Brick Paver Patio issues

glassrJune 22, 2011

Hello. Our patio is 5 years old and it is looking uneven lately. I attached some photos at the garage door base and at the flower bed that look uneven where black border is seen. Can anyone offer opinion as to what is going on and if anything needs to be done immediately? Nothing feels loose. Just looks weird. Thanks.

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    Bookmark   June 22, 2011 at 11:02AM
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The view in your last photo appears as if you have a retaining wall separating your patio from the neighbors lawn.

If yes, how high. Was the surface leveled in order to install the patio or pre-existing? How long had it pre-existed? If the space was builders' back-fill and To me it appears there is settling or frost heave. Do you get frost where you reside? How deep is the gravel base below the patio and was it plate compacted? Drainage - any standing water adjacent following a rain?

You may not be able to answer these questions, but typically these are the issues which cause the surface to become uneven - improper compacting/settling, insufficient base and/or ineffective drainage. You have a nice landscape and interesting patio. Most likely it will need to be removed and reinstalled but the cause of the settling must be identified and corrected or reoccurrence will happen.

Sorry I can't offer an easy solution, a local installer should evaluate the site.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2011 at 4:05PM
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Yikes. Remove and reinstall. There are lawsuits if that is the case. This was costly. I believe that is a retaining wall. It is a knee wall and goes below the surface of the patio. The surface was excavated and leveled. We get frost. and deep snow. Don't know how deep the gravel base is. Don't believe we have standing water. Was installed by a company with a storefront who had been around for a while and licensed by the Maryland Home Improvement Commission.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2011 at 5:25PM
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How unfortunate and a stylish patio is a big investment. Hopefully the company is still in business and will stand behind their work. Did this just happen or has it been progressive year-to-year? This past winter was very cold in the midwest and frost went unusually deep.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2011 at 7:31AM
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I believe it just happened. I hope we would have noticed if it was this way before this summer. We live in MD and have had amazing snowfalls 2010 and 2011. Other than being nice, is there any reason the company should feel responsible for this after 5 years? Nothing seems loose and there doesn't seem to be settling anywhere else.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2011 at 9:24AM
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I suspect the builders' liability is only to what they did and the terms and conditions attached to the contract. Five years is probably beyond what what is normally guaranteed.

Nevertheless, adequate drainage and sufficient base material for your climate would be part of the build to prevent abnormal settling and frost heave. If you can determine some of this to be substandard then you have better protection. Did you have a building permit for the install? If so, check with the city for the code requirements. No permit, I hate to say, pretty much leaves you at the mercy of the install crew.

Sure hope you can get this remedied easily. Good luck.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2011 at 1:05PM
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Thanks for you help. Do you know if there is an easy way for me to find out paver manufacturer. I'd like to speak with them about the situation. Unfortunately, I don't remember who made them and I have no extras.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2011 at 5:19PM
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Remove one and see if the manufacturer included their name in the mold. Probably would be on an edge.

Most pavers are made regionally because of the cost to ship.

However, your situation is not a paver manufacturing issue. Generally a base of 4 - 6 inches of gravel plus an inch of bedding sand is recommended. Additional base for significant weight like a hot tub or for a driveway. You can find that type of information on line or from anyplace that sells pavers.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2011 at 8:28AM
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Summer 2010, I did notice ants tunneling down into a hole between pavers and out the bottom. They were holding little stones. It was cool to see, but I stopped it immediately. I do not see any falling or damage in that area. I wonder if ants are destroying other "under" areas that causing the patio to sink in places?

    Bookmark   June 24, 2011 at 10:12AM
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I can't imagine ants doing that much excavating. What you saw were grains of sand from right below the pavers.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2011 at 9:52AM
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