Rain purifies the air, and cleanses the ground. It can be polite, or a terrible force of nature to be feared. New hardscape designs always include a drainage plan, and installers meticulously carry out those plans.
On a driveway, rain combined with improper drainage leads to erosion and possibly even wash outs. These unacceptable safety hazards drive the meticulous nature of designers and installers when it comes to drainage plans. I consider this to be a reactive behavior in construction. Continue reading “Rainwater Collection Systems for Driveways”
As a design and installation company, Genesis sees a lot of driveways. We recently just hit our 10,000th job! Most of those hardscape projects incorporate manufactured concrete pavers, but every once in a while we meet a customer who wants something different, natural stone paving.
Man-made concrete paving stones offer thousands of color combinations, 8000 psi pressure ratings, and nearly a dozen local manufacturers. However, natural stone can offer a different aesthetic than man-made stone, to dramatically change the feel of a property.
Here are several factors to consider when choosing natural stone for outdoor use:
Depending on the type of traffic in the paved area, different kinds of base must be used to protect the stone from cracking in the future. High load areas, such as a front driveway where cars are frequently parked, should be installed with a concrete slab under the natural stone. This slab protects the brittle natural stone from pressure by vehicle tires. Light load areas like a back walkway can be sand-set. The time saved in sand-setting shows up in the final cost of the project. Continue reading “Natural Stone Patios and Driveways: Thoughts on Design and Installation for Homeowners”
Steep hillsides pose some of the most difficult challenges to driveway paving installers.
If not installed correctly, natural forces and seasonal weather could cause the driveway to fail. These failures not only damage the driveway, but also any structures or vehicles down-slope of the failure.
Several construction techniques ensure the driveway lasts for years to come. Figure 1 above outlines several of the features including reinforced concrete headers, geo-textile, and drainage mats to protect against erosion from seasonal rains.
Reinforced concrete headers hold up-hill pavers in place, while reducing forces on downhill soil and pavers. The entire driveway is set on a layer of compacted subsoil and class two base, but these concrete headers extend below both these foundations. An independent layer of base supports this rebar-enforced header. This crushed granite foundation ensures water or moister won’t affect the header, and also protect against soil movement.
On the uphill side of this header is a drainage mat to protect against erosion from seasonal rains. A combination of geo-textile and plastic matting. This feature directs water away from the driveway towards a drainage gutter. If water is NOT directed off the driveway, the flow can accelerate and wash joint sand from driveway stones. Once the joint sand is washed away and water begins flowing under stones, driveway failure is eminent. Drainage mats, along with a few installation trade secrets, protects the driveway from destructive water flow. Furthermore, this water runoff can be collected and used for landscaping in the future. Some technologies that collect this runoff are rain barrels and detention basins with water safe plants.
Geo-textile materials also increase the endurance and lifespan of steeply sloped driveway installations. While air and moisture pass freely through the material, soil, roots, and pests have difficulty passing through this barrier. This ensures the pavers remain level years after installation. The geo-textile also helps prevent soil movement and keeps silt out of the crushed granite base.
Genesis prides itself in displaying it’s technical success in steeply graded paving projects. Licensed heavily enough to build cities (see list below), Genesis is more than prepared to take on challenging projects like the driveway in Figure 2. With the experience, man power, and certifications to serve, we’d love to bid on your project! For a free in-home consultation call us at 888.389.5533, or visit our free estimate page.