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Why do pavers and retaining walls need repairs?

Why do pavers and retaining walls need repairs?

Over the years we have taken on many hardscape repair projects for paver patios, paver walkways, paver driveways and retaining walls. It seems that each project that we encounter teaches us something new about what mistakes other companies have made in building their hardscapes. For pavers and retaining walls, the main issue of failure that we come across is an improper base installation. Installing base material correctly is the most important factor in making pavers and retaining walls last for a long time. For the gravel base, we use 21AA Limestone. Many other companies use crushed concrete because it is cheaper to buy. Unfortunately, the crushed concrete is not nearly as durable as the 21AA Limestone that we use. Another common mistake that we find is that some contractors will not put down the correct amount of gravel base for their project. In other cases, some companies installed too thick of a layer of slag sand, which is the top leveling layer of base material that pavers and retaining walls are laid onto. We always strive to use a very thin layer of slag sand to perfect our final leveling. Slag sand is a much finer material compared to gravel and is not nearly as structurally sound. When applying a thick layer of about 4 to 5 inches of slag sand, it will actually weaken the base overall.


Proper compaction of the base material is a must. Using the proper compaction tools and thoroughly compacting your base will help ensure the longevity of your project. We have noticed on many projects that other contractors will put down the majority of their base and compact it all at once. Doing this will not allow all of the base to get a proper and thorough compaction. We always install base in layers and then wet down the base material and compact it after each layer is applied.


For brick pavers, having a proper pitch is essential. If a patio is built without pitch, it will allow for water to settle on the patio which will result in the pavers sinking or sometimes heaving. Once an area on a patio will settle, the area will continue to grow over time as more and more water will gather in that area. Many of times we have been called out to fix a patio that has pitch going back towards the house. This can result in basement flooding issues. It is important for hardscapes to always pitch away from the house to keep it protected from water. When you apply the proper amount of pitch, water will run off of the hardscape and drain properly outside of the pavers.

If you have a brick paver or retaining wall project that is in need of repairs, call Allscapes YOUR landscaping company at 734-775-5526 today!

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