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Old 04-07-2019, 05:44 PM   #1
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burying concrete blocks for walkway with maximal drainage


I plan to dig a 14" deep bed 3'x10" around the side of the house this year and lay concrete blocks over a 4" base layer of gravel, fill the block cavities with gravel and then add an additional 2" of gravel over the top to completely cover the blocks. A sturdy walkway with maximal drainage is the goal here.


I've used turfstone around the house for similar applications with great success. But the blocks for this project will only cost me about 1/3 of the price plus the cost of gravel, which won't be much as I usually have 15 yards on the property for other ongoing concrete work.



Can anyone foresee any issues burying and filling concrete blocks like this? What about driving a vehicle over this, do you think the blocks could withstand the weight of a car/light truck?
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Old 04-07-2019, 06:03 PM   #2
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Re: burying concrete blocks for walkway with maximal drainage


Is there a place for the water to run out once it drains into your trench? Otherwise it will just fill up with water during heavy rains.


Honestly, I don't know if putting block in there will help or hurt. Think I would be inclined to back fill it with crushed stone. Compact it and call it good.
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Old 04-07-2019, 06:09 PM   #3
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Re: burying concrete blocks for walkway with maximal drainage


Drainage around the house is good as long as it has a place to go, like the perimeter drain around the footing, but if the soil below will not allow that, most people try to move water away from the house. That makes a better argument for a concrete sidewalk.
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Old 04-07-2019, 06:15 PM   #4
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Re: burying concrete blocks for walkway with maximal drainage


Yes there is a decent slope away from the house that I will maintain, about an 1" per foot, and I will slope the walkway back towards the back of the house, probably 2" per 4' where runoff will drain down a steep hill (18' drop over about 12').


I plan to park a trailer here, so I want the pathway to be good and solid, but I would also like the option of parking a car here at times.



The over all measurements are actually 6'x20', not 3x10', just twice a big, but that shouldn't matter much, except that using blocks for 1/3 the cost becomes even more overall savings this way.
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Old 04-07-2019, 06:20 PM   #5
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Re: burying concrete blocks for walkway with maximal drainage


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Originally Posted by Yodaman View Post
Honestly, I don't know if putting block in there will help or hurt.
You think hurt because there will be no drainage between blocks? I thought about that, but I figure with water falling from above that shouldn't matter much since the drainage thru the block cavities, filled with gravel, should pretty much be drain without issue to the 4" gravel bed below where runoff should pretty much free flow to the drop off.
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Old 04-07-2019, 06:25 PM   #6
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Re: burying concrete blocks for walkway with maximal drainage


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Originally Posted by naphelge View Post
The over all measurements are actually 6'x20', not 3x10', just twice a big, but that shouldn't matter much, except that using blocks for 1/3 the cost becomes even more overall savings this way.



Are you suggesting you can buy block cheaper than crushed stone? I can buy crushed stone at $35/yd, that is equal in cost to about (20) 8x16 CMU
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Old 04-07-2019, 06:31 PM   #7
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Re: burying concrete blocks for walkway with maximal drainage


People have already worked out the science of compacting aggregate so it will take loads like cars and trucks.
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Old 04-07-2019, 06:36 PM   #8
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Re: burying concrete blocks for walkway with maximal drainage


You could also do a 6 x 20 x 6" dp with a little over 2yds of concrete. Screeding and working a 6 x20 wouldn't be terribly difficult. Broom finish makes it even easier.
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Old 04-07-2019, 06:42 PM   #9
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Re: burying concrete blocks for walkway with maximal drainage


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Originally Posted by Yodaman View Post
I can buy crushed stone at $35/yd, that is equal in cost to about (20) 8x16 CMU
Yeah, I get 20 yards at a time for about $550. But I can get 8x16 blocks for $1 a pc.


I was originally thinking of using turfstone to add a good foundation for a walkway and a place to keep my trailer, but CB would be so much cheaper and perhaps provide an even more solid base being so deep.


My real question is do you think the CB filled with gravel will withstand the weight of a vehicle when req'd? My guess is yes, if the cavities remain packed.
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Old 04-07-2019, 06:52 PM   #10
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Re: burying concrete blocks for walkway with maximal drainage


I think the blocks will move around on you with heavy loads and actually keep the gravel from compacting.


Bondo will find this thread eventually and have some words of wisdom for you.
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Old 04-07-2019, 07:18 PM   #11
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Re: burying concrete blocks for walkway with maximal drainage


ck out 'grasspave' - did that yrs ago for the augusta natl's parking lots on berckman road,,, process more important that product but pay attn to drainage
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Old 04-07-2019, 07:21 PM   #12
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Re: burying concrete blocks for walkway with maximal drainage


Ayuh,..... My concern is drainin' the 14" deep hole yer gonna be diggin' to put the blocks in,....

I'd just dig a 12" deep box-out, that self-drains,.....
'n fill it back up with compacted in steps, crusher run stone,.....
Maybe 2" minus for the 1st 10", 'n another 2" of 3/4" minus to top it off to final grade,.....

A foot of compacted crusher run will support anything you park there, short of a heavily loaded class 8 truck, in the rainy season,....

The blocks will be a waste of time, 'n you'll never compact the stone inside the cells,....
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Old 04-07-2019, 07:32 PM   #13
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Re: burying concrete blocks for walkway with maximal drainage


https://www.lowes.com/pd/belgard-anc...9e9d9dddcec8be
similar const but for restraining lateral loads - we don't worry about compaction
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Old 04-08-2019, 08:44 AM   #14
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Re: burying concrete blocks for walkway with maximal drainage


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The blocks will be a waste of time, 'n you'll never compact the stone inside the cells,....
^^X2 the ayuh on that one
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Old 04-08-2019, 01:45 PM   #15
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Re: burying concrete blocks for walkway with maximal drainage


Whatever you do, lay down a layer of geoxtextile on your subgrade or you'll just be wasting your gravel.
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