Picture of Michael Garcia
Michael Garcia

Michael is a Horticultural Technician, Certified Concrete Paving Installer and Smart About Salt Trained Operator. He manages business operations as well as project consulting. He is passionate about creating and maintaining high-quality landscapes. When not working, he enjoys traveling, watching a Toronto FC game and socializing with friends & family.

Article created on Apr 3, 2018 8:00:00 AM

How concrete pavers can fail - when installed wrong

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We complete many paver repairs each year, and each pavement has its own set of issues that we address. Typically we repair new systems installed incorrectly or older systems that are starting to fail due to a lack of maintenance.

The Issues

In this example, this concrete pavement is 15 to 20 years old. Over time with traffic, water and salt, pieces are now cracking and deteriorating. An important point to take note of, once holes and open-air cracks start to form in concrete paver pavements, water and dirt will begin to wreak havoc. Rain will start to erode the pavement in areas it's not meant to (meaning the pavement was only engineered to withstand wear and tear on the surface, not between or below), and dirt will allow a place for weeds to grow and push pavers when it freezes in the winter.


An important discovery we made on this particular job site is the condition of the pavers that were pulled up in another area of the property. These concrete pavers are similar in age and were pulled up in the entrance where some city road work was taking place.

You'll notice that the bottom of the pavers is bumpy and degrading. What has happened here is the concrete pavers have been chemically reacting with base material installed under the pavers. These pavers were more than likely installed on top of stone dust (stone chips) which is a material that has a lot of fine particles.
 
(This video demonstrates the moisture retention of stone dust (stone chips) compared to the industry standard sand & gravel base. Skip to minute 2:25 for the moisture demonstration.)

These fines hold moisture and do not allow water to drain freely beneath the pavers. It is likely that during the winter, compounds from de-icing products sat in the area beneath the pavers and over time ate away at the concrete.

Conclusion

 
As a result, eventually, this pavement will begin to have more pavers fail over time. This could lead to the very costly expense of replacing the entire pavement.
 

Speak to Our Team

If you're experiencing issues with your existing concrete pavers, contact our team. We'd be glad to help you understand what may be happening with it.

Schedule a Call

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Picture of Michael Garcia
Michael Garcia

Michael is a Horticultural Technician, Certified Concrete Paving Installer and Smart About Salt Trained Operator. He manages business operations as well as project consulting. He is passionate about creating and maintaining high-quality landscapes. When not working, he enjoys traveling, watching a Toronto FC game and socializing with friends & family.

Article created on Apr 3, 2018 8:00:00 AM