If you’re considering poured concrete as a material for your South Whitehall, PA, driveway, don’t rush into making the final call before considering other options. There are many materials available on the market that outperform poured concrete. Concrete pavers, for example, offer strength, durability, and a huge range of styles, making them a favorite of contractors and homeowners alike. Here’s why you’d do well to select concrete pavers rather than poured concrete for your driveway project:
Susceptibility to Cracking
If you take a walk around your neighborhood, or pay attention to your town’s sidewalks, you’ll notice that poured concrete surfaces are prone to cracking.
Poured concrete slabs crack for a variety of reasons: unstable soil, expansion and contraction as a result of weather changes, even the vibration of nearby traffic. This is because poured concrete creates a rigid platform that leaves little room for flexural movement. Many contractors include expansion joints when pouring concrete for driveways in order to limit cracking. Even so, a poured concrete surface is still less than ideal over the long run.
On the other hand, because of their size and the numerous joints that run between each piece, concrete pavers are far less susceptible to cracking. In fact, concrete pavers rarely crack except under extreme duress, and even then the damaged paver can be easily lifted and replaced. Concrete pavers create a flexible surface that allows plenty of natural movement, making them ideal for heavy freeze-thaw cycles.
As well as their durability and flexibility, concrete pavers are known for their structural strength, and are known to be up to four times stronger than poured concrete surfaces. Concrete pavers can be used even in areas of heavy and frequent traffic without concern.
Maintenance and Cleaning
Concrete pavers require very little maintenance. Many pavers are specially treated to maintain their rich colors, resist stains, and allow for quick and easy cleaning. Poured concrete, on the other hand, can be highly susceptible to staining, particularly from oil and grease.
Individual pavers are easily replaced if necessary, whereas poured concrete requires patching of the surface that remains visible afterwards. In the case of problems with the utility lines that run beneath the driveway, pavers can be easily removed from the area and placed again when the issue has been resolved. This is unlike poured concrete which would have to be dug into or removed entirely before being re-poured. This can leave you open to major costs and the inconvenience of noisy equipment like jackhammers operating in your yard.
Concrete pavers are available in a vast array of colors, shapes, and textures, and can be laid in many interesting patterns for a unique touch. Paver manufacturers offer a range of high quality product lines that emulate the appearance of natural stone and weathered blocks. Poured concrete doesn’t even come close to the aesthetic appeal of concrete pavers with its one-size-fits-all, uniform grey. If a welcoming driveway that will capture the attention and interest of your visitors is something you want, concrete pavers are undoubtedly the way to go.
Image courtesy of Unilock.