Do you have a block paving driveway or patio in Cumbria that is starting to sink? This is a common problem and can be caused by a variety of factors, such as poor drainage, substandard base preparation, or the use of low-quality materials. The good news is that there are several ways to address this issue and prevent it from happening again in the future.
At Drainage Cumbria, we are a professional drainage company based in Cumbria, North West England. We specialize in drainage solutions for both commercial and residential properties, including the prevention of block paving sinking. In this article, we will discuss the causes of block paving sinking, the steps you can take to prevent it, and how to repair it if it does occur.
Block paving is a popular choice for driveways and patios due to its durability and aesthetic appeal. However, if it is not installed correctly or maintained properly, it can sink over time. Here are some of the most common causes of block paving sinking:
Water is the enemy of any paving material, and block paving is no exception. If the area where your block paving is located does not have adequate drainage, water can accumulate and weaken the subbase, causing the blocks to sink. This is especially true in areas with heavy rainfall or if the paving is near a low-lying area.
The subbase is an essential part of any block paving installation. It provides a stable foundation for the blocks and helps distribute the weight of vehicles and foot traffic evenly. If the subbase is not prepared correctly, it can lead to sinking and unevenness in the paving. This can be caused by improper excavation, insufficient compaction, or using the wrong type or amount of aggregate.
Block paving is available in a wide range of quality and price points, and it can be tempting to opt for the cheapest option. However, low-quality blocks and sand can lead to sinking and cracking over time. It's essential to invest in high-quality materials, such as dense concrete blocks and sharp sand, to ensure a durable and long-lasting installation.
The best way to prevent block paving sinking is to address the underlying causes. Here are some steps you can take to ensure a stable and durable block paving installation:
Make sure the area where your block paving is located has adequate drainage. This can include installing a French drain, a soakaway, or simply ensuring that water flows away from the paving and into a nearby drain. It's also essential to keep the drainage system clear of debris and regularly maintain it to prevent blockages.
Hiring a professional contractor to install your block paving is crucial to ensure that the subbase is prepared correctly, and high-quality materials are used. The contractor should also be experienced in managing drainage issues and be able to advise you on the best course of action for your particular situation.
Regular maintenance is key to preventing block paving sinking. This includes keeping the paving clean and free of debris, removing any weeds or moss that may grow between the blocks, and topping up the jointing sand as needed. It's also a good idea to have your paving inspected annually to identify any issues early on.
If your block paving has already started to sink, don't worry it's not the end of the world. Here are some steps you can take to repair the area and prevent further sinking:
The first step is to remove any blocks that have sunk or become uneven. This can be done by carefully lifting them out with a screwdriver or chisel. Be sure to work slowly and methodically to avoid damaging the surrounding blocks.
Once the blocks have been removed, the subbase should be excavated to a depth of at least 150mm (6 inches). This will ensure that it is stable and will not sink again. The subbase should then be compacted using a plate compactor or vibrating roller until it is firm and level.
The next step is to replace the sunk or uneven blocks with new ones. Be sure to use high-quality blocks that match the existing ones as closely as possible. The blocks should be laid in a staggered pattern and tapped down gently with a rubber mallet until they are level with the surrounding blocks.
Once the blocks are in place, the jointing sand should be topped up and compacted using a plate compactor. This will help to secure the blocks in place and prevent them from moving or sinking.
Block paving sinking is a common problem that can be caused by several factors, such as poor drainage, substandard base preparation, or low-quality materials. The best way to prevent block paving sinking is to address the underlying causes and ensure that your paving is installed correctly and maintained regularly.
If your block paving has already started to sink, don't panic. Drainage Cumbria can help you repair the damage and prevent further sinking. Contact us today at 01228 734162 or email us at [email protected] to schedule a consultation or to learn more about our services.