If you’d like to give definition and style to your yards, you could install surfacing materials such as landscaping bricks. Landscaping bricks are an excellent investment and can last for years. However, some landscaping bricks could sink over time, ruining your garden’s look.
Here are 10 ways to keep landscaping bricks from sinking:
- Excavate the yard before installing landscaping bricks.
- Check yard drainage before installing landscaping bricks.
- Create a strong base before laying the landscaping bricks.
- Lay the landscaping bricks properly.
- Sand the joints of the landscaping bricks properly.
- Use a joint stabilizing sealer.
- Install edge restraints around the landscaping bricks.
- Maintain the landscaping bricks regularly.
- Take good care of the landscaping bricks.
- Hire professionals to install the landscaping bricks.
After reading this article, you’ll learn some great tips to keep your landscaping bricks from sinking. These tips will help you before, during, and after the installation of landscaping bricks to prevent any sinkage.
1. Excavate the Yard Before Installing Landscaping Bricks
Installing landscaping bricks is an investment, and you should take the project seriously for the best results. The best way to prepare is by excavating the yard before installing landscaping bricks.
Excavation involves digging the ground where you plan to install the landscaping bricks so that they have a flat surface to be laid on.
Excavation of the yard before installing landscaping bricks helps to:
- Determine the depth of the excavation depending on various factors such as site drainage and type of soil.
- Ensure the water table isn’t too high. A high water table affects drainage, and the soil may eventually shift even if you lay a good base.
- Determine the minimum and maximum height the landscaping bricks should reach.
- Keep the landscaping bricks from sinking and prevent other issues that may arise if you don’t excavate.
If you have the expertise and the right tools, and you are looking for an excuse to get into shape, you can excavate by yourself. Otherwise, you can use the services of a professional masonry contractor or a landscaping company.
2. Check Yard Drainage Before Installing Landscaping Bricks
During excavation, you’ll find out about your yard’s drainage. You’ll learn how the surface water will drain naturally from that part of the yard, which is important to know before installing landscape bricks.
For instance, the water won’t drain properly if the section has no slope or gradient. The water could eventually accumulate under the landscaping bricks and cause soil erosion.
If the soil under the landscaping bricks erodes, they could eventually sink. Some ways of ensuring proper drainage in your yards before installing landscaping bricks include:
Ensuring That the Slab Slopes Correctly
When constructing the slab for landscaping bricks, it should slope downwards away from the building to enable proper water drainage.
When the water drains properly from the landscaping bricks, the chances of the water washing away the joint sand decrease. As a result, the chances of landscaping bricks sinking over time decreases.
Installing a French drain
Some areas have poor drainage due to one reason or another. If your region has a problem with sinkholes or standing water, then it’s best to install a French drain before laying landscaping bricks.
A French drain is a perforated pipe you place underground to help drain excess water from an area that has poor drainage (source).
3. Create a Strong Base Before Laying the Landscaping Bricks
One of the reasons why landscaping bricks sink is because of improper installation. Improperly installed landscaping bricks can sink over time, causing a structurally and aesthetically devastating outcome.
Proper installation of landscaping bricks starts with creating a strong and durable base.
Creating a good base is critical when installing landscaping bricks in your yards. The base is the foundation of your landscaping bricks installation project.
If you don’t prepare the foundation properly, then the project could eventually fail, leading to the sinking of the landscaping bricks and other issues.
Creating a strong and durable base before laying the landscaping bricks includes:
Clearing and Leveling the Ground
It’s crucial to clear the ground where you will install the landscaping bricks. Clearing includes removing grass, stones, and debris from the section in readiness for the base materials.
Leveling the ground is also essential. The landscaping bricks could eventually sink if the land has dipped.
Using Durable Base Materials
The durability of the base materials determines if your landscaping bricks will sink over time. The reason is that using inappropriate materials can gradually cause shifting of the base.
The landscaping bricks could eventually start sinking if the ground is shaky and unstable.
