Driveway Paving - Sandstone

What Causes Paving to Sink?

Over time, it’s not uncommon for your paved driveway, patio or walkway to develop sunken areas. When it comes to paving installations, small sunken areas are an unfortunate reality. Fortunately, brick paving is relatively easy to fix when there’s an issue. So, what causes paving to sink?

Shaky Ground

When it comes to low spots, the most likely culprit is an unstable ground beneath the paving. This is especially the case when you live in an area with steep gradients or soft sand, such as near a beach, where slight shifts in the earth can bend and warp the ground and the paver’s base material. This is often a very simple fix. Just remove the pavers in and around the sunken area then compact the sand before replacing the bricks in the same pattern.

Water Exposure

Another common cause of sunken pavers is damage caused by water erosion. If there’s an area on or around your paving where water collects, the water can seep into the ground causing your paving to shift with the soil. This is more likely if there is heavy traffic or if they carry heavy loads, such as parking lots and driveways.

Also, if you have a faulty outdoor sprinkler that leaks small amounts of water over an extended period, the pavers can end up sinking. Broken downpipes and gutters are a leading cause of water erosion-related damage caused by the prolonged exposure to large volumes of moving water. This type of situation can be tricky to fix as you need to start by fixing the source of the water erosion before moving on to paving repairs.

Poor Installation

Poor installation is also another major reason your paving may end up sinking. This is often as a result of DIY paving installations or inexperienced contractors that might not know the proper paver driveway thickness or more. Poor installation is more likely to be an expensive and involved scenario that may need you to remove the existing patio, resettle the base and start over from scratch. To avoid such a scenario, be sure to hire only a competent installer for your paving installation.

Bottom Line

What causes paving to sink? The short answer is that pavers are likely to sink due to poor installation, water exposure or shaky ground. The best way to remedy such a situation and fix your sunken pavers is to investigate the reason for the shift before starting the fixing process. Your best bet would be to reach out to professionals for their expertise and knowledge.

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