Four Common Paving Issues That Professional Installation Will Avoid

21 December 2020

When you invest in new paving for your outside areas, you want to ensure it will stand the test of time and stay looking good. Even the highest quality paving will be susceptible to problems if it’s not installed properly. This is why it’s important to use a professional landscaping company when you lay new paving.

Here we look at the four most common issues with natural stone and concrete paving.

Poor drainage and surface water

Flooded patio due to poor drainage

One of the biggest issues with paving that’s not installed professionally is poor drainage and pooling of surface water. To prevent this, paving slabs should be laid on a slight gradient, with the recommended fall of 25mm per metre. The gradient should channel water away from your home to a point where it can drain naturally into the ground or be collected in a gulley or channel connected to a soak away.

If paving is laid flat allowing water to pool, it can cause surface water flooding which can damage the pointing, allow algae to grow and cause frost damage. It can also cause damp issues on brickwork if the gradient of the paving allows water to flow towards the walls of your property.

Void bedding

Water ingress and damp caused by void bedding of paving slabs

This occurs when paving slabs are installed on patches or dabs of mortar, which leaves voids beneath the slabs. Paving slabs should always be installed on a full bed of mortar, by a professional landscaper, as voids can cause significant problems with your paved area in the future. Voids can fill with water, which creates subsidence and instability, and the water pools under the paving can also cause porous paving materials to discolour and fracture through lack of support. Paving with void bedding can also create space for insects and burrowing animals, which will cause further problems.

Paving slabs installed upside down

Natural stone paving slabs installed incorrectly upside down

Natural stone and concrete paving slabs are cut and moulded in a certain way, so it’s crucial that they are laid with the correct side facing up, with the chamfered edge down. If the paving is laid upside down it creates a joint that’s too wide, resulting in the jointing crumbling or falling out. If your paving is installed in the wrong way, the only solution it to completely remove and re-lay it – which is a very costly process.

Spalling caused by butt jointing

Shalling caused by incorrectly installed butt jointed paving slabs

When the surface or edges of natural stone paving chip away, this is known as spalling. It’s not uncommon for sedimentary types of paving to spall in small areas, due to the layered construction of the stone, and this isn’t detrimental to the structure of the paving. However, spalling from butt jointing (when adjacent slabs touch each other) is an issue caused by incorrect installation. A minimum 2mm joint should always be allowed between paving slabs – anything less and there’s a high risk of the edges breaking up, as there’s no cushion between the slabs. As with upside down installation, there is no remedy for spalling caused by butt jointing – the paving will have to be removed and re-laid.

All of these common paving problems can be eliminated by ensuring you use a professional landscape contractor to install your paving. At AWBS Landscaping we have years of experience in installing patios and a team of highly skilled contractors, to ensure your paving performs how it should.

To find out more about our extensive range of landscaping services, please get in touch.

Contact us for a free landscaping, fencing or driveway quote. We’re always happy to listen to your ideas and offer friendly advice and a personal service. If you’d like us to help turn your dream project into a reality, get in touch with us today and arrange a free, no-obligation survey and estimate.