Help! Paver patio with standing water
Moved in house a few months ago and one thing Ive noticed is a paver patio always gets standing water on it when it rains. Its especially bad right now because we just has 2 feet of snow all melting in a matter of a few days to a week. Im not sure what to do with this space as its nice to have. I thought of taking it up and growing grass but this area gets little sun so it wont grow very well there. I need to figure out a way to get it to drain properly. Any ideas please?
I'd bet it wasn't installed with proper drainage
If there is enough room near the house I'd raise it up a couple inches & slope it away from the house
You can definately need the grade/slope issues. Best thing is to just tear it all out and put it back in right. It will be a lot of labor, but not very expensive to buy the extra supplies you need to get it sloped and drained properly.
Looks to me like it all may just have settled as it is way below the grade of everything else. Hopefully it is set on sand. Yank it up, reform the edges to raise it, put down extra sand and compact it. Put the pavers back down.
Use a framing or line level and chalk line to set your grade. Then use a long 2 by to stick to it as you put the pavers back down.
You need to Raise some of the work,+ Lower other areas to create Pitch so it Can drain off...
*edit* - if you're lucky, when you pull up your pavers you'll have a bed properly dug out that you can just use without excavating or resloping anything.
If there's rock/gravel already there then you can shovel it out, load it into a wheelbarrow, and dump it into your driveway or a sheet of plywood to rinse/wash and then reuse - buy a bit more rock to allow you to build up the rock base layer. . . and just reuse the area but *only* if it's the proper depth, already - it looks to me like your entire area towards the porch should be higher, there seems to be a small step down - like an inch or so? You want the top of the pavers to be even with the porch for a professional look - and to help give adequate drainage.
It's likely that when the pavers were previous installed, if they were installed on a rock base with sand - that the sand has washed out or the rocks weren't tamped down when they first laid them out, causing the pavers to settle and the drainage to stop. . . i also see that the edger at the end is wood and sticks out over the top of the pavers which discourages water-drainage, as well.
If you pull up your pavers and find that the rock is the right amount and the right depth - and even - then you might just have to replace the sad by adding more to it and then replace your pavers. */edit*
To remove it you'd need a crowbar or superbar to make it easier to lift them out (carefully, though) and pick out a place to stack them neatly. A flatbed cart that has 4 wheels on it works great for moving large loads of stones, etc.
To reinstall you'll need a long level (3 or 4 feet, something like that).
A few yard stakes to hammer in
A measuring tape
A straight-pan shovel to excavate the area to fill with the base rock.
A tamper (you can rent this) - it's just a heavy flat butt at the end of a stick.
Course rock for the base-level (for a walkway you need to have enough to fill 4-6 inches - you'll have to crunch some numbers to figure it out exactly - bags of stone have area-charts on them which are helpful. I'd suggest for you to go for 6 inches of rock base if you live in a wetter climate and have water issues often.)
Sand (this goes overtop the course rock - this is your paver bed)
And edge restraints if you can't reuse what's already there (they're not very expensive - but what's available varies depending on where you shop, so ask a few questions).
More sand - this is to rake inbetween your pavers when you're done.
A sealer of some type to ensure your pavers are protected - and helps keep your sand in place.
A scrap of 2x4 and a rubber mallet (or hammer. This is to hammer your pieces into place when you set them - just use it carefully and never hammer directly on your pavers, that's what the wood is for)
Believe it or not - pawn shops are a great place to find some, if not all, of these tools - no sense in paying full price from an expensive retail store when you can pay less and get the same thing . . . they're tools - they'll get beat up anyway, newness is not required.
So - Remove the pavers - stack them up out of the way. This should be boring and simple and tiresome - but not too hard. They *should* be just set in sand (might be set right on the ground) - and not mortared in place. After they're removed they can be scrubbed clean and even stained/painted.
Rake out the dirt underneath - get rid of any bio material like rotted leaves and junk like that.
Hammer in your stakes if you have room (if the area is already tightly defined by the edge of your patio and so forth then this isn't really as necessary.
To dig out your area:
You need to measure the thickness of your paver - give 6 inches or so for the rock base and 1" or more for the sand layer = the depth you need to dig out.
A 6" rock base plus a 2" paver and a 1.5" sand layer = 9.5" to dig out BELOW the top of your porch and BELOW the top of the ground at the end of the paver-run, where the pavers meet the grass.
Your dig out area will be the SAME depth - but it will be sloped.
To measure the depth while you dig hammer some stakes into the ground at the end of the paver run. Mark the stake with a line where the top of the pavers will be - anchor the end of a string to your porch by putting a heavy weight on one end and then running it down to your stake, tie it around the stake at the line. Use a measuring tape - go up and down the string and measure the depth of your dug-out area, it should be even top to bottom.
