How to Prevent Natural Stones from Sinking

Natural and Interlock Stones by EGE Interlocking

How to Prevent Natural Stones from Sinking

Many people choose natural stones for their driveways, walkways and backyard patios to make them look rustic and classic. They are a cost-efficient choice and easier to maintain than many other materials. One of the problems that may occur with these types of pavers is they can sink as time goes by for different reasons. If you are dealing with this problem there are a variety of reasons why they could possibly be sinking and it’s important to determine the cause so that the right solution can be found.
Not Installed Properly

If installing your natural stones was a do-it-yourself project, there’s a possibility that you may have forgotten to take certain steps during the initial phase of the project. You must be sure that the ground is made leveled before the subbase is laid down. This subbase must be made out of the proper materials so that the natural stones don’t shift and they remain supported. Crushed rocks are usually used as a subbase for this reason.
The base is then placed on top of the subbase and a common material used for the base is concrete sand. It allows the area to drain well and is easy to spread.

If you used a professional contractor to get the job done then hopefully everything was done well and you can look for other reasons why your natural stones may be sinking. If you used a contractor that doesn’t have a good reputation in the field, however, the subbase and the base may never have been laid down properly right from the get-go. In order to get the best value for your money you should always use a reputable company that has a lot of experience with natural stones and pavers.
The Ground Is Unstable

When the ground is unstable, natural stones will shift and begin to sink. The problem will become worse over time as these stones are being stepped and driven on. If the water table was too high where the stones were placed, it won’t make a difference whether the sand and rock layers were laid properly or not. This should have been taken into consideration and dealt with before any other type of work began in terms of laying the natural stones and creating the base and the sub-base.
Draining Problems

It’s important to establish any potential draining problems before laying down the natural stones in order to prevent any excess water from naturally building around and under the stones. The soil has to be graded in the proper way to prevent this problem from occurring. When sand and crushed rock are installed properly the water underneath the stones will drain naturally away from the driveway, walkway or patio.

How to Repair Sinking Interlock Stones

When you have interlock stones that are sinking you’ll need to make an assessment of the problem to find out what the cause is. For example, if the area is showing signs of water pooling then the drainage problem has to be handled first before repairs can take place. Otherwise, the same problem will continue to occur.
When you have found out what has been causing your interlock stones in Mississauga to sink it’s time to pull up the sinking stones and those right around it. Grab a screwdriver to pull out the first one and then start on the others. By the time you are finished you should have pulled out a square that is approximately 16 inches around the affected area in each direction so that proper grading can occur.
The next thing you’ll need to do is remove the layer of bedding from the area where the stones were. Make sure that you scrape off any sand and moss when doing this to be sure that you can make a proper seal when the pavers are laid down once again. You’ll need to replace the base so that you can have a good foundation for the interlock stones. At this point it’s time to add additional gravel until you see that the area that has been exposed is level with the ground around it. Then it’s time to add more concrete sand.
Using a trowel, spread the concrete sand evenly and then start re-laying the stones. This must be done carefully to ensure that there isn’t any dirt stuck between them and that they are all tightly sealed. Then you can tamp the interlock stones to ensure that they are compacted. The stones must have a tight bond with the layer of bedding to prevent any future sinking.
Finally, it’s time to pour sand over the surface area and then sweep it into the cracks to seal the joints. Continue with this process until you see that all of the cracks are completely filled with sand. If the rest of your interlocked area has been sealed recently you should also seal these pavers to keep them well protected.

Stone Steps

If you have sinking stone steps this is a much more complicated procedure that you shouldn’t try to attempt on your own. The entire set of steps may need to be removed, depending on the cause of the problem. If you have sinking steps made of stone you need to call in an experienced interlock company for advice.
If you are having a hard time determining the problem of a sinking interlocked driveway, walkway or patio you should also call in the help of interlocking experts. There is always a cause of this sort of problem and it can be extremely difficult for a layperson to determine the cause of the issue on his own.
If you need help with sinking interlock stones or stone steps in Mississauga or Toronto, please visit our website now at to get in contact with us. We can provide an initial consultation to detect the source of the problem and give you helpful advice as to how it should be fixed and any costs involved.