experts at TLC Supply are happy to answer any of your project questions, just leave your questions in the comments below!

 “Best Price, Best Advice” -TLC Supply,Inc.

Ice Melt Safe For Pavers & Stone|Mr. Magic Premium Ice Melt

Mr.Magic Premium Ice Melt

Mr. Magic Premium Ice Melt

 Our #1 Recommendation for Protecting your Hardscape and Masonry During the Winter Season.

Mr. Magic Premium Ice Melt, Mr. Magic

Your hardscape project is a big investment so it is important to protect it all year round. Failure to do so during the winter season can result in some serious problems. For example,

  • Water can freeze leaving an ice cover on the patio for anyone to slip and fall on.
  •  Freeze and thaw cycles can crack pavers and stone. As the ice and snow melts it becomes salt water that seeps down through tiny crevices in the stones surface and freezes. When the water freezes it expands and forces the crevice to become larger leading to cracks and spalling.
  • Using the wrong blend of ice melt can contain harmful chemical compounds that can deteriorate stone and concrete surfaces.

Our #1 recommendation to preserve the beauty of your pavers and other hardscape/masonry projects is Mr.Magic Premium Ice Melt.

Mr. Magic outperforms other ice melts because it works fast and has a great residual effect, preventing further ice from forming and melting snow as it falls.

Mr. Magic Premium Ice Melt, Mr. Magic
Mr. Magic Premium Ice Melt

Mr. Magic is safe enough for the environment, concrete, brick, natural stone, decking, and pets, but it is effective enough to keep working at temperatures down to -25° Fahrenheit, when other ice melts stop.

How is that so?  Mr. Magic’s  unique formulation consists of a special blend of five biodegradable ingredients; potassium chloride (a fertilizer), calcium chloride, magnesium chloride, and sodium chloride. And it is coated with calcium magnesium acetate. This makes it safer and more effective than conventional rock salts.

The orange coloring of Mr. Magic is an added safety bonus because it allows you to see exactly where its been placed so you don’t over or under apply! And it won’t track into your home.

Click Here For Your Downloadable PDF Brochure!

50lb bags are available at

TLC Supply, Inc. 

36 Vernon Street

Quincy, MA 02169

617-773-0055

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If you liked this page be sure to share it with all your friends! And for other great tips to prepare for winter check out this helpful article from Houzz.

The experts at TLC Supply are happy to answer any of your project questions, just give us a shout! Send us an email to info@tlcsupply.com or leave your comments below. 

 “Best Price, Best Advice” -TLC Supply,Inc.”

 

Brick Walkway|How to Build a Brick Walkway or Patio

Brick walkways are a great way to add aesthetic charm and timeless beauty to your home. Now you can create your own distinctive and classic brick walkway or patio with our helpful guide.

 10 Steps to help you build your very own brick walkway or patio!

Brick Walkway

Step 1: Plan

Brick Pattern

Determine what kind of brick you would like to use for your walkway. Some traditional brick used for walls may be too porous and may crack so be sure to select a brick that can withstand foot traffic such as a brick paver.

Sketch out the size, length, and design of your walkway. You may want a straight walkway or one that is serpentine. Calculate your square footage to determine how much material you will need by multiplying length by width. There are many patterns you can create with brick as well.

Step 2: Prepare the Area

Clear any plants, roots, large rocks, or existing material that may interfere with the path or cause unevenness.

Step 3: Mark the Area

StakesOutline your area with chalk line or landscape spray paint. If you are doing a curved design you can use a garden hose to mark the shape you wish to take and trace with chalk or paint.

Tip: Before digging call your local utility company or “Dig Safe” and have them identify any buried gas, water, or electrical lines.

Step 4: Excavate

You want a depth that is at least 4” deep. We recommend going approximately 7”. Also, you may want to slightly slope the walkway to help water drainage. The required slope is 1⁄4 in. per every 4 ft. of run. Another option is to place more sand in the middle of the walk so that water will run off the to the sides. This will be discussed in a later step.

Tip: You can lay boards across the area and use a level to help you determine the slope.

Option: At this point you may want to add Geotextile fabric for added durability and stability.

Step 5: Back Fill

Fill the area with 4” inches of base material such as ¾” dense grade. This will help provide a solid base and aid in proper water percolation into the soil. After filling the area use a tamper to compact the material.

PaverCompacterTip: Fill the area with dense grade in 2” increments and compact with a machine plate compacter. This will ensure that the material is tightly packed. Pour another 2” of grade and repeat the steps until everything is compacted evenly to a depth of about 6”.You can even spray the area with water to help keep the dust down when tampering.

