Tracks for vehicles are often made 3 m wide. In case of icing, they are an excellent skating rink, and when the ice melts - a pool. Joking aside, it’s unpleasant to depend on the vagaries of the weather day in and day out, and cleaning the tracks is exhausting. You can make your life easier if you remember the routine of caring for the personal "highway" at the stage of laying its foundation.
The main rule for tracks of any scale says that the roadway should have a slope from the center to the boundaries at the rate of 5-10 degrees per meter. This simple technique will allow melt and rainwater to be removed by gravity from the middle of the canvas and will eliminate the formation of puddles. The second stage is more difficult. To avoid flooding of flower beds and lawns, rain and melt streams from the road surface must be directed to drainage or storm sewers. Water should ideally drain there by gravity, i.e. the network should again have a slight slope. At the intersection, and sometimes along the boundaries of the paths, along the edge of the blind area, at the entrance to the garage, at the entrance to the house, rain collectors are installed, from which water is diverted through the channels outside the site. The channel network can be connected to the sewer mains. For this, standard couplings are used.
But experts advise to build a separate ditch to collect drainage and surface water, as far as possible from the sewer well, in order to avoid flooding of the sump and the emergence of "aromatic" slurry on the surface during floods. If rain flows are supposed to be dumped on the relief, special Drain blocks are used. They are buried in the ground, where they accumulate water, and then in small portions they bring it into the ground.
In the retail and wholesale trade network today you can find a great variety of components for the channel network. These are steel, and galvanized, and plastic (reinforced polypropylene or high density polyethylene) sections, and channels made of concrete reinforced with fiberglass. Concrete channels are respected for their increased strength, frost resistance and corrosion resistance. But the low weight of the plastic channels simplifies their transportation and installation. Duct sections are equipped with cast iron or galvanized or stainless, steel, and plastic gratings of various shapes, but gratings with mesh openings allow water to pass through better.
Another misfortune of our region is the sharp changes in not only seasonal, but also daily air temperature against the background of a large amount of precipitation. If frost hits after rain or snow and rain, then the paths and parking lots are covered with an ice crust.
There are three ways to deal with ice. The first - manual mechanical - is obvious, the second - automatic, with the help of heating the canvas - we will consider separately, and the third - mechanical, but, so to speak, with a foot, should be mentioned separately. It is applicable in the case when the canvas is made not continuous, but typeset. Moreover, the size of the fragments, whether it be slabs, tiles or paving stones, does not matter. In any places, usually in the most popular places, an elastic profile made of frost-resistant elastic rubber is laid under the individual elements of the coating. Foreign manufacturers call it ShurStep and guarantee the preservation of rubber elasticity at temperatures from -60 ° C to + 60 ° C. The method of action of the device is simple: when the moving element is pressed, the profile bends and, returning to its previous position, breaks the ice into small pieces.
The foreign product has limitations - the tiles should not be thicker than 10 mm. Therefore, their classically black ShurStep is used mainly for anti-icing on stair steps and small patios. Domestic craftsmen have guessed to use porous rubber briquettes sealed from all sides, but so far this product is rare. The obvious simplicity of the method gives room for the imagination of home craftsmen. You can use foam rubber, pieces of soft frost-resistant plastic, and trimming of tires that have served their life. It is only important not to get carried away by the thickness of the pillow, so as not to stumble when walking.
From snow slurry and ice, car paths are successfully relieved by internal electric heating systems. Due to their high cost, these systems have not yet become widespread in our country, but they deserve consideration as the most comfortable systems. They can be arranged according to the principle of electric "warm floors": a heating cable is embedded in the cement mortar of the base, protected from freezing by a special casing made of heat and waterproof materials. The heating cable must have high mechanical strength, flexibility, ductility, moisture resistance, fire safety, and be characterized by a wide range of operating temperatures (-40 ... + 90 ° C).
The anti-icing system is connected to the mains with a voltage of 220 or 380 V. The safety of its operation is ensured by a residual current device (RCD) or a differential automatic device. This point is very important, because at the moment the self-regulating cable is turned on, inrush currents appear, the power of which is three or more times higher than the power of the rated currents.
To avoid overloads, the ballast is supplemented with a time relay, thanks to which the heating cable is switched on in stages. The installation of any anti-icing systems is difficult, therefore it should be carried out only by specialized organizations that are able to provide a long-term warranty for electrical equipment and installation and carry out post-warranty maintenance - control inspections and preventive maintenance of the system should be carried out at least once a quarter, and periodic tests should be carried out twice a year (in the spring and in the fall).
