“Ice, Ice Baby”
We know what you’re thinking. We like to dub ourselves as mind readers on top of Paver Experts. It’s a gift really. You’re thinking about putting in that gorgeous new patio. We knew it. We can also bet that if you’re considering that new patio, you’re thinking about the harsh Michigan winters. We can’t help it. We talk about the weather just as much as we talk about brick pavers. And really… that’s a lot. However, we kind of have to think about the weather and pavers equally. What if we told you that your brick paver patio will stay beautiful year round with the proper amount of upkeep? We could also wow you and tell you that you can get away with installing a paver patio all the way up to early December. Didn’t see that coming, eh? When it comes down to it, All Brick Design knows a lot about Pavers and when it comes down to it for you, you probably have a lot of questions about Pavers. We thought we’d make it easy on ya. 10 Things to Know About Paver Patios in Michigan Weather.
You have multiple options when it comes to installing a patio. You probably have a list of different materials to make the best patio money can buy, and trust us, we have done our research too. Here at All Brick Design, it’s important to us that you are happy so we are sure to never steer you wrong. You’ve probably researched concrete, stamped concrete, asphalt, composite wood, or even wood in general- the list can even go on and on from there. We spend so much time telling you about the disadvantages of concrete and we even spent some time on asphalt. However, we haven’t discussed the disadvantages of a wood deck. Wood also falls into the same category as concrete. Wood decks on average typically cost more than a paver patio when you add in the cost you’ll have for repairs and pavers outlast wood decks greatly. Also, like all of the other options you have gone through, wood decks cannot compare to pavers in the strength category. Pavers are 3-4 times stronger, which is significantly important with our Michigan weather. Snow is heavy, ice is worse. Your patio needs to endure multiple winters for the amount of money you’re putting into it. On a concrete patio or a wood deck the snow or ice will sit on the surface and eat away at your investment. These materials are just not conducive to what Michigan is putting us through. Think about normalcy in winter months, most places will experience a couple of months of winter. We’re lucky if we don’t experience more than three. It can snow in May!… and it has. So, when it snows that snow will sit on your investment and soak into your wood or apply pressure to your concrete. Your patio pavers are built to withstand this pressure. They’re built to hold the weight of a Michigan winter. Come spring you might find your concrete patio has cracked because it can’t withstand the same amount of pressure, this causes you to have to spend more money to repair your patio. And in most cases, concrete has to be completely replaced.
A typical paver can last 50-75 years. Michigan weather is going to be a reason why your patio might shift over time. Everything shifts, there’s really no way to prevent the ground from shifting as time goes on. Understanding this factor is key to understanding the true benefit of a paver patio. No matter what you make your patio out of, it’s going to shift. Pavers stand out because while your ground is shifting they’re built to be durable and flexible. They’re built to withstand situations like this. So you’re probably thinking, “if my ground is shifting and pavers will shift too, what does that mean for my patio?” Your concrete patio is definitely going to need to be replaced. Your wood deck is going to be a little weird. Your asphalt was probably cracked before your ground even shifted. Your pavers are no exception. They’re going to absolutely shift, but here’s the kicker. Pavers can be re-leveled into place with a paver restoration. This sounds like a disadvantage, however it’s the opposite. You cannot re-level wood or stone, and concrete re-leveling is still uncertain, but pavers can be re-leveled leaving your patio looking brand new!
All Brick Design uses Fendt pavers. Fendt is the only paver you’ll find from our shop to your patio. Specifically because they’re Michigan made and superior product. That means their pavers are designed to withstand not only winters, but Michigan winters. They’re specifically engineered to endure and recover from the climate that we live in. Michigan winters can be so unpredictable that is why it’s so important to stand beside a name you can trust and honestly, one that’s local. That’s just another thing a concrete patio can’t brag about. Michigan made with Michigan in mind.
You’ll typically see All Brick Design out installing until early to mid December. Where pavers can’t be installed on frozen ground and polymeric sand, the sand between the joints of the pavers, cannot be applied in freezing temps, they can still be installed in the winter. As long as freezing temperatures aren’t at play, it can still be done. A lot of patio options cannot be done in the winter, however you have a little more room for pavers than you would for concrete.
