You might think paver installation over an existing concrete patio or driveway is a great idea. After all, the surface is already flat and, rather than tearing it out, it seems much easier just to cover it up, along with any imperfections, stains, and cracks. However, doing so will bring more problems in the long run, which could include one or more of the following:
- The pavers will not be as flexible. You are placing hard pavers over concrete, which is also hard. The pavers will not be able to expand and contract as readily to changes in temperatures. When the pavers cannot expand and contract, it could cause them to crack and break.
- The concrete will deteriorate. If you cover up the concrete, you cannot reseal it, so moisture will eventually cause the concrete to start to break down. When this occurs, it can cause the pavers to sink, rise up, and become uneven. The only way to fix this is to tear everything out and start over.
- Your patio or driveway will be higher. Concrete is only four or five inches deep. Pavers require an eight-inch depth to be installed correctly. By putting pavers on top of the driveway or patio, it will end up being eight-plus inches higher than your current patio or driveway.
- Any damages will be more pronounced. If there is an earthquake or tree root growth under the concrete, it can cause the concrete and pavers to shift upward. On the other hand, if the concrete cracks and sinks, so, too, will the pavers. Either way, you will have to spend more on repair and cleanup costs.
- It is easier for pavers to come loose and fall out. The polymeric sand used in between the paver joints is apt to get washed under the pavers and on top of the concrete when it rains or you rinse off the pavers. Without the polymeric sand to help hold the pavers in place, they become loose and fall out.
- Mold, mildew, moss, and weeds can be a bigger problem. Concrete can and does absorb moisture, which makes the area underneath the pavers ideal for the development of mold, mildew, moss, and weeds. This can lead to these problems spreading in between the paver joints and onto the surface of the pavers.
If you want to install pavers and have an existing concrete patio or driveway, it is better to remove the existing concrete first to avoid these problems. Installing pavers is very similar to concrete installation. You must start with a solid base and foundation. Most frequently, this involves digging down into the ground and removing the existing dirt and replacing it with gravel and sand. The ground is then compacted down so it is smooth.
By starting with a solid foundation, your new pavers will last much longer and bring years of enjoyment. To learn more about replacing your concrete patio or driveway with pavers, paver cleaning services, restorations, or repairs, please feel free to contact California Paver Restorations and Installations at (916) 886-0336 today to request a free home improvement quote!