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Common Problems for Concrete Paving Stones — and How to Fix Them

A beautiful walkway, driveway, or patio constructed of concrete pavers is an excellent way to give your outdoor space a stunning update that is both functional and impactful on the value of your home. These hardscaping projects can provide you with strong, durable areas to entertain or create elegant, level, low-maintenance surfaces that make walking or driving easier. But there are some common problems for concrete paving stone hardscaping that you should be aware of. What are some of those common issues you can run into, how can they be fixed, and — more importantly — how can they be avoided?

Concrete Paving

Tribeca Masonry contractors are specialists in patio masonry in Bergen County, NJ, and the surrounding areas. We have extensive experience in installing and repairing paver hardscaping and can offer you some insight into common problems with concrete pavers, how to fix them, and how to avoid them. Here are some of those potential issues:

Concrete Paving Cracking

Concrete pavers can crack over time due to improper installation, uneven surfaces, exposure to extreme temperatures, or heavy loads.

Fixing the problem: The best way to fix any concrete paving that is cracked or otherwise damaged requires removing and replacing the cracked or damaged pavers.

Avoiding the problem: A professional installation using a proper base and appropriate expansion joints can help prevent cracking.

Fading or Discoloration

One of the most common problems for concrete paving stones is fading and discoloration. The pigments used to give concrete pavers their color can fade due to sunlight exposure, harsh weather, frequent high-pressure washing, frequent contact with shoes or tires, or even exposure to strong chemicals.

Fixing the problem: If your concrete pavers have faded, you have options for restoring their color. A paver sealant can be used to enhance the color of faded pavers. Concrete pavers can also be stained to change their color completely.

Avoiding the problem: To avoid the problem of fading concrete pavers, select a high-quality paver resistant to UV rays and weathering.

Shifting or Settling

Concrete surfaces made of pavers can become uneven over time due to shifting, settling, or pavers sinking due to a lack of compaction. Uneven pavers can make walkways difficult and even dangerous by creating a trip hazard. If a concrete walkway or driveway has become uneven, it may be due to faulty installation on a surface that was not level.

Fixing the problem: Fixing shifting or settling concrete pavers requires removing the affected pavers, leveling the ground below them, and reinstalling them. If concrete pavers are affected throughout the walkway or driveway, that can mean removing and reinstalling most or all of the pavers.

Avoiding the problem: To avoid issues with shifting or settling pavers, the base material should be adequately prepared with a suitable foundation designed to work with the specific soil type.

Weed Growth

Weeds can grow just about anywhere, including the spaces between pavers or through cracks in pavers. They can be an unsightly and persistent problem for concrete paver walkways and driveways.

Fixing the problem: A multitude of lawn and garden products are available for addressing weeds manually using tools or using various weed-killing products specifically designed for hardscaping.

Avoiding the problem: Professional contractors can take several steps to install a concrete paver walkway that resists weeds. Using a base of compacted gravel or crushed stone will allow water to drain away and prevent weed seeds from germinating. Landscape contractors can also use a layer of weed-inhibiting landscape fabric on top of the compacted base before installing the pavers. Most weed fabrics are designed to allow water to seep through while blocking the light necessary for weeds to germinate. Typically, these weed fabrics are marketed by how long they are guaranteed to block weeds, often in ranges of 2, 5, 10, or 20 years. Additionally, contractors can use polymeric sand between the joints of the pavers. Polymeric sand hardens when mixed with water and makes it less likely to allow for weed growth than regular sand.

Drainage Problems

Improperly installed pavers can also cause drainage problems. The most obvious sign of a poor drainage problem is pooling or puddling of water on the walkway, driveway, or paver patio. Improper drainage can lead to erosion, water damage, and slippery surfaces.

Fixing the problem: Drainage issues on concrete patio walkways or driveways can usually be resolved, depending on the severity of the problem. First, the cause of the problem needs to be isolated. It can be caused by anything from a low spot in the walkways to improper grading. If the walkway is flat, adding a slope can improve drainage. Additionally, a contractor can install drainage in a low spot to help redirect water away from the area.

Avoiding the problem: Using a professional for paver installation can ensure appropriate consideration for drainage. In addition, properly preparing the area for pavers can prevent drainage issues. Skilled contractors can identify potential problems before installation and develop a solution at the design stage to address them.

We Can Help You Avoid or Repair Concrete Paver Problems

Knowing how to fix concrete paving issues is always helpful. But the best way to solve common problems with concrete paving stones is to avoid them entirely by ensuring you have them professionally installed. Proper installation involves:

  1. Using high-quality, long-lasting materials.

  2. Developing a plan to address potential drainage issues.

  3. Properly preparing the area and creating a suitable base.

  4. Using appropriate methods to help prevent weeds.

At Tribeca Masonry, we understand common problems for concrete paving stones, and our highly-trained contractors know how to fix concrete paving issues correctly and efficiently. We also specialize in outdoor step construction in Essex County, NJ, and the surrounding areas. No matter what hardscaping project you have in mind, our professional installers can ensure high-quality, durable, and aesthetically-pleasing results that will add value and functionality to your outdoor space. So book an appointment today to discuss making your dream paver, brickwork, or stonework project a reality.


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