Patio slabs beautify outdoor spaces from your driveway to your parking lot. However, your home’s exterior begins to look disorganized when these patio slabs move out of place. It is even more disappointing when they are newly installed.
But then, are there ways to fix these new patio slabs moving?
Yes, there are. The best way to fix new patio slabs moving is to use slabs with a more compact sub-base. Other ways to fix this are:
- Cut out the broken pieces of the slab and fill them with concrete.
- Use reinforcements like plaster, grout, or polyester resin.
- Employ asphalt as a surface mask.
- Replace completely.
There are several reasons these paving slabs move. It could be poor handling or just something more natural. Whichever it is, there is a solution to every problem. Next, I reveal 5 ways to restore your patio slabs in place without having to start all over.
5 Ways To Fix New Patio Slabs Moving
There are several ways to fix the problem of new patio slabs moving. Depending on how bad the paver situation is, some of these techniques are basic DIYs. Otherwise, you may need to enlist the service of a professional.
Below are 5 practical DIY fixes for small-area patio slabs moving.
Install the slabs with a more compacted sub-base
This technique is a sure way to prevent wobbly slabs from even occurring. Apply these stepwise guides to install your pavers right successfully.
- Prepare the site where you intend to install the paving materials. Dig the entire area and compact it with fine earth for that purpose.
- Next, apply concrete to the whole area.
- Before placing the slabs on top, apply water to its underside. That way, the concrete does not dry out while placing the slabs on top.
- Most importantly, make sure the site is just about twice the depth of the tiles. Also, avoid installing slabs on a site with more than a 45-degree slope gradient.
Note: Use some compacted gravel as a base for your patio slabs. That way, water drains off the slabs faster.
Cutting out any broken slabs and replacing them with concrete
This method is most suitable if the patio slabs are close to a fence. Cut around the edges of the slabs and fill in with a concrete-sand mix.
Preferably, pour this mix to the same level as the slabs. Then, add some epoxy paint, so the concrete blends in with the slabs.
Kindly note that this method is only suitable for a few broken slabs.
Fixing the damaged slab pieces with plaster filling, grout, or polyester resin
Another option here involves patching up the cracks in the slab pieces. As expected, any loose slab resulting from a crack is bound to cause movement. Subsequently, it could go on to displace other slab pieces.
You need to take out the broken slab pieces to resolve this problem. In its place, apply some polyester resin, grout, or plaster mixture, as the case may be.
However, an adhesive sealant is your best option to seal new cracks. In addition, use some sand or aggregate gravel to fill the joints.
Use asphalt as a surface mask
Another method of fixing moving patio slabs is to use asphalt. So, to effectively apply this technique, follow these simple steps:
- First, make sure the slab is in place. Materials such as wood, metal, and asphalt are helpful in this case. However, it would be best if you had a blade and trowel to cut and use these materials.
- Next, apply an adhesive sealant like the liquid rubber concrete sealant.
- To ensure the joints are immovable, fill with some dry or wet aggregate gravel.
- Lastly, use asphalt to cover all the materials. Make sure it is level and compact enough.
- Allow the asphalt to stand and dry for at least three days.
Use new slabs to replace the broken ones completely
As a last resort, entirely replace the slabs if they are beyond repair. To that effect, it is crucial to know the subsoil’s direction. However, to possibly know that, you need to invite a professional to inspect your property.
Afterward, cut the slabs along the subsoil movement path. As a result, it becomes easy to remove without having to dig. Except you need to address a frost heave or drainage issue, of course.
In that case, apply a layer of gravel to prevent any possibility of slippages and aid drainage. You could also use a pozzolan concrete or mortar mix. Then fix new patio slabs on top of them.
Why do patio slabs move?
There are several reasons slabs tend to move after installation. Patio slabs move when you lay them on uneven aggregate beds in the most famous cases. In other words, when the ground is not level enough, they are twice as likely to wobble.
The slab mortar might not have been set before you laid the slabs in other cases. Better still, adding some extra sub-base before applying would have been a great idea.
In other cases, frost heave, sinking sand, or the sheer weight from your car are likely causes for your new patio slabs moving.
How to remove loose patio slabs?
To effectively replace patio slabs, a chisel and hammer are required. As with most patio slabs, they are often difficult to lift with bare hands. Hence, to begin any replacements, you need the right tools.
Some of these tools for removing loose patio slabs include:
- Plugging chisel.
- Rubber mallet.
- A piece of cylindrical wood, preferably longer than the slab itself.
- A piece of timber about 12 inches.
The step-by-step process to do it
First, grab your chisel and hammer. Then, begin to break the mortar at the patio slab edges. Do this till the slab becomes loose.
Afterward, insert your spade into the space left from the chipped mortar. Use the area to prise the patio slab apart and lift it.
When you do this, quickly place the timber under to serve as a wedge. Hence, it becomes easier to access the slab for removal.
At this point, the paver is almost free from the interlock. So you apply your piece of cylindrical wood underneath and push it out completely.
Patio slabs are a good ground cover for outdoor space. Often, they are reliable and durable. However, they move and wobble due to certain factors in some cases. It could be sinking sand, the weight of load from your car, frost heave, inadequate installation, the list goes on.
In any case, there are simple DIY ways to fix these problems. Some of these include using concrete as reinforcement for the slabs. But, in situations where the site is too large, it is best to employ a professional.