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Thread: Is this the correct time to install travertine pavers

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    Is this the correct time to install travertine pavers

    Hello to all,

    We live in Houston and the soil is a dark "gumbo" clay. When it is wet, it sticks to everything and when you try to use a shovel, over half of what you dig up sticks to the shovel when you toss the load. If you were rubber boots, they become compacted w the clay and it is hard to remove.

    The pool guys are here today and we have rains yesterdsay on top of the area they are supposed to dig and try to remove this sticky crude. If they they to put down aggregate rock, sand, etc and they use the gas power compacting device, then lay the travertine pavers, will this even work? When this type of "soil" [if you call it that], is so swollen, when it hits the heat of summer and start to dry out, will this settle the pavers and they will start to sink/crack?

    Bottomline, do I tell them "no can do" or let them move forward?

    I would really appreciate your help and advice on this matter.

    Regards,
    tstex

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    JayBauman's Avatar
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    Re: Is this the correct time to install travertine pavers

    I built a pool north of Houston in 2011. I put in paver decking and had them build a paver patio during the installation. The installation was in late November, and it was quite wet at the time.

    They put down stone and sand and compacted each layer, and they put in a cement reinforcement at all edge lines. I had zero problems with the pavers, and it still looks great to this day (according to the family who bought my house).

    I realize that fired brick pavers are different from travertine, but I think the same results would follow. In general, the base will be hard packed and your pavers will be cemented in place. The ground underneath will not shrink/expand with water content, even when the surrounding soil does.

    Recommendation: move forward with it now, and make sure you keep your yard watered during the hot & dry seasons. You'll be fine.
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    Re: Is this the correct time to install travertine pavers

    Thanks Jay, they are digging the wretched soil as we speak.

    The travertine pavers are 1.25" thick and come from Peru...they are all solid travertine. The contractor too tell me [in broken English] not to worry. There is also rain in the forecast this Friday so I am going to get round two in the not too distant future.

    Btw, N Houston in 2011 was very dry, so you had the exact opposite of us. what type of soil do you have in SPring, Champions, Woodlands?

    Thank you,
    tstex

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    Re: Is this the correct time to install travertine pavers

    lol. You mentioning the broken english reminds me of when I have my roof replaced. I got a visit from the ATF that day in 2 very apparent government cars (antennae bristling and hidden lights). When they arrived all my roofers fled. It took 2 hours and several phone calls to get the them to come back. My roofing contractor was not happy with my surprise visitors. lol
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    JayBauman's Avatar
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    Re: Is this the correct time to install travertine pavers

    Quote Originally Posted by tstex View Post
    Btw, N Houston in 2011 was very dry, so you had the exact opposite of us. what type of soil do you have in SPring, Champions, Woodlands?
    Gumbo down here, too. Yes, 2011 was quite dry. However, somewhere I have photographs of the paver guys working in a downpour. In fact, we had quite some rain while my pool was filling up.
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    Re: Is this the correct time to install travertine pavers

    Thanks again Jay.

    Glock, if the ATF or Border Patrol came to my place, none of them would make it very far, at least in their rubber boots. They have so much gumbo-wet clay stuck to their boots they would be carrying an extra 15lbs per boot. I wonder if they did take off run and hit the street [only dry area[, would that dark clay start to hit the air like it does in the car with mud on the tires?? LOL They actually need another shovel per guy or 2x4 bc they stuff is so wet and sticky that only half of it comes off their shovel, and need another shovel or board to scrape it off...NO FUN !

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    Re: Is this the correct time to install travertine pavers

    Sounds exactly like the dirt in my yard. I hate mud!
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    Re: Is this the correct time to install travertine pavers

    They are putting down the crushed rock now and compacting it, so the mud for the general area is getting better, but there are still some major mud holes...the gumbo/blk clay soil is horrible here when wet and having to dig thru...

    Cannot WAIT till this is all over a no more clay sticks to my feet....

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Is this the correct time to install travertine pavers

    Ditto on laying pavers (or deck) when the ground is wet and then keeping it watered when it is dry. Much better than laying it dry and having the ground swell when it rains. You can put water in the ground but you can't take it out.
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    Re: Is this the correct time to install travertine pavers

    pooldv

    we are in west hou/harris county,. not sure what the soil is in your area if DFW which is a pretty large swath.

    What concerns me the most is that, let's see, electrical, water, irrigation, gas/etc lines were dug much deeper [1" deeper' than the 8-9" the paver guys dug. when those trenches were filled, they kicked and shoveled in clay clumps up to shovel length. None of this was ever compacted down except dissolved by the periodical heavy rains...I hope the non-compacted trenches were somewhat filled in and compacted w the gravel aggregate base. My worry is when it gets 100 degrees in the summer on and off for 3 mo's, that these fromer trench areas can sink some and so does all on the top. Also, not sure how much water can penetrate these areas w the travertine being filled in w a poly-grout. Over 80% travertine goes from the coping right up to concrete foundation.


    Any and all advice is appreciated. Merry Christmas to all
    Thanks,
    tstex

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    JayBauman's Avatar
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    Re: Is this the correct time to install travertine pavers

    See comment #2 above. What you describe is exactly the situation I had. They will put down solid base and compact all layers. Any expanding/contracting soil will not affect pavers. These guys have been building it like this forever; they know what they're doing.
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    Re: Is this the correct time to install travertine pavers

    Thanks Jay - tstex

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Is this the correct time to install travertine pavers

    We have the same heavy, nasty, sticky clay here. Dirt moves, pool moves, shop moves, brick patio moves, house moves. We have micro irrigation systems on battery timers everywhere. They run 30 min twice a day in the 100 degree weather, once a day spring, winter and fall. Sometimes twice a day in winter if it is dry. Which is handy for landscaping. Two birds one stone. Definitely agree with Jay that most of them know what they are doing.
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