How To Fix Sunken Patio Pavers

A paver patio has the durability of concrete, but it is simpler to install and more decorative than plain cement, all while also being easier to repair. One issue that can occur with pavers is a sunken area. This usually occurs because the base materials weren't properly installed, but occasionally it can be because of soil shifting underneath the patio. The following will help you repair the section without replacing the entire patio.

Step #1: Remove the problem pavers

The first task is to lift out any sunken pavers. Begin by scraping the sand out of joints in between the paving stones, using either a narrow chisel or a flat-head screw driver. Once the joints are clear, insert the tip of the chisel or screwdriver underneath the paver and gently lever it loose, working around the edges until it is loose enough to pick up and remove. Work slowly so that the paver isn't broken.

Step #2: Verfiy the damaged area

Once the obviously sunken pavers are removed, place a level on the patio and check the grade all around the sunken area. The level will let you know if some of the pavers surrounding the damage are dipping, even slightly, toward the sunken area. If so, remove these pavers as well.

Step #3: Level the base

The next step is to add paver sand to the area where the pavers where removed. Fill the area with sand until it measures as level. Then, place a short 2-by-4 board on top of the sand, laying it flat. Use a rubber mallet to hammer the board and compact the sand, moving the board so you compact the entire exposed base area. Once done, check the level and add more sand if needed, repeating the process.

Step #4: Reinstall the pavers

The base is level and compact, so now it's time to replace the pavers. Simply place them back in place on top of the sand, and then fill in the joints between each paver with more sand. Use your board and mallet to gently tamp the pavers into place. If a paver is broken, simply replace it with a new one. Keep in mind that the color may differ slightly until the new paver has aged and weathered. You can also turn a paver over before reinstallation if one side is badly stained or discolored. If you need help with this repair process, contact a local paving contractor.