If you’re from Michigan or have had the proper introduction to a Michigan winter, you know you’ll need three things to get you started. A scraper, a snow shovel, andddddd salt. Ahhh, salt. It is your Michigan winter best friend. Though it helps you tremendously through the winter, it’s also doing you a disservice. Throwing salt down on your patio will eat away at some of the stress of that ice… briefly. Salt breaks down the ice to snow, which eventually will melt onto your patio and then freeze again starting a vicious cycle. This constant cycle puts pressures on your patio that will cause cracks in a concrete patio or an asphalt patio. It also can cause water damage to your wood deck lessening its lifespan. The interlocking joints between your pavers make them more durable and flexible. So when your ground freezes, the soil beneath it swells, causing your brick pavers to swell. They have the ability to adjust to the freeze cycles. Pavers are built to withstand constant freeze-thaw cycles, which makes your investment a little sweeter. That’s something you can’t say for the other options.
Pavers also have the advantage of being permeable. Whereas concrete will hold everything on the surface, pavers aren’t like that. Since they have the ability to let liquids or oils pass through them, they will not hold the water on the surface as much as a concrete patio would. Instead, they pull the water from the surface and allow it to soak into the ground beneath the pavers. This is the job of that polymeric sand between the joints of the pavers. Doing this actually benefits you even more because where a concrete patio would have runoff, a paver patio wouldn’t do that. The water or oils will go down into the ground instead of running off and into the lawn or the foundation of your home. Could you imagine the added stress of having to deal with damage to the foundation of your home? Who wants a headache like that? So really we’re just saying we’re creating a headache free environment in your backyard. Did we stretch for that title? Probably, we’ll take it though.
Sealing your pavers. If there’s anything we get asked about more, it’s about the importance of sealing your pavers. All Brick Design strongly discourages you from sealing your pavers. We have found in our experience with sealing, it’s completely unnecessary in Michigan to seal your pavers. It causes more upkeep and maintenance and it’s also a costly expense that you need to have done every 3-5 years. Sealing your pavers can also harm any nearby plants you might have, this especially important while the sealing is actively being applied. Also, we have found that sealing your pavers can actually suffocate them causing discoloration in your bricks.
Due to their ability to be durable and flexible, not to mention that they stay beautiful and last much longer, pavers add so much curb appeal to your home. Michigan weather can take a toll on other options, but it won’t harm your pavers if they’re done correctly and maintained. This gives you a better looking home and should you choose to sell your home you have a chance at getting some money back on it. We typically see an 80% Return On Investment (ROI) when discussing paver installations.
Michigan weather is unpredictable, to say the least, which means planning is crucial when it comes to any outdoor projects. Paver installations do not require poured footing. We are typically able to get a paver patio installed quicker than a concrete patio. Concrete patios typically take 1-6 weeks and then a 30, or so, day cure time. We can install your 300-400 sq foot patio in a day- two max. We’re pretty confident we can have your install done for you while you’re at work without cutting corners or quality. As for cure time, Fendt ensures that the total cure time for their pavers is 48 hours. Your patio will be fully functional, in most cases, less than a week should you choose to go with pavers!
Pavers aren’t just beautiful and strong. They’re not just more efficient for your yard and they’re not just ideal because they last longer. They’re also one of the safest options for a patio. Michigan weather can be unkind and if it’s unkind to you, it’s unkind to your patio. Obviously, when concrete gets wet it can become a hazard. If you have children or anyone that might need a little attention when walking across a wet surface, concrete can cause some concern, especially if the concrete has been sealed or treated in any way, it becomes even more slippery. Some of the reasons pavers have raised edges or texture to them is to make it easier for shoes to grip to them or easier for you to walk on them without worry of injuries or falls.
All Brick Design is always going to encourage you to do your research, that’s the best way you’ll get your money’s worth. Hardscape is an investment and it’s an investment you’ll want to protect. Our job is to make sure you are able to enjoy your space a little more and we are confident that we can do that for you because pavers just outshine the competition and we’re not bad at what we do either.
Interested in a brick paver patios?
If you are interested or would like to learn more about Brick Paver Patios contact All Brick today!