Take the string to the next stake, measure the same way - ensure your slope is as smooth as possible from top to bottom but don't stress too much about it if it's not perfect.
After you have your area dug out install your edge which will keep them in place at the end.
Then you fill, 2 inches at a time, with your rocks - tamp it down with your tamper. If you don't apply your base rock in layers and tamp it down each time then after you put in your pavers the rocks will slowly settle and you'll have the SAME problem you're dealing with now.
And then add the next layer of rock - tamp well.
Next layer - tamp well - until the layer measures 6 inches. . . it should be sloped, too, just like the ground beneath it.
(a metal ruler or a chop stick that's marked works well to push through the rocks to measure the depth).
After that's done then dump your sand out - screed it (you can rent this - or use a heavy tine rake) Do your best to stay with the slope. Your sand doesn't need to be tamped down with the tamper.
Lay out your pavers:
Starting by your porch - work across the rows L to R to lay out your pavers . . . use a rubber mallet and a piece of scrap wood to tap each one into place. Since they came OUT they should be able to go back IN - incase they don't - you can trim your pavers with a skill saw fitted with a cement-blade. (I don't have a fancy cutting setup - I use cinder blocks and C clamps for stuff like this :D)
After you have them fitted then you take your remaining sand and dump it onto the pavers - sweep the sand inbetween the cracks.
Seal your surface (if you like, it's not 100% necessary).
Tada - done.
The second link will walk you though the steps.
About the only thing I'll add is to have 6" + of road bed material (3/4" to fines (dust) in clay soils.
Use lots of water in compacting ( with a vibrator compactor)as it'll force out the air trapped between the rock ( you'll actually see mini bubbles as air come up), by allowing the rocks to slide tightly together.
Check your slope on your final passes.
Use polymeric sand on top of the bricks ( a contrasting color to the brick) and sweep in in them vibrate compact (Lightly so as not to scuff the bricks , sometimes you can rent one with a rubber pad ) and again check your drain slope as you work it.
This final compacting will really lock in the bricks by forcing some sand up between the bricks from below and with forcing the poly sand above.
Oh yeah don't pick the hottest time of the year to do it.
edit: Yes the base is sloped.
The setting bed can be influenced on your final passes on top of the brick so you have to pay attension there.
You do not use the setting bed to get the correct slope and drainage. You must slope theCOMPACTED BASE to get the slope needed for drainage. If you are using 60 mm concrete pavers, the actual paver thickness is 2 3/8". You will have to buy a small amount of base because your average elevation is too low and just moving the base around will still leave you low. Make sure you have a proper slope away from the door and a place for the water to run away from the house and pavers.
The sand setting bed should be screeded (not compacted) and a uniform 1" thickness, allowing the compacted base to set the drainage slope. The pavers are set tight (no open joints) on the sand setting bed and the final fine sand should then be spread, swept and the vibrated into place. The choice of mason sand or polymeric sand is you to you, but many people shy away from putting polymeric in a new wet paver installation because of possible staining.
You can use the "basket weave" paver patter of you could use the "herringbone" pattern, which gives better interlocking strength. If you lay the herring bone pattern with the edges parallel and perpendicular to the timber walls, the same number of units should be the same, A diagonal pattern is used for streets and driveways where there is vehicle traffic, uses slightly more pavers, but since you do not have vehicle traffic, it is not necessary to go diagonal.
Thanks everyone who repsonded. I figured it wouldnt be a simple issue to correct. SOunds like a decent amount of labor involved as well as knowledge of different types of layering beds. I hadnt thought about tamping it out at all which is why im glad I asked you guys. We will see...probably a project for another day. Ill see how often water sits on it during the spring rains. If its a constant issue, I will have to correct it sooner rather than later. It will be a haven for mosquitos if I dont.
At a quick glance of your wooden retaining wall I noticed there are no tiebacks in it. These are installed to keep the wall from leaning over. If there are no tie backs then there is probably no tile behind the wall as well. Water will be running thru the wall on to the patio. Install some tile behind the wall as deep as you can get it and backfill with gravel seperating the gravel from the soil with fabric. This should hold the wall a little longer as well. The pavers just need to be re-leveled sloping towards the lawn. Small area no problem don't overthink it. Should only take a day or so. Obviously you want to be level with the concrete so start there. Remove bricks, add sand, tamp. Use 1 inch black pipe and nestle it in the sand so the top of the pipe is where the bottom of the paver should be. ie: about 2.5 inches below concrete. Pitch the pipes using a 4 ft level so it slopes towards the grass.
Once two pipes are installed pitched towards the grass but level with each other then run a 2x4 over the top smoothing/screeding out the sand. remove pipes, start laying bricks back in. fill in pipe trench with sand as you go. Done
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