Review of the effects of freezing and thaw cycles
An unprotected foundation of the freeze are in the great majority of the time inadequate due to lack of stability. Freeze and thaw cycles produce forces on the surface of the soil. These generate pressure points that transfer mechanically to the structure which can cause break points as shown in the following photo.
An effective balcony foundation must provide sufficient carrying capacity for the realization it will have to withstand and be protected from the effects of freezing and thawing. In the majority of cases, targeted piles at a depth of 60 « provide effective protection against adverse effects. This is a flexible and effective solution.
Concrete lining (Wet Cast Concrete, Dry Cast Pavers and Tiles)
Wet Cast concrete structures are durable when properly designed. However, under winter conditions, they may show signs of degradation (cracking and chipping) due to repeated cycles of freezing and thawing. Indeed, the pores contained in the poured concrete slabs accumulate microcavities of water which, at the time of the freeze, change phase from liquid to solid state and occupy a higher volume of space generating internal pressures. As a result, we observe surface chipping thus reducing the aesthetic quality of the structure. In some cases more extreme, we will see the appearance of cracks
The Dry Cast Pavers and Tiles are guaranteed by the manufacturer for life and meet the latest industry standards in both Canada and the United States. For example, all landscaping products manufactured by Techo-Bloc meet and exceed the appropriate standards established by CSA (Canadian Standards Association), ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) and BNQ Standardization of Quebec), which are recognized as the most stringent standards in the world. You will find an impressive array of texture, color and layout of pavers by visiting the websites of Permacon, Techo-Bloc and Rinox manufacturers.
Paver represents a product of choice by their durability and their wide possibility of arrangement. They come in various textures, colors and shapes for an aesthetic results. Before deciding on the choice, it is important to identify the use of the paving stone. For example, a front-house balcony requires a pavement that can be exposed to de-icing salt during the winter. It is therefore essential to choose paver that can be exposed to it. Note that the pavers must comply with strict standards especially for freezing tolerance and structural integrity. Your paver and tile expert or your landscape designer will take care to explain the paving stones that can be used to create a compliant parking lot. As for the SOTA balcony system, it is possible to use paving slabs up to a thickness of 60mm (ie 2-3 / 8 « ) and we can produce mixed colors and textures to design fully customized space.
Pavement manufacturers strongly advise that no agents be applied to newly installed paving stones and tiles. The collective enthusiasm for this product ensures that the time between manufacturing and installation is very short. Consequently, pavers produce their maturation cycle once installed at the customer’s premises. During this cycle, we observe a whitish film that we call efflorescence. It consists of salt and minerals that are slowly expelling from the concrete. Applying a sealant, for example, could trap the efflorescent inside the pavers and compromise its integrity. Most manufacturers agree that after 1 year, more than 95% of the efflorescence has been evacuated. It is therefore recommended to use patience before making a cosmetic beauty to your cobblestones.
Usually prefabricated concrete pavers and slabs are guaranteed for life in the event of a defect. You will be able to find out about the guarantees of pavers with the main manufacturers, Permacon, Techo-Bloc and Rinox, inside their catalog and on the website of the companies. Concrete pavers and slabs can be purchased from your local garden centers as well as from brick and stone centers.
SOTA : Assembly guide [to become]