Step 6: Sand

Apply concrete sand over the crushed stone. Lay down two pieces of round level piping and push it a little into the sand. Depending on the width of your walkway you may need to use a longer or shorter pipe. Doing this is going to help ensure your base is level before applying the brick. Now spread more sand to make sure it is flush with the pipe. You can use a 2 x 4 to screed the sand to a smooth surface. If you cut a 1 3⁄4-in.-deep notch at each end of the 2 x 4, you can rest the notches on the edge restraints while you pull the 2 x 4 across the sand. Once the area is leveled, gently remove the pipe and fill the void with sand and smooth the area out. To prevent water build up you may want the center to be slightly pitched or crowned so water runs off the sides. To do this you can add more sand to one side or make the sand higher in the center.

Tip: We recommend concrete sand rather than mason sand because it will provide more stability and assist in water percolation.

Step 7: Lay Bricks

Brick LayingStart laying bricks around the edge of the path and gently pressed them down with a rubber mallet. To better fit pieces you may need to use a wet saw to cut pieces to the desired measurement.

Brick Layers

 So far you should have something like this.

Step 8: Edging

BeastPaverEdgingAdd plastic edging to the sides to define the perimeter of the walkway and to hold the pavers in place. Hold the edging in place with spikes. We recommend B.E.A.S.T. Plastic Paver Edging for its strength and flexibility. B.E.A.S.T. edging comes in 8 ft. sections and can be nailed in with 10” or 12” spikes. This edging is also made from recycled material and it allows for the growth of vegetation.

Step 9: Fill Joints

Joint Brick SandWhen you finish laying the brick pour polymeric sand over the top and gently sweep the sand over the whole area to fill the joints. Tamper the top to ensure compaction. Brush away any excess sand and mist the walkway with water to secure the sand and brick. You may need to go back once it is dry and fill the joints with more sand.

Tip: We recommend using polymeric sand over mason sand because it contains binders that help maintain a firm bond between the bricks which in turn helps to secure them in place.

Step 10: Touch Up

Fill any voids around the walkway, covering the exposed webbing of the edge restraint. Tamp the soil down to compact it, then plant grass to fill in the lawn up to the edge of the walk. The roots of the grass will grow through the holes in the edge restraint to further lock it in place. You also can also add cobble stones or paver edging and even plant decorative flowers or shrubs for a finishing touch to your walkway.

* You can also follow this guide for creating a brick patio.

BrickPatio

BrickWalkway

TLC Supply has all the materials you need to get your project done! We carry a wide selection of modular, paver, and thin brick from premium brands such as Rocky Ridge, Harmar, Cushwa, Pine Hall, McAvoy, KF, and Stiles & Hart. With hundreds of brick sample boards in our display room, you are sure to find something for a new or existing brick project. We also provide custom fabrication if you wish to have your brick engraved. Please visit out website to see even more hardscape and masonry products ranging from bluestone,granite,pavers,natural stone,block,sand, and cement!

If you liked this page be sure to share it with all your friends! And for even more inspiring brick walkways and patios as well as backyard DIY projects and outdoor entertaining ideas follow us on Pinterest!

WAIT! Before you go, check this out! You may be interested in our post How to Build a Paver Patio!

The helpful staff at TLC Supply are happy to answer any of your project questions, just give us a shout! Send us an email to info@tlcsupply.com or leave your comments below. 

 

 “Best Price, Best Advice” -TLC Supply,Inc.

How to Build a Paver Patio!

Building a patio out of paving stones or “interlocking concrete pavers” can be a beautiful and valuable addition to your home and can offer a durable, low maintenance area for you and your family to enjoy. You may opt to hire a professional mason but with these 10 steps you can install a paver patio all on your own!

Here are 10 Steps to help you build your very own outdoor paver patio!

Paver Patio, Techo Bloc
Athena Pavers by Techo Bloc

 

Step 1: Plan

Paver Patio, Rotundo PaversDetermine what kind of paver you would like to use for your patio. There are many paving stone manufacturer’s to choose from that offer pavers in many different shapes, colors, sizes, and cost.

Did You Know? TLC Supply carries only the highest quality pavers backed by a lifetime manufacturer’s guarantee.

During this stage you will also want to determine the size, length, and design of your patio. Next, calculate your square footage to determine how much material you will need by multiplying length by width. You may even prefer to make a pattern.Research your selected paver manufacturer to see what patterns you can make with their pavers. Some patterns will require more or less pavers. Call TLC Supply for help in determining the amount of pavers you may need.

Step 2: Prepare the area

Clear any plants, roots, large rocks, or existing material that may interfere with the patio or cause unevenness.

