Over time there’s a danger that outdoor paving may become uneven and begin to sink. Repairing sinking outdoor paving is a difficult process, but it is important for maintaining the look of your backyard and keeping your outdoor area safe for your family and guests. Find out how to repair sinking paving and keep your backyard looking good.

Why Paving Stones Sink

Paving stones sink for a variety of reasons. The most common reason is because they were laid incorrectly, without the right materials to provide proper drainage and support. This is why professional installation is often recommended.  Weeds growing between pavers can also increase the chance of sinking. The sooner you act to solve the problem of sinking pavers the better placed you will be to prevent a large repair job from being required. Remember that repairing one paver will be far easier than repairing an entire patio.

Removing Pavers

When a paving stone begins to sink you will need to get beneath it to be able to repair it. Getting a central paver out can be very difficult, but there are some tricks that you can use. The first important step is to scrape out all of the soil and build up from the gaps on all sides of the paver. This will give you room to manoeuvre and enable you to pull the paver out. You can then get the paver out using thick wire (like coat hanger wire) that is bent to create a hook that can be slid underneath. With three or four hooks you will then be able to lift the paver out. Alternatively a crowbar will work, but you need to protect the surrounding pavers with a thin piece of ply so that you do not chip them.

Digging Out the Base

Digging out the base of the paver is the next important step. The foundation will need to be replaced to create a level surface once again. You should dig out the base from beneath the paver, but it is important that you do not remove the foundation from beneath the surrounding pavers at the same time. Digging a square with one inch to spare around each side will ensure that you do not do so. Once you have dug this out you should then compress the earth below the foundations so that you have a solid base on which to build.

Replacing the Foundations

Replacing the foundations is a simple step. Begin with gravel that is laid on the soil. This should then be compressed down so that it sits tightly with the soil and is neatly level. On top of the gravel add a thin layer of sand that will act as the base for the paver. You will need to compress this and ensure that it is level with the base of the surrounding pavers and is completely flat. At this stage you should also be compressing the one-inch of space around the edge and ensuring that the entire area is flat.

Replacing the Paver

The next task is then to lower the paver into place, but this can be difficult. You will need at least two people to ensure that it is lowered levelly and does not make the base uneven. To complete the task add sand to the gaps around the edges of the pavers and brush sand in until the area is filled. Pouring some weed killer around the edges will also prevent any plants from taking hold and destroying your work.