Blade Runners | FAQs - Blade Runners
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What do you mean by “hardscaping”?

Hardscaping is a term used to describe outdoor features created with concrete interlocking pavers & wall block, synthetic stone products and steppers, and natural stone materials. The term is not typically used to describe masonry projects using mortar. Examples of typical hardscape features include walkways, patios, driveways, retaining walls, sitting walls, fire pits, and outdoor kitchens.

What is a paver and how is it made?

A paver is a paving-stone, -tile, -brick or brick-like piece of concrete commonly used as exterior flooring. In a factory, concrete pavers are made by pouring a mixture of concrete and some type of coloring agent into a mold of some shape and allowing setting. They are applied by pouring a standard concrete foundation, spreading sand on top, and then laying the pavers in the desired pattern. No actual adhesive or retaining method is used other than the weight of the paver itself except edging. Pavers can be used to make roads, driveways, patios, walkways and other outdoor platforms.

How long do Belgard paver products last?

Belgard provides lifetime guarantee on the structural integrity of the paver to the original purchaser of the product for residential use. The strength of Belgard paving stones is 2 times greater than the strength of normal poured concrete.

How do brick pavers compare to other paving or decking materials?

Pavers, or segmental dry set paving materials, are ideal for any freeze/thaw location like our Chicago winters. The joints between each paver allow the walkway/driveway/ patio, etc. to shift without breaking or cracking. With proper installation, it results in a paved surface that is firm and flexible. Pavers provide a variety of textures, color options. Unlike concrete or asphalt, pavers are basically maintenance free and do not need to be regularly sealed or replaced. Pavers may also be easily removed to allow for repairs/ access to utilities.

Do we begin with the hardscape design or the landscape design?

It is best to begin with the hardscape and then install the landscape where appropriate for location/sun exposure/soil conditions. We want to create an outdoor living space that is functional and also increases property value. The landscaping design will include various plants for seasonal color and winter interest.

How deep is the excavation for the patio?

12 inches below patio grade minimum. This ensures the necessary depth of gravel base.

Is the sub-base also compacted? If so, what method is used?

Yes, a jumping jack compactor averaging 4500 to 5000 psi is used.
The sub-base is compacted to help prevent any settling in the sub-grade such as sink holes that will affect the integrity of the patio. The jumping jack compactor provides a higher compaction ratio when compared to vibratory standard plate compactors or hand compaction.

How far is excavation done beyond the edge of the project?

8 to 12 inches. This enables Blade Runners to assure the edging is secured into a solid gravel base rather than loose soil.

Are the outside edges of the project restored to original condition after completion?

Yes. Blade Runners wants the project to have a finished look. We will grade and seed/sod around the project area.

Are brick pavers recommended around a swimming pool?

Definitely! Pavers provide a slip resistant surface and enhance the area around a pool. In addition, if utilities need to be reached below the surface of the paver, it easily lifts and can be replaced with minimal

Why are my pavers shifting/ sinking/ spreading?

Movement of pavers occurs partially due to our freeze/thaw location. In Northern climates, the freeze/thaw cycle along with moisture, may cause various problems. Possible issues due to improper installation, tree roots, chipmunks and ants may also be a factor.

Why are weeds growing between the pavers/ stone?

Grass and weeds have space to grow when the joints are not properly filled. Recommended use of polymeric sand uses a polymer that locks the sand in the joints to help ensure the joint remains properly filled. On existing installations, a joint stabilizing sealer is used to create a protective layer over the pavers and joints to prevent weed and grass growth.

Should we seal the pavers?

Blade Runners recommends it! Here’s why:
1. Helps resist stain/oil/dirt penetration.
2. It can enhance the color.
3. It binds the sand particles in between the joints making it difficult for weed seeds to germinate.

What are the benefits of sealing the pavers?

1. It resists weathering (sun, rain, freeze-thaw conditions, etc.) and ice control products.
2. It can enhance the original color.
3. Protects against stains, oil and dirt.
4. It prevents premature aging and helps to retain that new look longer.
5. It penetrates deeply for maximum effectiveness and durability.
6. Makes for easier cleaning.
7. It will not peel, discolor or make the surface slippery.

What is efflorescence?

Efflorescence is caused by moisture and natural salts settling on the surface of the pavers. Efflorescence will not affect the structural integrity of the pavers and will usually wash/ wear off in the course of time. The recommended procedure is to allow this natural process to occur. However, there is a solution specifically designed for efflorescence removal if needed.

What kind of ice control is best for pavers and stone?

Calcium-chloride, typically found in small, white, round pellets. Peladow is a brand that is known and trusted.

How can we be confident about our decision to select you as our contractor?

We want you to feel comfortable in using us for your project, so we encourage you to spend some time with us at our Belgard showroom and to visit our past projects, similar to yours, where you can see our level of care. We also encourage you to speak with people on our reference list.

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