Driveways are a big contributing factor to a home's curb appeal. And while it doesn't take much to transform a plain old patch of dirt or worn-out concrete into a stunning new driveway, many homeowners don't want to put in the work and often settle with what they have. Unfortunately, this small part of our front yard if often overlooked and underappreciated, not realising how much value it can add to our home and property and how greatly it can boost our home's curb appeal. However, if you are one of the many who are beginning to see the benefits of having a well-made brick or concrete driveway, stick with us as we go over the fundamentals and the main differences between these two popular paving options.
Brick pavers have been a popular building material for thousands of years. Although there are many different options when it comes to paving your driveway, patio or other outdoor area, brick pavers tend to be one of the leading choices for many people. While they are not as sturdy as concrete, provided they are correctly installed and regularly maintained, they can last you anywhere from 25 to 50 years. Before we head on to discuss the main pros and cons of using brick or concrete pavers, let's first take a look at the main differences between these two options to help you make the right choice for your home.
Brick pavers are paving products made from natural clay. They usually come in rectangular shapes and brick colour, although there are a lot of other shapes, sizes and colours to choose from nowadays. That’s one of the main reasons that clay pavers are more widely used today. They give your outdoor area a beautiful and appealing look, while they still maintain their function.
Some of the main reasons why people go with brick pavers include:
. Brick pavers are very versatile, and they come in all sorts of different designs, colours and sizes. They offer a lot of options when it comes to design so you can build a unique patio or a driveway that nobody else on your street has.
. While they are not as durable as concrete pavers, they can still last you a long time after they’ve been installed, and if maintained properly you can extend their life cycle even more.
. The great thing about brick pavers is that they are so easy to install that any DIY-er can get the job done right, using the proper tools.
If you’re thinking about which type of paving you should choose for your outdoor area, and you’re on the fence between concrete and brick paving, here are a few things you can consider to determine what the right choice for your project is.
Let’s take a look at some of the main pros and cons of concrete slabs so you can make a better-informed decision for your home.
No one can steal it
Easily available and affordable
Doesn’t require regular maintenance
Can withstand high temperatures
It will eventually crack
It stains and loses its colour
Now that you know what you can expect from a concrete pavement let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of installing brick pavers in your front or back yard.
Offer more versatility and more design options
Come in many different colours
Can withstand severe weather conditions
Better looking than concrete
Easier and cheaper to maintain and repair
They retain their colour exceptionally well, even when constantly exposed to the sun
Not recommended for heavy vehicle traffic
While these are the two main types of pavers homeowners typically go with when it comes to driveway installations, they are not the only available options. Other paving options that you can go with include:
Let’s take a look at the basic maintenance techniques for brick pavers, so you can extend their life cycle, and keep them in good condition for up to 25-50 years.
This process includes two main steps:
This can be done either by using a pressure washer once a year or using a homemade solution that will help you get rid of any dirt, mould and other residues. If you want to go with the second option, start by spraying down the entire paved area with water; apply a mixture of 1 gallon of water and 450 ml of dish soap and pour it over the pavers, covering one small area at a time. Use a stiff-bristled broom to scrub the pavers and rinse the area with water.
This process should be done every couple of years, unless there are indicators that you should do it sooner, such as open joints. Open joints need sand to keep them stable and keep them from moving and settling. Use polymeric sand to fill in any open joints, so you can prevent water from accumulating there and pose a slipping hazard. Before you start applying the sand, make sure to wash the driveway pavers properly and remove any debris, staining, weeds and mould that may have formed. Once the area is dry, you can start pouring the sand over the joints until you cover the joints at an ideal height. Use a push broom to pour the sand down the cracks until they are visibly filled and without any gaps. Once you’ve covered all the open joints, you’ll need to mist the sand so it can start to set in place.
The best thing you can do for your pavers is periodic care and maintenance. Keeping your driveway pavers clean and adequately maintained means having a beautiful outdoor area, while also preventing damage like shifting or cracking of individual pavers. Proper and regular maintenance can save you a lot of time and money down the road, which is why it should not be skipped.
No matter if you plan on hiring professional help or conducting the entire installation process yourself, the most important thing you need to do is do your homework, research some styles and designs and determine which type of material you'd like to go with, so you can be fully prepared and ready to give your driveway a much-needed makeover.