You want your family and friends to be safe when they’re enjoying your paver patio. While pavers are arguably the best materials for a beautiful, practical, and durable outdoor living space, there are a few things you can do to make a paver patio as safe as possible in Dublin, OH.
Safety begins with proper installation. If the patio isn’t properly installed, it’s not a matter of if but when it will start to degrade and cause safety hazards. This includes excavating for the base, using the right base materials, properly compacting these base materials, and carefully installing the materials to ensure a level surface free from any gaps or unevenness. Poorly installed paver patios may look great for a season or even a couple of years. But eventually, shoddy workmanship will show.
Patio settling leads to uneven surfaces that cause tripping hazards. Since pavers are individual units, they must all be well-supported. Borders are not always the first pavers to work themselves loose; this can happen even in the middle of a patio if there’s an area that is poorly filled or compacted. Unfortunately, there is no way to fix a sagging paver patio. It must be completely replaced.
Concrete pavers are more slip-resistant than other pavement surfaces. Slip resistance refers to friction, not necessarily texture. Most importantly, concrete pavers offer enough friction to be less slippery in wet conditions, not just around pools and hot tubs, but after heavy rains, too. Look for pavers with sealed surfaces. Sealants make it easier to clean up debris that could collect on the pavers and trap moisture, creating a slick film on top of the pavers. Regular sweeping and occasional power-washing will help keep pavers clean of debris.
Good lighting on paver surfaces is essential for safety after dark. Since pavers are a relatively textured material, it’s important to position light fixtures so that the textures are obvious, but without creating harsh shadows. Path lighting that is no more than knee-high provides adequate illumination for the surface without causing a blinding glare or casting heavy shadows. Path lighting can be in the form of stand-alone light fixtures positioned in the landscape, or fixtures can be installed in retaining walls for a less cluttered look.
The state of Ohio requires handrails for steps with four or more risers. Since building codes vary by location, always check with your local building authorities if you have questions about whether your outdoor living project requires handrails.
Humans tend to take the easiest path available to reach their destinations. A beautiful city park crisscrossed with footpaths is a prime example. Design a patio to encourage easy traffic flow, instead of a cluttered obstacle course. For example, if you position a fire pit in the middle of the patio, ensure that there is easy access all the way around, not just when the fire pit is not in use, but when it’s surrounded by people and patio furniture.
Only use deicing chemicals recommended by the manufacturer since some types of deicing salts are highly corrosive to concrete pavers. Sweep up the deicer that remains on the surface once the surface is dry. Over a few seasons, heavy deicer use can lead to staining and pitting, which could degrade the paver’s integrity and make it unsafe to walk on.
For a well-designed, well-built paver patio, give ARJ Landscape a call today!