Tips on hardscaping your walkways or sidewalks

commercial paths

Have you ever gone on a trip and ended up lost when you got there? Nothing can be worse than parking the car, unloading everybody and everything, and then standing there in the lot wondering where the path is to get to your destination. How about pulling up to someone’s house in an expensive formal gown or suit and having to walk through mud to get to the front door? Both of these situations can be easily avoided and corrected with the use of walkway pavers.

Pavers are used in both commercial and residential avenues. They not only enhance the beauty of the area. Rather, they provide several uses. Walkway pavers are used to guide individuals to and from entrances and exits, as well as provide safe and friendly areas to walk on. These areas save the landscaping and provide a clean, mess-free area for people to walk on. They are also used in patios, entrances, driveways, gardens, pool areas, and even sidewalks. They add natural beauty to these areas. A brick patio can be perfect for cooking out and summer evenings, while a walkway provides an elegant path to welcome visitors. Pavers can provide a clean and safe slip resistant area around the pool to keep the area clean and friendly.

Pavers are made out of three classes of materials. These include natural stone pavers, concrete and precast concrete pavers, and brick and clay pavers. Natural stone pavers are great around the home and are utilized in walkways and patios. Natural stone paver materials are limestone, sandstone, cobblestone, slate and flagstone.

Concrete pavers are man-made and can be used for walkways, driveways, pools and garden areas. Since they are manufactured, they can be made to almost any specification and design and are quite versatile. Brick and clay pavers are fired at extremely high temperatures which produce elegant colors and hues that can enhance just about any area. There are rustic reddish colors bringing an element of fun and natural beauty to the home environment.

Pavers can be placed in a variety of shapes and patterns creating a completely unique look for the area they are situated. They can create old style walkways, stylish pool areas, stable driveways and garden paths, and can even be used commercially for beach entrances, amusement park walkways, and paths for children’s parks. They can also withstand a high volume of traffic and tend to last a long time.

The walkway paver applications are almost endless. They provide instant appeal while being functional. In Europe, pavers are used extensively for roads, paths, parking lots, and sidewalks. In the United States, asphalt is typically the norm. However, this European trend is becoming more popular in the States as people realize that correctly installed pavers are economical, long-lasting and aesthetically appealing.

Sidewalks, patios, and driveways pose special problems for gutter drainage. Many times, the roof design of the house requires a downspout in an inconvenient location. In colder climates, water from gutters draining onto a sidewalk entranceway can be dangerous as the water will freeze making a slip-and-fall hazard. Draining the water into a flower bed between the house and the walk is not an option because the concrete or brick pavers will act like a dam, holding water against the basement wall and contributing to wet and leaking basements. A Cross Sidewalk Drain (CSD) is designed to carry away rainwater from downspouts safely and discreetly across the sidewalk, driveway or patio.

Think about your rain gutters as a total “system”. Jumpstart by making sure the gutters are clean. Cleaning gutters twice a year is a must. The spring cleaning, after the seeds and helicopters come down, is the most important. Many seeds float and quickly make their way to the downspout where it will become clogged in no time. The spring cleaning, after the seeds and helicopters come down, is of greatest importance.

Three to four-foot extensions are needed at the bottom of the downspout. The lower elbow should be about sixteen inches above the ground to ensure good slope for drainage. From the foundation, the ground or grade around the house must allow water to drain away. Rain barrels can also be used to catch and store rainwater. There is a fitting at the bottom of the rain barrel so a common garden hose can be attached, allowing you to use the water as needed in your flower or vegetable gardens.

Now you can take on the task of draining rainwater under and away from areas where there is pedestrian or car traffic around your house. “Cross Sidewalk Drains (CSD)” come in several ready-made styles and sizes. The most economical CSD is a tough polypropylene trough and grate and is appropriate for most pedestrian applications. Heavier duty CSDs with of polymer concrete trough and a metal grate cover that is installed on the walk or drive will give a flush, safe surface to walk or drive on.

Refrain from using irrigation tubing or pipes, because these will eventually become clogged and there is no way to clean them. Animals such as rats will use them for a home. The metal grate on a CSD can be lifted for cleaning because it opens to light and air rodents will find it an unattractive place to make a home.

When you are working with an existing sidewalk or patio, it will require some concrete or paver block cutting. The heavy power tools needed to make clean and accurate cuts are available at your local tool and equipment rental store. Make sure that you have enough slope on the CSD, so the water will drain properly under the sidewalk. A French drain or a rain garden may also be needed on the opposite side of the walk, too.

A concrete or brick paver contractor will also install Cross Sidewalk Drains, but as always, make sure your contractor is insured and licensed.



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