Step 3: Mark the area

String StakesUse chalk line to mark out the area and if you are doing a curved design you can use a garden hose to mark the shape you wish to take and trace with chalk or paint. Then drive stakes into the ground following your laid out sketch. Wrap string around the stakes to outline the perimeter of the patio. Be sure to keep the string level so that your patio will be leveled.

Tip: It is actually the law to call your local utility company or “Dig Safe” and have them identify any buried gas, water, or electrical lines before you start digging.

Step 4: Excavate

Measure the thickness of your paver then dig a depth of 6”-8” below the bottom of the paver. This excavation should also allow room so that the pavers end up being flush with the ground. To avoid puddling you will want to slightly slope the patio in one direction so water can run off.

Tip: You can lay boards across the area and use a level to help you determine the slope.

Step 5: Back Fill

Fill the sunken area with 4”-6” of base material such as ¾” dense grade. This will help provide a solid base and aid in proper water percolation into the soil.

Paver CompacterTip: Fill the area with dense grade in 2” increments and compact with a machine plate compacter. This will ensure that the material is tightly packed. Pour another 2” of dense grade and repeat the steps until everything is compacted evenly to a depth of about 6”.You can even spray the area with water to help keep the dust down when tampering.

Step 6: Sand

ScreedApply a 1”-2” layer of concrete sand over the dense grade and compact it.

Tip: We recommend concrete sand rather than mason sand because it will provide more stability and assist in water percolation.

Now lay down two pieces of round level piping and push it a little into the sand. Depending on the width of your patio you may need to use a longer or shorter pipe. Doing this is going to help ensure your base is level before applying the pavers. Now spread more sand to make sure it is flush with the pipe. You can use a 2 x 4 to screed the sand to a smooth surface. If you cut a 1 3⁄4-in.-deep notch at each end of the 2 x 4, you can rest the notches on the edge restraints while you pull the 2 x 4 across the sand. Once the area is leveled, gently remove the pipe and fill the void with sand and smooth the area out.

Step 7: Lay the Pavers

Start laying the pavers in your desired pattern. Keep the pavers close together and gently press them down with a rubber mallet. If a paver is uneven you can tap it down more into place. If a paver is too low you can add a little sand to the area and rest the paver on top. To better fit pieces you may need to use a wet saw or a paver guillotine to cut pieces to the desired measurement.

Step 8: Edging

Beast Paver EdgingAdd plastic edging to the sides to define the perimeter of the walkway and to hold the pavers in place. Hold the edging in place with spikes. We recommend B.E.A.S.T. Plastic Paver Edging for its strength and flexibility. B.E.A.S.T. edging comes in 8 ft. sections and can be nailed in with 10” or 12” spikes. This edging is also made from recycled material and it allows for the growth of vegetation.

 

How to build a paver patio
So far you should have something that looks like this!

 

Step 9: Fill Paver Joints

Polymetric SandWhen you finish laying the pavers pour polymeric sand over the top and gently sweep the sand over the whole area to fill the joints. Tamper the top to ensure compaction. You may need to add more sand and fill the joints again. When the joints are compacted and filled you should sweep away any excess sand with a broom. We highly suggest lightly blowing over the area with a leaf blower to ensure that the sand is off the surface of the pavers (polymeric sand will harden when wet).  Then you will want to mist the patio with water to secure the sand and pavers.

Tip: We recommend using polymeric sand over mason sand because it contains binders that help maintain a firm bond between the pavers which in turn help to secure them in place.

Step 10: Touch Up

Paver PatioFill in any missing areas with topsoil or grass. The roots of the grass will grow through the holes in the edge restraint to further lock it in place. You also can also add cobble stones or paver edging and even plant flowers or shrubs for a finishing touch to your patio.

Tip: Decorate your patio with furniture or even add a pergola, an easy to assemble fire pit, or you can even veneer the front of a grill to create an outdoor kitchen! The possibilities are endless in your new outdoor living space. Fill it with things that make you and your family happy.

Recommended: We highly recommend sealing your pavers with a breathable sealer to help prevent any staining.

*You can always follow this guide to install a paver walkway as well.

Paver Patio, Techo Bloc Linea
Linea by Techo Bloc

 

Patio Paver Techo Bloc Aberdeen
Aberdeen by Techo Bloc

 

Paver Patio Techo Bloc Athena
Athena by Techo Bloc

TLC Supply carries a wide selection of premium pavers from Techo Bloc as well as from BelgardCambridge Paving Stone, and Genest (coming soon!). Please visit our website to see even more hardscape and masonry products ranging from bluestone,granite,brick,natural stone,block,sand, and cement!

If you liked this page be sure to share it with all your friends! And for even more inspiring paver patios as well as backyard DIY projects and outdoor entertaining ideas follow us on Pinterest!

WAIT! Before you go check this out! You may even like our post 10 Unique Hardscape Ideas!

