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  • Patios and walkways

    What to do for walkways and patio? I spoke to the landscaper and he thinks I should do these Roman stone...




    https://www.barkmanconcrete.com/prod...product/roman/




    He figures they look nice and they create a fairly smooth surface without a lot of sharp edges that makes it more wheelchair friendly and he figures because it will shift with the ground so it’s not like concrete that’s going to crack. So it should keep it look more than concrete over a long term.




    My fianc?e would prefer something like this...

    https://www.barkmanconcrete.com/prod...ct/bridgewood/




    My contractor thinks I should do cement for least maintenance and smoothest surface. He thinks that would be best for the wheelchair… And obviously it’s easy to form into the shape you want for patios and walkways. He also said if you coated with this roll-on stuff once a year it protects the cement from deteriorating from salt. He figures if they put rebar throughout it and this other plastic fill it will help stop cracking even if the ground shifts a little bit over the winters. On the flipside of course my fianc?e is not a fan of the look of concrete and she hates when it cracks and thinks it looks terrible. Sigh




    Any sort of stone needs to be swept with fine sand once a year to fill in the cracks which takes a couple hours and a couple hundred dollars if I can’t do it myself or get my fianc?e to.... and if it shifts too much and all needs to be taken up and relaid even if it’s once every decade that’s about $1000-$2000 expense to pay somebody to do it.




    Concrete I need to get somebody to roll that protector stuff over it once a year if my fianc?e can’t… And if it does crack obviously you’re stuck with it for the long run… It’s not like you’re going to jackhammer it all up and re-pour.




    *bang head on desk in frustration*




    Thoughts?

  • #2
    Where do you live? Climate will determine my input. also, get some counseling with fianc? to work out conflict resolution. Any spouse of a wheelchair user should always defer to the user on questions of mobility and access. Mine does not and I find it highly offensive. He cannot remember to leave access ways clear, just setting things down in any open space. We were married long before my SCI so I live with this but I would never sign on with anyone who was not solicitous of a chair user's needs. You are a lot more important than a bit of broken concrete. There is no surface that will not need repair eventually. You can color the concrete, as well.

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    • #3
      Thunder Bay, Ontario. No, she's conscious about accessibility but just would like to find something that'd work and look nice..... I'm in agreement.... she's just picky & I'm just always problem worrying on upkeep cost

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      • #4
        Base preparation is the most important part of any pavement system. Especially in regions of freeze/thaw cycles.

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        • #5
          no offense but you are way out there thunder bay go concrete they can stain it there are so many neat ways to stamp it to look like anything. they have stamps and molds

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          • #6
            If we are just talking about a few walkways and a patio with a relatively low total amount of square footage then I would say you have more flexibility. If we are going to be including a large driveway, then costs could come into play. With the freeze/thaw the blocks will inevitably shift. To someone AB, it may be imperceptible, but if one is rolling on it, especially in a manual chair, and especially with small hard casters it could be downright annoying. Power chair, different story.

            If one is doing concrete then one can also think about a deicing system if it is a heavily trafficked walkway. If one is doing a substantial renovation and you live in a northern climate I would seriously consider getting a gutter/downspout deicing system. The biggest frustration for me for me is looking up at potential ice dams in the winter. They are very serious and a real threat to your home. You may be able to get deicing with blocks, but I'm not sure.

            If one rolls on Thompson's water seal for concrete it creates a nice coating which seals the pores and beads the water. To be most effective it needs to be repeated every year. I've been in my house 19 years I've only done it twice. It sucks. You need to clean the concrete first, let it dry, roll it on, and then stay off it for a day or so. A pain in the ass, but the best way to preserve your investment. Yes, micro fractures will develop in concrete. I have a deicing system which I am afraid eventually is going to be penetrated by water from a fracture which works its way down. Once it does, the system is irrepairable and the slab must be removed and repoured with a new deicing system if one wants that functionality.

            For concrete, expansion joints also need to be resealed periodically using foam backer rod for deeper joints and self-leveling sealer. If water makes its way into the expansion joints it will only hasten deterioration of the concrete.

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            • #7
              Talking a small patio 8x6 upfront, a 4ft wide walkway from front to back down the side of the house 60ft, and a big patio out back 20x50... driveway to be asphalt.

              My biggest worry is those blocks shifting and ending up uneven causing my harder front caster on my manual chair to bump over every block. I know it's inevitable... how bad it might get is the big question. A little unevenness is not a big deal but if they end up shifting a lot then it's an annoyance and an expense if it needs re-leveling.

              That Thompson water seal doesn't sound like much more work than having to 'sweep' fine sand over blocks yearly to reseal what sand between washed away. Leaf blower, hose off, let dry and apply?

              Stamping the concrete or staining it as was mentioning is another consideration.

              I'm thinking the upkeep cost long term to blocks might be more if you factor in sand sweeping every year, an eventual re-level every decade....

              My folks laid concrete 29 years ago after my accident and there's a few cracks on the patio but I don't think it was re-barred at all & dad never sealed it....

              Keep thinking maybe that's the smartest way to go.

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              • #8
                Hi, I used to be a cement finisher before my accident. I live in northern Illinois and have crappy cold winters to deal with. Depending on your finances I would think that would be your deciding factor. I will give you a rundown of my OPINION.

