A Guide to Fixing Shifting and Uneven Interlocking Pavers in Toronto

Like all other pavement types, interlocking pavers need tender love and care to maintain their aesthetics and longevity. You cannot leave this to chance or you will end up with cracked, discolored and uneven stones on your walkway or driveway. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to ensure this doesn’t happen.

What can be done to prevent uneven and shifting interlocking pavers? Here are 4 tips worth considering but what causes uneven and shifting of interlocking pavers?

Factors Causing Uneven Pavers

When the base holding the pavers hasn’t been correctly installed, the pavers are bound to sit at different heights. In most cases, the base is not deep enough or is of an uneven thickness. Also, if the area has clay soils, they tend to hold more water than sandy soils so when it freezes, the ground expands and pushes the pavers up. Even after thawing, the pavers just won’t go can’t go back to their original positions. Other factors that contribute to uneven pavers are poor drainage, inadequate groundbreaking, the presence of space between pavers and lack of restraint.

How to Fix Uneven Pavers

Uneven pavers are not pleasing to behold let but even more importantly, they are a health hazard to young kids. Luckily, fixing them is quite easy. Just follow these steps:

  • Insert a thin pry bar into two pavers until you reach the bottom of the pavers. Lift the bar from the location until you can grab it with your hands. Do this for all affected pavers in your driveway or walkway.
  • Dampen the area with water then add a layer of screened sand to cover any voids. Using a rake, smooth out the sand across the paver surface.
  • Next, run a metal vibrator over the sand to ensure perfect packing. Sink the pavers over the sand checking for unevenness every step of the way.
  • Spread joint sand on the surface of the pavers and sweep some of it into the paver joints as well.

Actors Causing Shifting Pavers

Thanks to the harsh Toronto winter, pavers sometimes shift out of place especially if they haven’t been restrained properly. Another factor that can lead to shifting is a scenario where the plastic or metal edging dislodges.

How to Fix Paver Shifting

Many residents of Toronto use stone dust as the setting bed for their interlocking pavers. This may seem cheap at first but you will certainly wish you had used gravel instead. Stone dust breaks down and changes to dust when it is thoroughly compacted. Like clay soil, stone dust also holds water and behaves in the same manner during freezing and thawing.

To be on the safe side, use ¾” processed gravel which has a mixture of small, medium, and large particle sizes for better compaction.

Otherwise, if the pavers are already installed, follow the following procedure of solving shifting:

  • Remove the shifted pavers
  • Properly align the edging
  • Replace the pavers. Add some sand beneath them to make the surface even and prevent further shifting
  • Sweep some polymeric sans on the paver joints.

You can have an even and compact interlocking paver walkway all year long if you fix the issues of paver unevenness and shifting as soon as possible. Even better, deal with the issue from the source by using the right materials and hiring the best service provider during the installation stage.