Tuesday, July 08, 2014

The pain of pavers...fixing a sunken paver walkway and steps.

A few years ago I had a rotten wooden sidewalk and steps torn out at my apartments, and replaced with interlocking pavers.  I though they'd last longer, and be a bit more flexible.  I didn't want to pour concrete because I was convinced it would crack & break up with all the freeze & thaw it would go through.

Anyway, it all looked good the first couple of summers, but then then pavers started to sink down into the dirt, and the steps became very concave.  I spent the last couple of summers trying to hire someone to fix the mess for me, but no luck.  

So I finally decided to work on it myself. I stopped at Home Depot in Kenai and picked up some professional grade landscape fabric and some bags of washed sand.  As it turned out, I didn't pick up enough sand, but I got the 2 worst steps redone, and it really wasn't that bad of a job.  I really hope that using the landscape fabric under the sand will stop it from washing away and/or sinking into the dirt it covers.

Step 1 - pry up the pavers.  Once I can get the first one out, the rest come out pretty easily.  This isn't a very good picture, but you can see that I have about half of the pavers out.  Lots of grass roots to pull out from between each one and clean them up a bit.
Step 2 - smooth out the existing dirt and sand and make a level surface.  Then put in a layer of landscape fabric, fill it with washed playground sand and level.
Step 3 - replace the pavers, in the same order they came out.  The original workmen cut some of the pavers to make them fit.  Since I don't have spares to play with, or a saw to cut new pieces, I needed to fit them back in.  It was much like doing a jigsaw puzzle, with the aid of a big rubber mallet.  

Step 4 - pour some of the sand on the step and brush it around so it fills in any of the cracks between the pavers.  This take a while, but should help keep the grass from growing back, at least for a couple of years.

Here is a picture of the final result.  As you can see the first 2 are looking ok.  They will settle in a bit more the next time it really rains.  The 3rd step currently in the worst shape.  But I'm out of sand so will need to pick up a couple more bags when I'm home next time, so I can finish up this project later this summer.
Here is a picture of the peonies.  Again its a bit over exposed, but I took it with my phone.  I really love this peony plant.  It seems to really like this spot.
And then later this evening when I finally got home, I put up the house numbers I ordered last fall.

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