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Our Hardscape Build Process
In order for a hardscape project to look great on the surface, it all begins with what goes on underneath. Our team at Reuvers Nursery continues adjust and tweak our build process, with the goal of finding the most reliable base construction technique. We continue to implement new, ever-changing products, equipment, and methods to provide clients with a hardscape that is second to none. Find out below about our unique hardscape build process.
Using laser levels and altimeters, we first dig to a desirable depth, depending on the soil conditions. While digging, we aim to remove that top layer of organic material and find undisturbed subsoils. Organic material can be unpredictable in freeze and thaw cycles in the harsh winters of Minnesota and Wisconsin, so its necessary to completely remove this layer before base material is installed. Every project varies, but excavation can usually be 12"-16" on most projects until that undesirable layer is removed.
Next, our team lays down geotextile fabric. Geotextile fabric is a polypropylene mesh that creates separation between the base material and soil below. It creates soil stability by reducing settlement and increases the load capacity of the base.
Clean stone is then installed and compacted; followed with the installation of chip stone material. Using clean and chip stone material instead of the typical gravel and washed sand base that most companies use, results in better overall performance. Clean and chip stone material allow water to pass through the base, reducing the moisture and therefore reducing the negative impacts of freeze/thaw cycles and efflorescence (white film from salt) on the surface of the pavers.
Attention to Detail
Double and triple checking our hardscape builds is common practice for our team. Even after setting our base with laser levels and altimeters, our patios are gone over by hand again. This assures it is properly sloping away from your home and that it does not have any dips or humps. Our walls are continually checked as they go up, making sure they are perfectly level.
To lock that paver patio in place, our patios joints are filled with no haze polymeric sand. Polymeric sand gives that patio rigidity by adhering the individual units together, acting as one fluid unit. It also gives the patio strength by dispersing the load applied over the surface.
Around the edges, a concrete edge restraint is used instead of the common practice of plastic snap edging and steel stakes. Plastic snap edging is easily affected by freeze/thaw cycles and heaves over time, causing it to be exposed on the surface and negatively impacting the lateral strength of the patio.
Using vibratory plate compactors, the base or material behind the wall is compacted to increase its overall density. This increase in density or removal of voids between particles decreases negative effects of settling or deformation in the finished product.
If soil is too wet or has a higher clay composition, chemical or gradation amendments are typically used.
Industry Leading Products
For all our hardscape projects, we use top quality pavers, retaining block, caps, etc. from industry leading block manufacturers that meet and/or exceed ASTM C-936 and ASTM C-1372 requirements. Differing from products from your local hardware store, these materials feature superior color and textures and even stain resistant surfaces.
The Work Horse
While many other companies opt not to use it, geogrid can commonly be found on our jobsite. Geogrid is laid perpendicular to a retaining wall face extending back into the hill or under a paver patio. Geogrid greatly increases the stability and durability of a structure by confining layers of soil.
In a retaining wall, geogrid helps the retaining wall itself and the soil behind it act as one solid mass. As a result, the wall has more weight and size to resist the forces behind it.
In a paver patio, geogrid better distributes the load that is being applied on the surface, giving the base more stability and preventing material from shifting.
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