You’ve decided to install concrete pavers in your outdoor area. Great! You’ve chosen your pavers, prepared the area and done the work to install them. Now you have a lovely outdoor area to enjoy – but after a few years, you realise that your beautiful pavers are sinking. All your time, money and effort gone to waste!
While this can be a devastating scenario, it’s also quite a common one. However, there are plenty of steps you can take to ensure that your pavers don’t sink and stay right where you put them. When properly installed, pavers will last for decades. It’s when pavers are improperly installed that problems arise.
First, what causes pavers to sink?
Improper installation is almost always the cause of sinking pavers. If you’re noticing sunken spots in your pavers, settling and puddling, that’s usually a sign that substandard paver installation took place.
Your pavers are likely to sink if:
- The paver base was not properly compacted before installing the pavers
- The spaces where trees grew, or tree roots existed were not filled in properly once they were removed
- The paver base was composed of inadequate materials
- A structured border around the paved area was not used
- The paver base was not deep enough, as this will compromise the structure
Not only do sinking pavers look messy, unsightly and unattractive, they can also pose a safety hazard. As well, shifting can lead to pavers breaking or the base being structurally compromised. As soon as you notice signs of shifting or sinking, it’s wise to address the problem before it causes further damage. Here’s what you need to do to fix the problem.
Before you install the pavers
Before you install the pavers is the best time to ensure you get it right. It’s vital to even out the ground carefully before installation, and use a levelling tool to ensure a good, even foundation.
Also make sure a proper drainage plan is used. Make sure you thoroughly compact the paver base to build a stable and solid foundation for the pavers. And use quality materials in the base – as your paved area is only as good as it’s foundation. Ensure the base is deep enough to support the pavers properly, and always add a solid border around the paved area to prevent any movement.
Don’t rush the process of installation. Take your time, complete each step thoroughly and carefully and you’ll be rewarded with a paver project that stands the test of time. Rushing or skimping on the process only guarantees one thing – sinking, shifting pavers that will cost you more money to repair in the long run.
Also read: How to protect pavers from weeds
After you’ve installed pavers
If you’ve already installed pavers, don’t worry, it’s not too late to prevent them from sinking. If there’s no edge restraints around the paved area, this is an easy fix to help prevent the pavers from shifting further.
If this is not the problem, that’s when things can get a little tricky. If the base was not properly installed, you may need to lift some (or all) of the existing pavers and correct the base before re-installing the pavers. It can be done (and it’s worth doing) but it may end up costing you more than you originally paid to lay the pavers.
Most pavers have great longevity when correctly installed, so make sure you get the process correct right from the start. If you’re considering pavers for your outdoor living space, have a look at Stonework’s quality range of artisan-style, moulded concrete pavers here.