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Frequently Asked Questions

How many inches of RCA and sand should I use for pavers? (Driveway and patio)

Cambridge recommends on driveways 8" of RCA or base aggregate such as gravel. For a patio, the recommended application would be 4" of RCA. Make sure the RCA is fully compacted by using a tamper. This is to avoid any voids in the base. This is extremely important especially in a driveway where the pavers could crack if placed under a void. Next, you would want to use 1" of your sand which is known as a setting bed.

How to install polymeric sand for my pavers?

Use a soft bristle broom when brushing the sand in between the pavers. Brush the sand in about 20 sq ft sections to ensure that no sand is left behind. After, use a leaf blower to lightly blow all reminisce of sand atop the pavers. When all the sand is applied, spray a light mist of water wetting all the sand because this will activate and harden it. Before spraying make sure before installing that the following 1-2 days there is no sign of rain.

Can I apply stone veneer over brick?

Resurfacing brick with stone around your home indoors and out is an easy way to change the look of your space while modernizing and adding value. Natural, clean, unfinished brick that is in good condition is the easiest and most accepting of a stone veneer.

Installing indoors:

Begin by cleaning your brick to remove dust and particles from the surface. Running a powerful shop vacuum over the surface will help collect this build-up. If the surface is clean, you can apply mixed mortar with a notched trowel directly to the brick. First, apply a nice smooth base layer to fill in some of the joints and divots in the bricks, and promptly top it with a thicker layer of mortar using a notched trowel.
Work in areas similar in size to the stones you're using. Your stones may be loose, in which case, plan ahead so that you don't prepare too much mortar at one time. Butter the back of the stone, and then press the stone firmly into the troweled mortar. Allow it to dry thoroughly before grouting the stones. If there's concern about whether your brick will adhere properly to the mortar, or if heat fluctuations are a concern, one way to "beef it up" is to screw pieces of metal lath to the surface of the brick, and apply the mortar atop that for extra durability.

Installing outdoors:

Installing stone over existing brick outdoors does require extra work. Most notably, you'll want to make sure water damage isn't an issue in the future. There are various waterproofing membranes available to make it easy to prevent water from leaching into the brick behind the stone. These products also add flexibility for expected shrinking and expanding of materials during seasonal fluctuations. Depending on the membrane chosen, you can typically mortar and install stones directly atop the surface. Allow the mortar to dry before grouting.

Installing stone over damaged brick:

If your brick is crumbling, you won't be able to rely on its strength to hold mortar or stones. It can be expensive to remove and repair damaged bricks, and covering the brick with stone is a recommended, cost-efficient alternative. To safely and productively cover the brick, you'll need to first install a base layer on top of the damaged stones to create a dependable tiling surface. Cement board or metal lath sheeting are both commonly used materials that do the job well. They are installed with masonry fasteners to the existing brick. Once anchored, the cement board is immediately ready for installation. Lath requires the extra step of creating a scratch coat on top of the metal to create a bondable surface for the stone.

Can I install stone veneer over painted brick?

While you simply can't reliably install stone atop painted brick (too much barrier will prevent the mortar from adhering), you can attempt to remove the paint or follow the same instructions as you would with damaged brick, and apply a new base layer between the painted brick and the mortar and stones - metal lath or cement board.

I would like a sample to see how it looks at my home, do you provide samples?

Yes, samples are provided. We can contact the company whose product you are interested in and you can pick it up at either location. If you would like to take one of our sample boards, there is a small deposit that is either fully refundable unless it's with a credit card or applied when the order is placed. Deposits for display boards made with a credit card are refunded but only 95%.

Should I seal my pavers?

Yes, we do recommend you seal your concrete pavers to protect your investment! There are two types of sealers we provide which are wet look and satin look. A wet look sealer will enhance the color of the pavers making them appear wet while the satin is a matte finish. The sealer penetrates deep into the concrete pavers which helps prevent the oil and dirt penetration, corrosion from de-icing salt and the effects from the UV rays. Sealers have to be reapplied every 3 years.

What is efflorescence and how do I get rid of it?

Efflorescence is a white haze that may appear on the surface of your pavers. This is due to the calcium hydroxide and will go away as soon as it is exhausted. This is completely normal for a cement based product. Efflorescence usually goes away naturally over time but if it does not the Alliance's efflorescence cleaner will do just the trick. We have this product in stock at all times!

I have leaf stains all over my pavers, what can I do?

We recommend using the Clorox Pro Results Outdoor Bleach. Test one paver at a time. This is likely to happen every year which comes to the decision to live with or remove the tree.

My car left oil stains on my driveway, is this going to be permanent?

No, Alliance gator products has you covered! We have the oil & grease remover on hand. Apply a quarter inch of the solution on the stain you are removing and leave it for 6-8 hours. After the alloted time, the solution will turn into a powder which you will then sweep off. This product also works for antifreeze, brake fluid, hydraulic oil and citronella wax.