                For the least amount of maintenance I would suggest concrete that has the control joints saw cut in. That means they pour and finish the concrete and use a partner saw to cut the control joints in the next day. Depending on weather factors it can be done the same day if it’s very hot and the concrete is curing faster than normally it should. If you do this process have the contractor spray a non yellowing cure and seal product on the job after all evaporation (moisture in cement)is complete.
                As long as you keep the concrete free of ice snow and salt you should not have Spaulding issues and resealing with a product like Thompson’s water seal can be done every couple of years. If you use a higher quality sealer you might be able to go even longer between reseal jobs. You should be able to tell if the concrete needs to be resealed by dumping some water on it and if it does not absorb into the surface but beads up or runs off without being absorbed that means that the sealer is still present.

                For stamped concrete all of the above applies. The only recommendation I have would be to stay away from the heavier stamp patterns like flagstone or fieldstone. They are very rough and hard to maintain in the winter time. A tile pattern is best for you for maintenance IMO.

                If you have the greenbacks install a radiant heat system(hot water running through pipes) that will melt snow in the winter and really eliminate a lot of labor with shoveling. If you go this route standard control joint tooled in during finishing is recommended.

                Now Brick and Block.
                I don’t have much experience with Brick and Block but have to say in my area it costs about the same as Stamped concrete. You should have a deeper base of stone and sand and compaction will play a roll on how much movement the Brick or Block will have in the freeze thaw cycles. I think you need a 12” sub base for brick where concrete only needs 4”.

                P.S. I forgot to mention for the control joints on sidewalk don’t let them cut any joints in exceeding 4 feet for a 4th wide walkway and 5’ for a 5’ wide walkway. On the 20 x 50 patio I would not let any squares be bigger than 8‘ x 8‘. Concrete is guaranteed to crack it’s just a matter of making sure that you control where it cracks and it will crack inside the control joints to keep the finish looking nice. Reinforce everything with rebar or heavy gauge mesh. Drill rebar into the foundation every couple of feet where attached to the house to prevent settlement issues in the future. The rebar drilled into the foundation should stick out 3-4 feet minimum into the concrete. If possible have the contractor pound full length bars16-18ft ? 3 inches into the foundation and then also use wire mesh or rebar running the opposing direction no more than 3’ apart. The closer together the better but 12” on center is major highway type stuff so no need for overkill.
                Last edited by cementhead; 04-21-2020, 10:17 AM. Reason: Rebar length

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                • #9
                  Hi cementhead... Thanks for the detailed breakdown. questions for you…

                  The back patio, the big one in the backyard which is 50 x 20 is probably not gonna be shovelled over the winter… It’s probably just going to be left to be covered by snow because we won’t be going in the backyard… The only thing that will need to be shovelled is possibly the walkway which leads down the side of the house to the back door… And front patio. Does leaving it covered by snow result in a greater likelihood that it’s going to crack or deteriorate?

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                  • #10
                    The pavers in the pictures have tumbled edges. I would stay away from them because smaller front casters can get caught in them. But if your chair has larger casters that may not be a problem, especially if they are pneumatic. Still not a good idea IMO. The pavers in my yard have straight edges and they are butted against each in order to make the surface as smooth as possible. Pavers have many joints. But when done right you barely feel them. Concrete has fewer joints but they are larger and you definitely feel them. Concrete may be easier to maintain. But pavers are easier to repair. You can replace cracked pavers in less than an hour with little cost. Do you have expansive soil? In that case, the joints between pavers may keep opening up creating a maintenance nightmare. In that case, concrete with rebar may be a better option. Which one you want depends on your needs and preferences.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by RJC View Post
                      Hi cementhead... Thanks for the detailed breakdown. questions for you…

                      The back patio, the big one in the backyard which is 50 x 20 is probably not gonna be shovelled over the winter… It’s probably just going to be left to be covered by snow because we won’t be going in the backyard… The only thing that will need to be shovelled is possibly the walkway which leads down the side of the house to the back door… And front patio. Does leaving it covered by snow result in a greater likelihood that it’s going to crack or deteriorate?
                      I can only tell you concrete is porous. The freeze thaw cycle of the melting snow during the day and night could cause flaking. As far as cracks go I would just caulk the control joints if the are saw cut in. Otherwise the steel should hold everything together

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by cementhead View Post

                        I can only tell you concrete is porous. The freeze thaw cycle of the melting snow during the day and night could cause flaking. As far as cracks go I would just caulk the control joints if the are saw cut in. Otherwise the steel should hold everything together
                        OK thanks

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                        • #13
                          Concrete can be ordered (maybe engineered is a better word) for extremely high tensile strength applications. Loads much greater than any patio would ever experience. I'd also get the radiant heat option installed! Because I'm not able to do any brick/block maintenance myself...I'd stay away from that.
                          "Never turn your back on fear. It should always be in front of you, like a thing that might have to be killed." - Hunter Thompson
                          T5/6 complete

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                          • #14
                            Have had all of the above options pavers if done right can be most economical and aren’t really very high maintenance there is a special sand that can be bought at menards or Home Depot that can last several years for upscale look stamped concrete might look the best just don’t do irregular slate which is bumpy cement head lays it out in great detail whatever you do don’t skimp on the base especially with pavers oh and pavers usually end up with an ant issue

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