We live in Milwaukee, WI. Our front porch has a combination of bluestone pavers as well as brick on the stoops with mortar joints. We have had repeated problems with presumably water/expansion in the mortar joints causing cracks/loosening of the joints and subsequently the pavers/stoops over years.
We have taken the whole porch down to the concrete block and rebuilt it. We have also tried tuckpointing a few times, etc. However, every 2-3 years the issues come back. We have had it sealed a few times as well, though not done every year. The porch is not covered, so it is exposed to all of the elements year round. I am very careful to not get driveway salt on it however.
Is there any "permanent" or longer lasting solution that you think is worth trying? I have looked into the idea of concrete stamping so as to eliminate the issues with the joints/mortar. However, in reading about this, I have also read that the stamping will also crack and can be slippery when it is sealed (not good on a front porch).
Should we just go the tuckpointing route again? Is there a type of mortar to use that may last longer? Should we seal the porch every year, and if so, what product works best?
I don't anticipate covering the porch, so regardless of which option we choose, it will still be exposed to our summer/winter conditions. We are tired of spending thousands of dollars on this porch every few years and would really value your opinion. Thanks very much in advance.