Patio pavers are a common way to add some extra entertainment space to your landscape. But if you aren’t careful about laying the pavers, you may find that the pavers are failing and that you have to do the job all over again. Below are five of the most common reasons that patio pavers fail and what you can do to avoid these problems.

Dirt is Used as the Base

If you are using dirt as the base, you are going to have problems with sinking, rotating and separating pavers. Rather than having a nice, smooth surface, you are going to have a surface that is bumpy and uneven.

Dirt will shrink 30% when it’s compacted. Therefore, if you’re backfilling using dirt, the hardscape is going to settle by 30%. Therefore, rather than using dirt you want to use a base made of gravel.

Poor Drainage

One of the biggest reasons that patio pavers fail is that there is poor drainage. This can cause pavers to cave or sink into the ground beneath it as the ground erodes. It also can cause the pavers to crack.

Along with causing problems with your pavers, poor drainage also can cause your plant beds to be washed away. So you want to make sure that you have good drainage. Permeable pavers are a good option to ensure proper drainage, but you can also use a channel drain, stack drain, or French drain to keep water from pooling on your paver patio.

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Bedding Sand is Improperly Installed

The bedding sand is a very important part of the landscape. This will help stones to firmly settle into your base and remain in place. It also will provide a layer for leveling out any small discrepancies in your manufactured product and gravel base. But if the bedding sand is installed improperly, you are going to have voids or dips that show up in your finished product. This is even true for interlocking pavers that a homeowner might expect would stay level. 

The Base is Not Compacted

Before you lay your pavers or bedding sand, the gravel base must be firm and flat, without any rises or bellies that are more than 1/8 of an inch. This can be accomplished by compacting your pavers and base properly. If you don’t do this, you’re going experience raised or sunken pavers. This is especially noticeable with a walkway, since you can actually see it rise and fall through your landscaping. 

Your Base is Too Shallow

When you are digging your base, you want to make sure that you are digging it deep enough. You want to excavate ample work for laying a good gravel base. Four inches is recommended for areas of foot traffic and 6 to 10” is recommended for a driveway. If you are in an area that is really cold with weak or continually wet soil, you want to add another 2-4” aggregate to the gravel base. Any legitimate masonry specialist or paver installer should use these as minimums, not maximums.

The Best Way to Make Sure Your Patio Pavers Don’t Fail

Want to make sure your investment lasts for years, if not decades, to come? Hiring a professional paver contractor like BBP Pavers means you’ll get more than great designs and professional service. You’ll also get a long-lasting patio that won’t suffer from poor settling, grading, and all the other problems that can ruin a patio.

With service in Concord, Hayward, Walnut Creek, and throughout the Bay Area, help is just around the corner. See a few of our completed patio projects or contact us today to get started with a free bid!