Kerbs – More than Edges: Discover the Many Uses and Types

Kerbs form such an integral part of the road infrastructure in urban areas that we hardly notice them until the vehicle’s tyre collides with an unmountable type, which also means it performed 100% according to its intended purpose.

However, when it comes to choosing kerbs for a particular purpose, how do you choose, and why is the precast type better? Read on to learn about the functions, types and reasons to purchase wet pressed precast types. For pictures and specifications of available types, visit our kerb page here.

Main Functions of Kerbs

Real estate agents often refer to the kerb-appeal of homes, but what they are actually referring to is the pavement, garden, house design, and general attractiveness of the property. The kerb is only the edge of the pavement, but it performs important functions, which depend on its design and where it’s installed. Herewith are the main functions:

  • Delineates the pavement edge to create a visible boundary between the vehicle path and the area demarcated for parking, pedestrians, and cyclists.
  • If non-mountable and used as pavement edge, it discourages motorists from driving onto the pavement area.
  • Separates two vehicle lanes as a raised median to prevent vehicles from crossing over to the other lane.
  • Provides pavement structural support to keep the higher-lying soil from spilling onto the drive area.
  • Channels water run-off into the stormwater drainage system to prevent roads from flooding.
  • Creates an attractive finish to the pavement area, which explains the term “kerb appeal.”
  • Provides an entrance or exit point from a higher lying area to and from the road, such as a driveway.
  • Serves as attractive landscape boundaries.
  • Provides structural support to a rural road where it is installed underneath the surface at the edge of the tarred section to prevent erosion.
  • Improves road safety in low-speed urban areas.
  • Serves to redirect vehicles back into their original paths upon angle-side impact at low speed.
  • Shows pedestrians where to stop before crossing intersections or pedestrian crossings.

Types of Kerbs

Types range from mountable to semi-mountable, garden, and barrier. The types are characterised by their height, shape, design, and size. The barrier kerb has a vertical side, which makes it difficult for a vehicle to mount. As the name suggests, it serves as a boundary and to discourage mounting the paved area, prevent vehicles from parking in non-demarcated areas, and to discourage motorists from leaving the demarcated drive path.

The mountable types have sloped sides to allow pedestrians with trolleys or prams, disabled people, and cyclists to move onto or from the walk area. These are also used at driveways for improved access for vehicles.

Semi-mountable kerbs are not as high as the barrier types and have slight slopes at the top section, making it possible to mount at a slow speed. The garden kerbs have a lower profile, like the ones available from us that measure 1000 x 150 x 75 mm.

Why Buy Wet-Pressed Precast Kerbs?

On-site casting takes time, is dependent on factors such as availability of space, water, cement, sand, moulds, labour, and time. It’s a time-consuming process and can delay the road construction process. It’s less cost-effective than installing precast kerbs. With on-site casting, it’s difficult to standardise the mix, ensure standard lengths, and monitor quality. It also translates into wastage of water and mix. In addition, it’s less environmentally friendly than using precast types.

With the wet-pressed precast methods used, standardisation is in place while quality control is possible. A production line is established for fast and efficient production with minimal waste, also translating into cost savings. The products are delivered to the worksite and are available in standard sizes. The latter makes it possible to plan for the costs ahead of time.

Final Thoughts

Kerbs are essential structures for urban and non-urban road infrastructure. Buying quality SABS-approved types is important for durability, ease of installation and performance. MVA Bricks offers competitive prices on quality products and delivers throughout Gauteng. View our quality kerbs here.