The system of electric heating of tracks is not a cheap pleasure for a foreign consumer, but it enjoys steady popularity, since improved cables no longer require high power, which allows achieving significant savings in operating costs. The paths connecting the main building and annexes connected by a common heating network can also be heated by a pipeline laid under them. However, in order to prevent pipeline breaks due to freezing, it is recommended to lay a redundant cable system. And in order for the heat to get to the path, and not to the ground under it and around it, the pipe must be closed on three sides with thermal insulation, and only then covered with sand. It turns out that the "sandwich" of the base under such tracks must have an additional layer.
Many potential customers of ready-made "warm paths" will be interested in knowing that they will have to choose the type of heat-insulating material, its thickness and the number of layers on their own. The industry produces many types of thermal insulation materials for pipes. In addition to slabs, briquettes and rolls of different formats, many materials are in the form of pipes of different diameters. Usually, the panels are laid out on the bottom of the trench as a base that reliably shields heat, and pipes are already laid on top of them. The indisputable advantage of such a system is the absence of operating costs, since both technical and sewage waters can act as a heat source. The disadvantages traditionally include the high cost of the system and the complexity of the gasket - thermal insulation materials must be installed overlapping to avoid the appearance of cold bridges.
The service life of the road, as already mentioned, is decades. In order for the track to be qualitatively heated during this entire period without unnecessary consumption of heat and energy resources, it is necessary to use a heat insulator with the same service life. Unfortunately, dealers of large companies producing thermal insulation materials (TIM) sometimes do not have all the information about the product and mislead buyers.
The fact is that not all TIMs are designed for long-term service, they are suitable for outdoor use and burying in the ground, because, when wet, they lose their insulating properties, and under the influence of frost they are destroyed. This is the behavior of materials based on mineral wool and expanded polystyrene, not sealed in special waterproofing shells, or expanded polystyrene with a loose outer layer. Large firms, as a rule, produce a wide range of products for different purposes, and it can be very difficult for a layman to determine what is needed by eye. Manufacturers do not hide the purpose of their products, the buyer should only carefully read the recommendations in the product annotation or in the advertising brochure. The complexity is the amount of texts that will have to be studied before it is possible to get to the truth. Thermal insulation is also welcomed in the case of a heating cable, but there is no need to build a ditch. For targeted anti-icing, it is enough to lay one layer of heat-insulating material under the cement mortar.
Maria Novikova, designer
Garden paths are often planned solely for organizational purposes and do not carry any aesthetic value. But landscape design exists to combine creativity, functionality and nature.
In this photo selection, we will show you that garden paths can serve not only for movement, but also be an independent design element on your site.
If you decide to design your own trail system, our first tip is to forget about all the rules and let your imagination lead the way. Any material is perfect for creating garden paths - from rough cobblestones and bricks to wooden planks. Paving garden paths can be combined with mosaic tiles or a mixture of grass, flowers and plants growing in your garden.
Take inspiration from photos and create your own garden paths and turn your lots into masterpieces of landscape art.
First, divide your plants into 2 categories: garden and vegetable garden. The first includes decorative plantings - flowers, shrubs, trees. The second - fruit plantings - vegetables, berries, roots.
For the flower bed, choose any flowers that you like.
Next challenge: zoning. To fence off one zone from another, plant low (50-60 cm) shrubs in a row - they divide the territory, but at the same time retain space. Popular types for hedges are: dogwood, spirea, thuja, boxwood, juniper, barberry, hydrangea. Living fences are also put in on the sides of the main paths to highlight and refine them.
What plot can do without trees? In a small area, you should not plant tall spruces or birches - stop at healthy fruit trees. Apple tree, pear, plum, apricot, cherry, hawthorn, mountain ash, bird cherry and others will bloom beautifully and fragrantly in spring, and delight in delicious juicy fruits in autumn. Trees are planted in a line along a fence or near buildings - for example, to create a comfortable shade near a house or in a lounge corner with a barbecue.
Another easy-to-implement option for a garden path involves laying large stones with a flat surface. These are fragments of rock that have different shapes, sizes and textures, so each stone is unique. They stand the test of time well, can age beautifully and will look great in any garden. This is a great idea if you want to give your garden a more natural, natural look.
The stone slabs are evenly distributed along the entire path at about a step distance from each other. In the intervals between them, grass and small herbal plants will grow freely. Flowers and shrubs can act as the boundaries of such a rocky path.
The rocks need to be well sunk into the ground, so you have to dig a little. Place a stone on the ground and, as it were, circle it with a knife, going deeper into the turf. Remove the sod with a shovel, make the ground as level as possible, and place a rock on the spot. Sprinkle with earth and tamp.
If slabs in the grass are too easy for you, make an elegant combination of stone and gravel paths. First, lay the stone slabs at a distance of one step from each other along the entire path. Then fill in the space around them with gravel or pebbles. This combination will make your garden much more interesting. To make it look beautiful, stones and gravel should be of different shades.