Hardscapes

Renato do Carmo is president of D’Carmo Interlocking Pavers, Inc., a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (510) 972-4977 or by email.

Paver Restoration: A Cost-Effective Alternative to Replacement

Posted on May 08, 2019 by James Florence

RICHMOND — If your paver patio or driveway is showing signs of age, you probably assume you need to have it replaced. However, did you know there’s an alternative option that can restore the beauty of your paver feature for a fraction of the cost? With a paver restoration service, your existing pavers can be refurbished and made to look new again.

A paver restoration typically includes the following measures:

  • Power washing with hot water
  • Application of a chemical cleaner to remove stains
  • Replacement of joint sand and removal of weeds
  • Application of a high-end sealant to enhance paver coloration

If your paver feature contains any cracked or damaged sections, Read more

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How to Prevent Efflorescence on Masonry Surfaces

Posted on March 11, 2019 by James Florence

PALO ALTO — Have you noticed white, powdery blotches on a stone, concrete, or tile surface in or around your home? This phenomenon is known as efflorescence, a common blight that can affect any masonry surface.

Efflorescence is seen most often in areas like joints and grout lines, and it can occur on both flat and vertical surfaces. It’s caused when moisture is drawn into a masonry material via a process known as capillary action—the same process that allows tree roots to transfer water from the soil up to the leaves. As moisture is drawn through the masonry material, it becomes saturated with minerals and salt. When the moisture finally reaches the outer surface of the material, Read more

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Video: The Importance of Soil Compaction

Posted on July 11, 2017 by admin

MARTINEZ — Host, Sarah Rutan: If you’re installing a new concrete driveway or patio, don’t overlook the importance of the soil base beneath it. Today we’re in Martinez with Diamond Certified Expert Contributor David Figueroa of Kodiak Construction to learn more.

Diamond Certified Expert Contributor, David Figueroa: When you do a concrete driveway or patio, make sure the subbase is compacted, whether it’s just plain soil or it’s base rock. And make sure it’s drained first. And the rebar should be on the middle of the concrete. If it’s four inches thick, should be somewhere between one and a half and two inches into the concrete. And get it back to compact. Read more

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Considerations for Concrete Installation

Posted on July 11, 2017 by admin

MARTINEZ — When installing a concrete feature such as a driveway or patio, it’s crucial to follow proper procedure—otherwise, the installation will be susceptible to settling over time. Here are a few important aspects to consider:

• Whether it’s plain soil or base rock, the subgrade (the native soil) needs to be properly compacted. Ideally, base rock should be compacted to a 98 percent proctor density, which will provide a solid surface for the concrete to lie upon.

• If the native soil doesn’t provide an adequate subgrade material, a fill alternative like sand, gravel or crushed stone may be necessary to achieve the low compressibility needed to support the concrete installation. Read more

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Benefits of a Dedicated Pedestrian Walkway

Posted on July 11, 2017 by admin

UNION CITY — One aspect of home design that often gets overlooked is pedestrian access to the front door from the sidewalk or driveway. In these cases, getting to the front door can be an awkward ordeal, whether you have to travel up a driveway between two parked cars or walk through your lawn or garden. That’s why, if you’re looking to invest in a home improvement or upgrade, you should consider the addition of a dedicated pedestrian walkway. Besides creating a convenient route to your front door, a dedicated walkway increases your home’s curb appeal and gives it a more inviting façade.

To demonstrate the aesthetic impact a dedicated walkway can have, Read more

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Video: Benefits of a Dedicated Walkway

Posted on July 11, 2017 by admin

UNION CITY — Host, Sarah Rutan: When it comes to investing in home upgrades, one exterior improvement can increase both functionality and curb appeal. Today we’re in Union City with Diamond Certified Expert Contributor Andrew Headington of System Pavers to learn more.

Diamond Certified Expert Contributor, Andrew Headington:  Today’s tip, we’re going to talk about increasing your home’s curb appeal and pedestrian experience by adding a dedicated pedestrian walkway. And a lot of the houses I visit lack this amenity and find myself traveling up a driveway between two parked cars or between a car and a garden to get to the front door. So, today, we’re going to look at an example of a typical house that lacks this dedicated pedestrian walkway to the front door and we’re going to show you that now. Read more

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Video: Benefits of Polymeric Sand

Posted on July 11, 2017 by admin

SAN JOSE — Host, Sarah Rutan: When installing new pavers, one additional measureworth considering is the application of polymeric sand. Today we’re in San Jose with Diamond Certified Expert Contributor Roger Van Alst of Black Diamond Paver Stones & Landscape to learn more.

Diamond Certified Expert Contributor, Roger Van Alst: At Black Diamond, we often get asked if polymeric sand would be a good idea for a new paving stone installation. Polymeric sand is essentially a sand that has a polymer added to it. That polymer is a bit like a glue in that it goes in dry, but then once the sand is moisten it will activate and hard. Read more

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