5 Methods To Prevent Shifting In Your Paver Patio

Paver patios are highly attractive, very budget-friendly, and quite durable. There can be concerns about the pavers shifting over time and becoming uneven. Fortunately, shifting issues are simple to avoid if you use the following methods to ensure a stable installation.  

1. Foundation Stability

Stable pavers require a stable foundation beneath them. This means digging out the site to the depth of the pavers plus an additional couple of inches so that the foundation extends below your local frost line. The ground is then compacted down. Fill consisting of a combination of gravel types in various sizes is added and then compacted so the gravel doesn't shift. This is all topped with a thick layer of sand that is also tamped down to prevent shifting.

2. Drainage Planning

Drainage may be needed, depending on how water flows through and off the site. Some types of drainage, like drainage pipes that run beneath the patio, may need to be installed along with the foundation in an especially wet site. Other types may be needed around the perimeter of the patio to route water away from the site. 

3. Weed Prevention

If weeds growing through the patio are a concern, then installing a weed cloth beneath the gravel layer of the foundation can prevent them from growing through. Tree roots can also be weedy in a patio site, as they can push up pavers if they grow beneath the patio. If there are trees nearby, installing a root barrier in the ground around the patio can prevent them from growing into the site.

4. Joint Fillers

There are a few ways to fill in the spaces between pavers. Mortar or cement can be used, although these materials are prone to cracking and crumbling away over time. Sand fillers are a better option because they allow for the natural temperature-induced expansion and contraction of the pavers so that they don't shift. Polymetric sand, also called paver or join sand, becomes semi-hard when it is wetted down after installation. This prevents it from washing out of the joints and makes it nearly impervious to weed incursion, both of which prevent shifting.

5.  Secure Edging 

Edging in the patio area will prevent the pavers from shifting outward from each other over time. You can use visible decorative edging, such as concrete curbing. Vinyl or rubber edging provides other options that are less visible but still get the job done. Your installer may recommend a specific type of edging if you have soil that easily shifts or other challenges to meet.

Contact a residential paver patio installer if you require more assistance with your project.