Be it a pool deck, driveway, patio or walkway, your pavers should be maintained on a regular basis to keep them looking as beautiful as the day they were installed. First, do a visual inspection for ‘sagging’ areas where water will collect and pool. These areas are often caused by water, from a hose or rain, washing earth, foundation material and sand into a hollow space below the paver foundation. Once pooling is noticeable, these sagging areas often widen quickly do to the increase of water draining in these areas. It’s important for the hollow to be filled and stabilized before leveling the pavers, otherwise you can be performing the same task next year. To fix this situation can be tricky. First, remove the sagging Pavers, find the hollow and fill it with a foundation material. Next, you want to tamp or pack the foundation material to within two inches of the bottom of the existing pavers. Fill the remaining 2 inches with sand and tamp it level with the bottom of the existing pavers and replace the removed pavers.
After fixing any sagging areas, look for individual pavers that are sitting higher or lower than the surrounding pavers. A paver that sits higher can often be leveled by using a rubber mallet to force it into its proper position. If it’s too high or doesn’t move, you may have to remove it so you can remove some of the sand that’s below the paver. If it sits low, you’ll have to remove it to add sand until it’s level. To remove the paver, you can purchase a paver removal tool or you can use a small pry bar to loosen the paver and lift it out of its space, being careful not to crack or chip the paver.
Inspect the joints of the pavers for sand loss. If the sand is more than ¼ inch below the joint surface, you’ll have to “re-sand” the pavers. To re-sand, you must use paver sand. You can buy this in bags at Lowes and Home Depot or at a brick yard. Spread the sand our on the pavers and using a push broom, sweep the sand back and forth at a 45 degree angle from the joint lines until the level is 1/4th to 1/8th of an inch to the top of the joint surface.