SimonD

Do block paved driveways ever last?

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My wife wants our new driveway to be block paved. Current driveway is very crappy tarmac. I'm pretty sure the last owner had someone knock on the door saying they had a spare load and should they chuck it down for a drink or two.

 

Anyway, my question. Every single block paved driveway I've seen has started to show irregularities over fairly short periods of time. Our driveway is sloped and at its steepest it's about 10-11 degrees. Can a block paved driveway be done that lasts the test of time? If so, what do I need to do to ensure it lasts?

 

 

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It's all in the base. To ensure it's not going to sink you need a lot of very well compacted hardcore under the drive. You could also use a sand cement screed for under the bricks.For a drive your edges need concreted in to stop it spreading out. 

 

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As @Declan52 says, its all about the base to prevent wheel loads creating ruts. Dont forget to use a Geotextile - terram etc to prevent the mud coming back up

 

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Yes the preparation makes the difference. When I lived in shropshire they block paved the bus station and over the 10 years I was there it still looked flat after all those busses.

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Thanks all for the input, I'll have a look into the sub-base construction with geotextile and concrete edges.

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Did mine 25 years ago. One area sunk, but rest is still good. The great thing about block paving is, if it does sink a bit, pull up the blocks, but of sand and re lat them Job done.

 

I actually put the base down, then didnt lay the drive for 2 years, Nature is the best compactor of type 1 and sand.

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10 hours ago, Roger440 said:

Did mine 25 years ago. One area sunk, but rest is still good. The great thing about block paving is, if it does sink a bit, pull up the blocks, but of sand and re lat them Job done.

 

I actually put the base down, then didnt lay the drive for 2 years, Nature is the best compactor of type 1 and sand.

 

That's reassuring to know. I recently put a dip in the tarmac drive thanks to a 9 meter telehandler at full reach loaded with a couple of pallets of plywood, one wheel just started to sink down - unfortunately no fixing that without a very visible repair.

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Cherry picker is a good way to stuff up your driveway.  As others have said, correct compaction of base is crucial but is normally just done with a lightweight wacker 2 passes.

 

We have clay blocks which keep their colour really well.

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20 ton Lorries and driving my 8.5 ton jcb compacted mine, ain’t never going to sink 🤔

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My brother had his drive paved a few years ago. He also needed a new supply to the garage (to replace the original 1mm micc laid in scaffold poles). 

 

The paving contractor was dead against digging a trench when the old drive came up saying "Nah, just lay it directly under the blocks, I can supply you some cable if you want!"

 

The trench was dug but they didn't use a trench whacker to compact the backfill. Drive looked superb except for the sunken line where the trench was!

 

 

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Answer is no! Just walk around your area and look at what they look like after a few years, ripples, weeds, moss, determination 

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Posted (edited)

A block paved area will last as long as any other finish IF put down properly but the problem is very few are.

Alot are done by people that think they know what they are doing but don't, the all importance is picking the right block for the job AND proper drainage and compaction , a whacker plate is F all good if you are going to be turning heavy vehicles / plant on it on a regular basis but might be ok if all your doing is driving a car on and off it.

It needs to be built for the job it has to do like most things there is no one fix deal

 

 

Edited by Ronan 1
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12 hours ago, tonyshouse said:

Answer is no! Just walk around your area and look at what they look like after a few years, ripples, weeds, moss, determination 

I think the issues are more to do with the type of "tradesmen", usually caravan enthusiasts, which offer their services in this area. You will find exactly the same issues with tarmac if you look at sone drives. 

As above, all in the prep. 

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Most small whackers should be like 100mm layers max at a time with 4 passes in each direction. 

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15 hours ago, PeterStarck said:

The local farmer used a vibrating roller when compacting the driveway of the converted barn next door. Bloody noisy it was too.

 

https://www.hirestation.co.uk/tool-hire/Compaction/Vibrating-Roller-Hire/050070/

 

 

sorry @PeterStarck. what I meant to say was....

 

...I've got one of these (https://www.kelseyplanthire.co.uk/diesel/rollers/120-rollers/on hire to compact my driveway type 3 sub-base. it is a beast!

 

I forgot to paste the url in the original post. 🤦‍♂️

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2 minutes ago, Thorfun said:

I forgot to paste the url in the original post.

That is a beast for sure :)

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As an alternative have you looked at imprinted concrete?, I saw a drive done in it and could not tell the difference after it was laid, great colour, does not appear to fade as much and NO WEEDS IN THE GAPS which is why a lot of people don’t like blocks.

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15 minutes ago, joe90 said:

As an alternative have you looked at imprinted concrete?, I saw a drive done in it and could not tell the difference after it was laid, great colour, does not appear to fade as much and NO WEEDS IN THE GAPS which is why a lot of people don’t like blocks.

 

Mate had it done. I was amazed as he always DIYs everything himself. Sadly he's a magnet for con merchant. He was told the imprinting wouldn't crack, could be applied down to 2mm thick, came with a 25 year guarantee etc. It cracked, company disappeared. 

 

In his new place the block paving he did himself has been down 20 years and it's pristine.

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15 hours ago, tonyshouse said:

Answer is no! Just walk around your area and look at what they look like after a few years, ripples, weeds, moss, determination 

That is exactly what motivated my post. Even after reading the paving expert and seeing all the reassurance on here about sub-base, I'm still feeling half-minded about it.

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1 hour ago, joe90 said:

As an alternative have you looked at imprinted concrete?, I saw a drive done in it and could not tell the difference after it was laid, great colour, does not appear to fade as much and NO WEEDS IN THE GAPS which is why a lot of people don’t like blocks.

 

Not seen that. I will have a look at it.

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1 hour ago, joe90 said:

As an alternative have you looked at imprinted concrete?, I saw a drive done in it and could not tell the difference after it was laid, great colour, does not appear to fade as much and NO WEEDS IN THE GAPS which is why a lot of people don’t like blocks.

It was a massive thing in my area, local concrete company specializes in it, and it does look great when it's finished. But like all concrete products the sun has bleached any I have seen and caused them to look many years older than they are.

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Posted (edited)

My mono block has been down for 15 years and hasn’t moved, simply because it has 4 edges that aren’t going to move so the monoblock doesn’t move, and appropriate sub base installed correctly 

 

yes it gets a bit if moss, but either a bit of power washing or chemical application clears it- maintenance is required on most 

things to keep in good condition

Edited by TonyT
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