Brick Pavers Crumbling

Colored brick pavers have been around since the late 1970s.

I remember when these interlocking colored concrete bricks were introduced. Homeowners were attracted to them like flies to picnic food.

When I first saw them, I knew there would be problems with them.

First, they were made from regular concrete. Small pieces of stone were used, but it’s just concrete.

Traditional paving brick are made from clay and fired in a kiln. If the kiln temperature is hot and the brick are left in for a long time, the brick that come out are more like solid rock. The color of real paving brick is solid through the entire brick.

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Color Loss

The biggest issue with the paving brick is they start to fade and lose their original color.

When they’re made, the pigments added to the Portland cement coat all the pieces of sand and gravel used in the brick pavers. But weather wears this off.

Pressure washing concrete brick pavers greatly accelerates this color fade and the wearing away of the fine colored cement paste that gives the brick their original pleasant appearance.

Just be aware that the color is going to fade unless you live in a mild climate and the patio is in the shade.

Here’s a great example of faded concrete paving brick next to brand new ones that have not yet lost the colored cement paste off the sand and gravel. Copyright 2017 Tim Carter

Crumbling Issues

The concrete paving brick crumble because the Portland cement used to hold together the sand and gravel looses it’s ability to hold on. This happens most frequently in cold climates.

Water soaks into the concrete paving brick. When this water freezes, it expands in volume by 9 percent.

The ice crystals can blast apart the cement crystals. When this happens, the brick crumble.

Here’s a concrete paving brick that’s crumbling. It must have not had enough Portland cement in the mix to offset the freezing water that blasts apart the concrete. Copyright 2017 Tim Carter


CLICK HERE  to get FREE & FAST BIDS from local patio contractors that can install traditional clay paving brick.


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