We were recently contacted by Jessica Michaels, a homeowner in Cambridge concerning her driveway that she had been using for the past 10-15 years. Jessica had been suffering due to the driveway having complications and in need of repairs. Oftentimes, driveways can be easily repaired, when considering the options to either repair or replace an exisiting driveway you should always be sure to speak with at least 3 different contractors to make sure the advice you are being given is the correct advice and not just a greedy rogue trader giving bad advice to make a quick buck. Upon survey of Jessicas driveway we recommended repairing the driveway as opposed to laying a full new one, this being despite the fact that 2 previous companies had suggested a new installation. Jessica merely needed some blocks replaced and a little bit of levelling of the drive to stop water pooling in the middle. A Whole new block paved driveway simply wasnt needed, repairs were relatively straigh forward.
Step One for driveway repairs
The essential material we needed were the blocks themselves, after locating the replacement blocks work could begin. We started off by making sure that all the debris and other materials were cleared and then we began to set our sub-base. We had to make a sub-base ideally made of very fine sand. We set up the base roughly at 70mm deep so that the paving stones appeared to be level with the ground and also protected from the dirt underneath the sub-base. This was done to help with the drainage issue Jessica had with the block paving driveway.
Level And Set
We then began to clear a canal around the perimeter of the sub-base we had just set. The canal needs to be filled with quick and dry concrete and leveled off. Once the concrete was dried we grabbed the edging blocks that Jessica had decided on and put them around the edge of the perimeter. Using a straight piece of lumber and a carpenter’s level we made sure that each edge stone is level and straight.
Edge Courses And Kerbs
The edge course bricks and kerb were laid onto a concrete bed, as we checked that the straight lines were indeed straight while the curves were just but sweet. Wherever there is a kerb, it was to act as the restraining edge so the edge courses do not need to be laid on concrete.
Laying The Course
When compacted, the laying course sand should be 25-40 mm deep. The surface profile of the screeded laying course more or less matched that of the finished pavement. Attention detail is very essential.
The laying of the blocks is randomised prior to laying by selecting them from at least three open packs. This helps prevent blotching or banding of colors and allows the paving to show off the full range of hues to the best effect. Once we laid them we checked for alignment using the alignment bar tool. Once we were done with the alignment we then moved to the edges and cut some in.
We moved on to fixing the Recess trays and gully covers and checked the paving for compliance. The final task was jointing. This was done once all the cutting-in had been completed. Kiln-dried jointing sand is spread over the block surface and swept into the joints using a soft brush. The paving was then compacted using a vibrating compactor with four to six passes being made over each section of paving, alternating passes at 90 degrees to the previous pass. To prevent spalling damage to the edges of the bricks we attached a cushioning mat to the base of the plate compactor. Jessica was overwhelmed by the sight of her new driveway with a huge and lovely recommendation to her neighbors being noted as the calls came in day by day.
If your driveway is looking a little tired and your not sure whether you need a new installation or some cosmetic repairs please contact the team at Northern Drives Cambridge today.
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