Is your Paving infested with grass?

There seems to be a massive invasion of grass on a lot of driveways and paving in general this year. I have noticed that our church’s driveway and numerous clients driveways have grass taking over in massive quantities. In most cases it is a maintenance problem which is quite simple to remedy.

paving with grass growing through

Grass and weeds destroying paving.

Driveway with grass growing on it.

Bevel bond paving with grass growing on the driveway.

This is a sure fire way of destroying your paving if left unattended and then costing a lot of money to either fix or replace the paving. Never leave any small weed or grass pieces for too long as they just multiply and then lift the paving to the point where the paving needs to be replaced at a high cost.

clean paving at a school

Ironstone paving cleaned from weeds and grass.

A simple maintenance solution is to wash and sweep your paving once a month with a gentle water flow and a normal house broom. This will get rid of any seeds laying on your paving before they germinate and start growing. I strongly suggest that you attack any problem with a strong weed killer and monitor the paving on a twice weekly basis until the grass problem is solved. Do not ignore this problem as it will destroy your paving and cost you a fortune to replace the paving.

Grass growing on paving

Corobrick paving with grass growing over it.

Water and drainage considerations

One area that homeowners are aware of but often forget to tell the paving salesman about is the drainage problems that happen every time it rains. We had a situation that was evident and this time the client was not aware of the water problem. The ground felt very spongy when I walked on it and asked if they had recently done anything in the area which was to be paved. The owner of the house said that they put their sprinklers on 3 times a week but the ground was always quite spongy.

Drain prevents rain from entering garage

Drain in front of a garage.

 

On careful examination I saw that there was nowhere for the water to run off so it just saturated the ground. All the water ran to one corner and pooled there while slowly sinking into the ground and the ground was getting water logged. I told the owners of the house that the problem would multiply once the paving was laid as there would be no place for the rain water to drain and consequently it would simply pond and eventually begin to create a foul smell. Luckily the answer to this problem was simply to make a neat 10cm hole in the wall to allow the excess water to run out of this enclosed area.

paving drainage

Not every water problem has a simple answer but there is always a solution if looked at constructively. Sometimes a simple raised header course is all that is needed, other times it may be that a drain needs to be built and in most cases it simply needs the paving to be laid correctly to allow the rain water to run away from the house and walls.

rain water drainage point

Plastic cover on a underground gulley.

Don’t ignore your water problem, discuss it with your paving company and let them propose a solution. You don’t have to accept their proposal but it could have a solution to the damp starting on your house walls. Try resolve the problem before it happens.

Plastic under the paving

Plastic under the paving

I was called by one of our building contractors to analyze why a client of his had a problem with their paving. The client is a major law firm in Johannesburg and their paving was only 5 years old but was shifting badly and opening gaps in the paving. Some of the gaps were as wide as 4cm. I personally could not believe that the paving was only 5 years old and even though it was cement bevel bond and not clay, there was just no way that the paving should have deteriorated to this extent.

Plastic under the paving being removed

re lifting the driveway to remove the plastic sheeting

We lifted a section of the paving to get an idea of how the paving was stabilised and found that the paving had been laid on a waterproof plastic sheeting. I knew just then that it could not have been a master builders paving company that laid the paving and actually told him. The client told me that it was the builder that built the building that also did the paving but wanted to know how I knew. The answer was simple, how is paving going to stabilise if laid on a sheet of plastic and where is the rain water going to drain to?

Paving destroyed by laying in water on plastic sheet

Water laying on the plastic sheet

Most builders do not know the science of paving but will undertake the job for the extra cash and most clients are just too lazy and too complacent to call in someone else to do the paving. The problem is that 3-5 years down the line the paving needs to be uplifted and re-laid which just adds to the expense of the paving.

never use plastic sheets under your paving.

Plastic sheeting under your paving offers no stability to your paving.

If you are about to do paving, ask the company that you are considering to use, to please lay a plastic sheeting under your paving, if they agree, fire them and get a paving company that not only refuses to lay plastic under the paving but also explains why it is wrong.

Relaying old bricks

Paving is a science and it should not be treated lightly or it will cost you a lot of money in the long run. Contact Richard on 084 300 4220 for more advice or a free quote on your paving.

Paving maintanance

Paving maintanance

If you have grass growing on your paving the chances are that you have been negligent regarding the care of your paving. Every item we buy today needs some maintenance, this includes paving. Grass not only spoils the look of the paving but it can also destroy your paving in a short space of time.

Copy of Grass on paving

In most cases but not all, a simple medium to soft spray from a garden hose and a house broom can be all that is needed to maintain the new rich luster that your bricks had when they were first laid. But, as I said earlier, it is not always the owner’s non-care that degrades the paving, it could also be bad workmanship. The Master builders association and those paving companies that are registered with the Master builders association have a strict method of installing paving. This is no guarantee that things can still not go wrong, but it does give peace of mind knowing that the company is still going to be around to repair anything that might have gone wrong. Price is always a factor but long term satisfaction can always trump price.

Paving under the lapa

3 size flagstone pavers

Richard Arthur has been in the paving industry and sales for most of his 38 year working life and suggests that you should test your salesman to see if he has your project at heart. Most salespeople are only focused on their commission from your job but seasoned salesmen think of the referrals that a good installation always brings. A real professional will want to spend some time with you to ensure that your purchase is not only exactly what you would like, but is the right product for the job as well.

Drain prevents rain from entering garage

Drain in front of a garage.

Do a little research of your own concerning the different brick types either online or at your local brick yard, suggest a brick type as a possible selection to the salesman and see if he/she runs only with that selection or if they offer something different. They should then give reasons why your selection is or is not the right selection for your needs and offer alternatives which they feel could be better for the job. You will soon get the feeling whether the salesman is there for just your order, or if they are being professional and will turn your order into an investment.

Corobrick with a plastic drain

Now obviously is always better if you are on hand to watch the way the contractor is going about doing your paving, but often we buy a house and the paving is already done. I suggest that now that you know a bit about paving, that one of the areas that you take a look at before purchasing that new house is the paving. If you can identify the fact that the paving is busy disintegrating you could get a nice discount on the property as you can point out that the paving will have to be redone. Paving today is not a cheap installation and you could be looking at R20000 or more for renewing the paving. So, take paving a bit more serious and you could be having your next holiday on the money that your paving knowledge has just saved you.