How Weather Affects Your Pavers
Pavers are quite durable but are you aware of how weather affects your pavers? Weather is a strong force to battle against day in and day out. Over time constant exposure to the elements does wear down your pavers. Some pavers materials are more vulnerable to weather damage. Weather patterns differ depending on location. Because of this, where you live also affects your pavers.
In Southwest Florida, we don’t have a wide variety of weather concerns. We mostly deal with rain and sun. We are lucky to have mild winters. But up north, snow and ice can have devastating effects on your hardscapes.
Corrosion and Pavers
All pavers are prone to corrosion, especially if there is metal nearby. Corrosion is a natural process that gradually eats away at a surface. Many different things can cause corrosion. Most commonly, acidic substances cause corrosion. Water counts as a corrosive substance to metal and pavers. Corrosion of metal happens when the oxygen in the metal reduces. This reduction of oxygen is oxidation. You can identify oxidation by the presence of rust.
Exposure to acids will corrode your stone pavers. Due to pollution, acid rain exists. Acid rain is not acidic enough to burn our skin. But it is acidic enough to wear down your pavers. You can also cause corrosion of your pavers. Lemon juice and white vinegar are acidic enough to cause damage to stone.
Corrosion is like a slow leak. It happens slowly over a long period of time and causes a lot of damage.
Sun Exposure on Pavers
Sun exposure is a big concern here in the sunshine state. Most of us know to wear sun protection outdoors. But have you ever thought about putting sunscreen on your pavers? The sun is a powerful star shining down on us all day. It has the power to bleach stains from line dried clothes. It can also make the pictures in your east facing living room fade. So what is it doing to your pavers?
Sun affects pavers in the same way it affects everything else. Over a long period of time, the sun will make the colors in your pavers fade. But the sun’s rays can be beneficial, too.
Wet, unsealed pavers are prone to mold and mildew. The faster your pavers dry off, the less likely they are to grow mold. A healthy amount of sun can reduce your chances of mold.
Again, location plays such an important role in the life of your hardscape. Pavers in a northern facing location will get the least sun. Pavers in a south facing location will get the most sun. When creating a pavers design, consider how much sun exposure there will be.
Hurricanes and Pavers
Hurricanes are a turbulent weather pattern most Floridians are familiar with. Strong winds tear apart nearly everything they come into contact with. Waves of rain dump rivers into streets and driveways. The damage on houses, telephone lines, and plant life is clear. But what is all this destruction doing to your pavers?
With correct installation, wind has little chance of removing a paver from your home or yard. Unique Pavers Designs follows all installation guidelines. We ensure your pavers stay put during any storm. But this doesn’t mean your hardscape design isn’t affected by the winds.
Hard pavers such as concrete or brick are a good choice endurable pavers. Some natural stone choices are very porous. This causes them to be quite soft and more susceptible to the effects of wind damage. The damage does not come directly from the wind. It comes from the debris carried by the wind. Debris can scratch the finish on more delicate pavers.
Cracked pavers happen the most often in colder, northern regions. Cracked pavers are not really a concern here in sunny Florida. But it’s always a good idea to have a thorough knowledge of how all weather patterns affect pavers.
Ice and snow can do serious damage. Snow and ice are nothing more than frozen water. Once the temperature drops and winter sets in, pavers are at risk for freezing. Natural stone has the biggest risk for freezing. This is because natural stone is a permeable material. Stone pavers absorb any water or moisture. In freezing temperatures, that moisture does not continue to travel through the paver. Instead, it stays inside and freezes in the paver. A frozen paver may sound like a fun magic trick from Elsa, but it causes cracking.
When water freezes, it expands. If water freezes inside of your pavers, your paver will expand. Pavers are individual pieces used to create a larger design. They are not meant to expand. The expansion causes cracking and a broken paver. Good news though, pavers are easy to replace because they are separate pieces.
Florida does get a few freeze warnings throughout the winter. Remember, a frozen paver is a cracked paver. When freeze warnings come our way, make sure you prep by drying your pavers.
Preventing Paver Damage
Protecting your pavers from the elements is not always an easy task. The best damage prevention is a good installation. Paver material also plays a big role in paver endurance. Different materials last longer than others. The region you live in also helps determine what type of paver you should choose. Unique Pavers Designs installs all types of pavers, brick, natural stone, and concrete. Southwest Florida has a climate that really allows any type of paver.
Natural stone is a great choice for Southwest Florida homes or commercial properties. Natural stone is permeable. Water goes through these pavers which lets them work with their environment. But, their permeability allows other things in as well. Stone is susceptible to smog, acid, and salt damage. Some common examples of stone are limestone, travertine, and marble.
But fear not! Sealing your pavers helps prevent most of the effects weather has on your pavers. We seal pavers with a sealant. Makes sense, right? There are many different sealants out there, but not all are equal. At Unique Pavers Design we offer sealing during installation. Sealing your pavers is a choice. You can choose to not seal, but your pavers will not last as long. They will also get more damage and you will likely pay more in repairs.
Preventing weather damage begins with proper installation. Unique Pavers Designs is a team of professionals with many years of experience. We install and create durable designs to last! Check out our gallery of pavers designs! We make sure your pavers are here to stay.