Saturday, March 14, 2009

Rising Brick Paver Edge Restraint -How To Fix

(I wrote this a while ago. It's geared more towards homeowners but maybe you'll take something from it.)

This is a common problem that most brick paver patios, driveways and walkways will run into at some point. If left alone it could cause major structural problems in the pavement system. It is fixable with the right knowledge and determination.

What is it?

Simply put it is an edge restraint to keep the pavers in place. Brick pavers form an interlocking system which gives them great strength. The pavers are laid in patterns that interlock with each other. The more pavers touching each other the better. This is why a herringbone pattern is one of the strongest patterns. Each paver touches and interlocks with 6 others. The paver joints are filled with sand that holds the pavers tight but allows some flexibility. The entire interlocking system would fail if it did not have something along the perimeter to hold everything in place. As cars turn into a driveway the weight of the car and turning wheels wants to push the pavers in which ever direction the car is moving, which would cause the pavers to separate and spread. This even occurs with foot traffic.The edge restraint is installed to hold everything together. It is basically 7-12 foot sections of hardened plastic formed usually into a 90 degree L shape. One side along the pavers and the other on the base. 10-12 inch steel spikes are driven through the edging into the base material to hold it into place. These spikes should be placed at least every foot.

Why is it rising?

There are a few reasons why your edge restraint is rising although all have to deal with the freeze thaw cycle. The most common reason is that the spikes were not driven into the base or gravel portion of the pavement system. Ideally the compacted gravel should extend at least 6” to a foot beyond the actual pavers. This insures the pavers have a solid base and will not “roll off” of the base. It also gives a great area to hold the steel spikes. Unfortunately most installers do not leave this extra space. The spikes are then driven into soil which does not have the holding power that the compacted gravel does. The yearly freeze thaws drive the spikes up easier and faster. I also prefer non galvanized steel spikes. They are quicker to rust when in the ground. The rust causes a rough surface that spreads into its surroundings causing more friction and making it harder for freeze/ thaws to drive them up.

How to fix it

Rising edging is a fixable problem if you have some time and energy. First you have to remove the old edging. Be careful not to disturb the surrounding pavers so you don’t have to relay them. Once the edging is removed you will have to dig deep enough so the edging will sit far enough below the top edge of the pavers but not so low it misses the bottom edge. You can either buy new edging or cut the spikes off of your old edging and reinstall it. (Edging for gardening or flower beds is not acceptable) If you reuse it make sure you will still be able to get a spike in every foot and especially at corners. Set your edging in place and start nailing spikes in at slight angles opposing each other. If they are all in the same direction it is easier for it to rise. Once the edging is nailed you will then have to reinstall the removed material and tamp it down.

This is the method I have found to be the most effective but remember there is no permanent solution with the freeze thaw cycles.

Please leave comments!

4 comments:

  1. Really this is a common problem that most brick paver patios, driveways and walkways will run into at some point. If left alone it could cause major structural problems in the pavement system. It is fixable with the right knowledge and determination. Your post have solved my many question, thanks for the post and the help as well.
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  2. Setting up paver edge restraints is an efficient technique to avoid slipping in a style. Edge constraints keep the edge of the pathway or terrace in position and eliminate the attempt and price of bed linens each paver into tangible.

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  3. Thanks for sharing! I will definitely keep this in mind. I just got some travertine tile installed, and I want to keep it as nice as possible!

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  4. Paves Miami gives you brilliant remodeling solutions for pavers like cement pavers , concrete pavers, etc. which gives a well look to your home.

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