Your guests have been complimenting your pavers in the front yard; they’ve been saying that it blends well with your house. However, as time went by, you noticed that there had been crooked bricks; how are you going to assess the situation? Even though brick walkways can sink, homeowners still think that concrete is not the best option out there for their residential sidewalks. Pavers offer a rustic look while being affordable.
But why do pavers sink? And how can you fix them? This blog will tell you more!
Why pavers are sinking
For your home improvement project to succeed, you have to identify first what’s causing your residential walkways to sink.
Before installing the pavers, you must prepare the ground first. It is necessary, or otherwise, it will be an unstable ground. Significantly if pavers are stepped on regularly, unstable and shaky grounds make them susceptible to sinking.
Ground preparation determines whether the pavers will last or not. To do that, a solid soil subgrade is a must. Place your pavers in an area where there is not too much water. Despite good rock and sand layers, soil can shift if water rests close to the surface.
Moreover, to replace the bricks in the same pattern, you must remove the pavers in and around the sunken area after compacting the sand.
In most cases, DIY or inexperienced contractor installation results in improper installation. While it may be an easy task, it would still be best to entrust the project to the experts. After all, they’re trained for it. If you must know, poor installation worsens the situation. It often results in the necessary removal of the existing patio, resettling the base, or even going back to square one, which costs more money and time.
Further, laying pavers over an unprepared base can cause them to sink. It is necessary to lay the paver stones on a bed of coarse sand or compacted gravel. But this only applies if the ground is not a firm surface.
To avoid this scenario, make sure to do a quick background and experience check on the contractor you are hiring. Or, if you really insist on doing the job yourself to cut costs, think twice before taking action. This kind of job requires comprehensive experience and training.
Another common cause of uneven brick pavers is water exposure. If your residential sidewalks’ paver is placed in an area where water usually gathers around, the pavers will eventually soften, causing them to sink. If the water seeps into the ground, your paving stones may shift with the soil. The pavers might wear out faster if they see heavy traffic or carry heavy loads as you would expect in a parking lot or driveway.
Avoid this situation from happening by not neglecting it. Address the issue as early as you can. Before you start with paver repairs, it would be best to fix the problem first by arranging the water erosion source.
How to fix uneven and sunken pavers
After knowing the potential cause of your uneven brick pavers, let’s move on to how to do the job correctly. Here’s a step-by-step tutorial to guide you on your fixing uneven pavers journey!
Step 1: Planning
It is necessary to plan everything out first before doing the job, and you don’t want to redo all the steps again. Plan the area you are going to work on, and concentrate on that area.
Step 2: Gather the tools
After the planning step, proceed to get the tools you will need. If you have some of these materials in your toolkit, you might as well use them. However, if you don’t, you can buy them at the nearest store. The main materials you need are a paver base, tamper, and paver sand. But, if you want a different filler with a quality to prevent ants from making sand piles and weeds from growing in between the bricks, opt to buy polymeric sand.
Please refer to the list below for other materials you will use aside from tamper, paver base, and paver sand (or polymeric sand):
- shovel or spade
- block of wood
Step 3: Remove existing bricks
Simply wedge a screwdriver into the dirt/sand between the bricks and scrape it out. Watering the bricks might help soften them in their place so you can lift them out more quickly. With a screwdriver, pull up underneath the brick, and it will come out. It is also necessary to scrape off hardened sand and other debris so it’s not dirty when you put the bricks back in.
Step 4: Analyze the dirt
Check the dirt/sand before replacing the bricks. In some cases, the original bricklayers only put sand down. As a result, the sand sinks more than gravel and doesn’t allow for adequate drainage. You can fix this by laying some paver base/gravel down and interspersing it with the existing sand.
Step 5: Replace the bricks.
Now, it’s time to replace the bricks. Make sure to carefully put the bricks in place because they are hard to make them level. Although, you can use a wood board or mallet to smack them. Before leveling, ensure to leave a small space around the edges for the sand. It is just easy to adjust them with a screwdriver if you don’t get it exactly right.
Step 6: Fill in the sand.
Make sure your bricks are precisely where you want them to be, then pour your sand all over the cracks and carefully sweep it in. Water the sand down so it shrinks. Don’t worry; you have to repeat this process until the sand stops sinking. This method helps with evening out the bricks.
Can’t DIY? Call an expert
It’s okay, even if, after watching all the Youtube tutorials and reading this blog, you are still not confident that you can do the job correctly. Experts exist for a reason. They have the knowledge and expertise to perform the job; just make sure that you hire the one that offers a quality service. Entrusting your uneven pavers to professional and trusted masonry contractors might even save you from future troubles and costs.
Call an expert now, and ask for a quote.