We are happy to answer any of your project questions, just give us a shout! Send us an email to info@tlcsupply.com or leave your comments below. 

 

 “Best Price, Best Advice” -TLC Supply,Inc.

Protect Pavers During Winter

Protect Pavers and Other Hardscape & Masonry this Winter!

Snow Comic

Protect pavers with these 4 simple tips! Keep these in mind this winter to help prevent any damage winter may bring  to your pavers, brick, or any other hardscape products . I’ve also included 3 Tips on how to protect your roof and prevent any water damage from ice dams. So let’s get started!

4 Tips to Protect Your Precious Patios, Driveways, and Walkways: 

Safe Ice Melt for PaversTip 1: Use an ice melt that does little damage to infrastructure and environment. We recommend ice melts with a blend of Magnesium Chloride which is a safer alternative to rock salt. Calcium Magnesium Acetate is another smart alternative because it is biodegradable and safe for pets, masonry, and the environment. Mr. Magic® is a great premium ice melt brand that is fast acting and long lasting! It works at temperatures down to -25° Fahrenheit.

Mr. Magic is safe for masonry, decks, roofing, pets, and the environment! Always make sure the ice melt label says it is safe for hardscape and masonry products. If you cannot find any ice melt that is safe for hardscape then you can sprinkle sand or cat litter for traction. If you opt to use regular (non-safe) ice melt then just be aware of the risk and use it sparingly. But I do have to say this – Please do not risk your safety or the safety of others to protect your hardscape! If an area is heavily coated with ice then go ahead and use the necessary amount of ice melt (whatever it may be) to prevent slips and falls.

Rubber Snow PlowTip 2: Metal blades on shovels and plows can scratch the surface of your driveway, walkway, or patio. If you hire a plowing contractor be sure they use a rubber or polyurethane blade on the plow. Be sure to use a nonmetal shovel as well.

Paver freeze thawTip 3: If you are using a snow blower please be careful of pavers that may have moved or lifted during freeze and thaw cycles. Avoid any “lippage” which can occur when a paver, brick, concrete, or even cobble stone edge sticks up from another. This “lip” can catch on snow blowers, plows, and shovels.

Tip 4: On a warmer day you may want to sweep off any excess snow or products on your pavers. This step is not necessary but it never hurts! This can help remove any harmful deicer products and prevent future damage.

 

3 Great Tips for Removing Snow from Your Roof: 

We have been getting some great questions from customers asking how to remove snow from their roofs. Here are a few simple steps you can take to eliminate snow and ice dams which can otherwise wreak havoc on your roof. As always please proceed with caution when removing snow from your roof, be aware of any icicles that may be hanging, have someone assist you with a ladder, and wear protective clothing and eyewear.

Roof RakeTip 1: Purchase a roof rake to help alleviate some of the stress the snow may be putting on your roof. A roof rake is a solid piece of metal or plastic about 16 to 20 inches wide on the end of an extension pole, which allows you to rake or pull snow off the roof. Please refer to manual for proper handling and safety instructions.

Ice DamsTip 2: Diminish ice dams with panty hose or long socks! It is that easy! All you need to do is fill the leg of a panty hose with ice melt and lay the hose onto the roof so that it crosses the ice dam and slightly hangs over the gutter. Use a long handle stick to position the hose or sock if necessary.

Ice pucksTip 3: Do-It-Yourself Roof Melt Tablets. Roof Melt Tablets are little pucks that you can easily toss onto your roof to help prevent damage from ice dams. The way these tablets work is the salt and water mixture melts and drains down, melting the ice in its path. If this is not done then there is the potential of snow and ice buildup underneath shingles which can then seep into interior walls and attics. A simple way to make your own roof tablets is by following the same steps in Tip 2. This is where your old mismatched socks come in handy! All you need to do if fill up socks with ice melt, tie them, and carefully toss them all over your roof.  Ice melt socks are porous and flexible and they are just as effective at removing ice dams.

TLC Supply carries a wide selection of premium pavers from Techo Bloc as well as from Genest ConcreteBelgard and Cambridge Pavers. Please visit our website to see even more hardscape and masonry products ranging from bluestone,granite,brick,natural stone,block,sand,cement, and much more!

If you liked this page be sure to share it with all your friends! And for even more inspiring paver pool decks, patios, as well as backyard DIY projects and outdoor entertaining ideas follow us on Pinterest!

WAIT! Before you go check this out! You may even like our posts  on How to Build a Paver Patio

The experts at TLC Supply are happy to answer any of your project questions, just give us a shout! Send us an email to info@tlcsupply.com or leave your comments below. 

 

 “Best Price, Best Advice” -TLC Supply,Inc.