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5 Consequences of Poorly Installed Pavers, and How to Avoid Them in Harrisburg, PA

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Nothing is more disappointing and frustrating than walking out onto your paver patio or driveway and finding that the surface is falling apart. As with any construction project, the foundation is everything. But some contractors take shortcuts here, with disastrous results. Here are 5 consequences of poorly installed pavers, and how to avoid them in Harrisburg, PA.

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Nothing is more disappointing and frustrating than walking out onto your paver patio or driveway and finding that the surface is falling apart. As with any construction project, the foundation is everything. But some contractors take shortcuts here, with disastrous results. Here are 5 consequences of poorly installed pavers, and how to avoid them in Harrisburg, PA.

Right after the pavers were installed, they looked great. But after a few weeks, months, or even a season, suddenly things aren’t right. What a terrible sinking feeling to see that the pavers have shifted, the surface is no longer level, and the edges are crumbling! Now you have to hunt that contractor down and demand a refund or that they completely redo the entire hardscape, which is often the only solution.

Related: HOW TO SELECT THE BEST PAVERS FOR OUTDOOR KITCHENS AND OUTDOOR DINING ROOMS IN HARRISBURG, PA

Here are the tell-tale signs of improperly installed pavers:

1. Borders Falling Apart

Borders aren’t supported by other pavers, and when they’re poorly installed, they will be pushed into the surrounding landscape. Paver edges must be equipped with edge restraints, and pavers must be installed on a properly compacted base. Compaction must extend far enough beyond the project’s footprint to ensure that proper compaction will adequately support the border pavers.

2. Low Spots

Low spots mean that pavers have settled. This leads to puddling water and unsafe walking surfaces. If the base isn’t holding up as well as it should, it means the contractor didn’t take the time to compact the base properly. This can also occur if the wrong base materials are used, especially if the base contains too high a percentage of stone dust and fines. Proper materials and thorough compaction are the only ways to avoid low spots.

3. Sloppy Appearance

Since concrete pavers are designed to fit together like puzzle pieces, it’s easy to assume that installation is a breeze. However, care must still be taken. Uneven patterns and uneven gaps are immediately noticeable and will not go away, no matter how much you get used to them. They will always remind you that the job was rushed or done by someone with no experience. Unfortunately, a sloppy appearance also means that other steps were skipped and that the surface will start to develop other problems. The remedy for a sloppy appearance is taking care with every step of the installation. 

4. Uneven Pavers

Pavers that have shifted won’t necessarily shift laterally. They may be pushed upward, which creates a serious tripping hazard. Often, this is caused by a base that is too shallow or by uneven thickness (meaning, the foundation is also not level). However, too much sand will also cause pavers to move. Another source of this aggravation is pavers that have not been properly swept and/or compacted after installation.

5. Scratched Pavers

Care must be taken when installing pavers, such as never dragging pavers over the surface of other pavers. However, in the interest of speed, this can occur, leaving permanent scars on the pavers. The only remedy is to use careful construction methods that ensure that each paver is handled individually and that no pavers touch during installation.

 

Unfortunately, there is no way to fix these problems without a complete hardscape renovation. The best cure is prevention: by having your hardscape installed by qualified professionals who take their time properly preparing the base and using the highest installation standards. 

Related: THESE UNILOCK PAVERS ARE PERFECTLY SUITED TO MODERN HARDSCAPES IN HARRISBURG

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