Some of the durable materials you could use to create a strong and stable base are:
- Crushed rock
- Bedding sand
Crushed rock and bedding sand can withstand tear and wear and prevent water from seeping to the ground below the landscaping bricks. If you construct the base properly using these materials, the foundation can remain intact for years.
Ensuring the Base Materials Compact Properly
If the base materials don’t compact well before you lay the landscaping bricks, then the base won’t become strong or durable enough for the bricks.
Although you can do the compacting manually, you can also use a compacting machine for quicker results.
A well-compacted base is essential because:
- It helps the landscaping bricks withstand varying traffic loads without sinking.
- It helps the landscaping bricks remain intact during rainy seasons and under extreme temperature changes.
Putting a Layer of Sand Bedding Over the Base
After the base has compacted and dried correctly, it’s best to put a layer of sand bedding on top before laying the landscaping bricks.
The sand bedding acts as a waterproof membrane beneath the landscaping bricks, thus strengthening the base further to keep landscaping bricks from sinking in the future.
4. Lay the Landscaping Bricks Properly
The way you lay the landscaping bricks on the base can help keep them from sinking in the future. For best results, it’s best to lay the landscaping bricks properly, meticulously, and methodically.
Here’s how to lay the landscaping bricks properly to keep them from sinking:
- Lay the landscaping bricks in the design and pattern you prefer.
- Lay them tightly together to prevent wide gaps where water may eventually seep through and make the bricks sink.
- Step gently on the newly laid landscaping bricks if you want to reach subsequent rows. Doing so prevents the new bricks from shifting.
5. Sand the Joints of Landscaping Bricks Properly
One of the reasons landscaping bricks sink is because they are not well locked in place. So, to ensure that the landscaping bricks are locked in place properly, fill the joints with fine-grained, wet sand. Fine-grained sand fills up the joints and compacts better than other sand.
Once you seal the joints of the landscaping bricks with sand, water cannot seep through to the base.
If water seeps through the spaces, it could pool, eventually damage the core and cause the landscaping bricks to sink over time.
You could use jointing sand such as Polymeric Sand to seal the joints of the landscaping bricks. Jointing sand is a fine-grained type of sand with a mixture of additive particles (source).
When jointing sand comes into contact with water, it forms a potent binding agent that makes the joints of your landscaping bricks durable.
To complete this step, ensure that the sand and the area dry before people can walk on the landscaping bricks.
6. Use a Joint Stabilizing Sealer
Once the joint sand on the landscaping bricks has dried up completely, applying a joint stabilizing sealer on the newly paved area is a good idea. The benefits of using a joint stabilizing sealer on the freshly installed landscaping bricks include (source):
- The joint stabilizer sealer strengthens and hardens the sand in the joints of the landscaping bricks so that the joint sand doesn’t wear out and disappear.
- It stops vegetation from growing between the joints. If vegetation grows, you will have to pull it out, which could damage the joint sand.
It’s good to first sweep and clean the paved area to remove dust and debris. Also, ensure that the landscaping bricks are dry before applying the joint stabilizing sealer.
7. Install Edge Restraints Around the Landscaping Bricks
When installing landscaping bricks, some people overlook the edges of the paved section.
If the edges of the landscaping bricks don’t lock on all sides, it’s easy for the bricks around the edges to move. Once any landscaping brick moves, water can enter through the gap and spread to the rest of the bricks.
As a result, some of the landscaping bricks may start to sink gradually.
There are different types of edge restraints made of materials such as:
- Precast concrete
Use the one that best suits your landscaping project.
8. Maintain the Landscaping Bricks Regularly
One great way to keep landscaping bricks from sinking is to maintain them regularly. Maintenance of the landscaping bricks may include:
- Inspecting them regularly. It’s best to check the landscaping bricks in your yards once in a while to identify any that may be uneven. If you notice any uneven landscaping brick, sort the issue out immediately before it starts to sink.
- Re-sealing the joints regularly. It’s also good to re-seal the joints of the landscaping bricks with sand regularly to prevent loss of joint sand.
- Using a joint stabilizing sealer regularly. Every time you re-seal the joints of the landscaping bricks with sand, it’s best to use a joint stabilizing sealer afterward. The sealer strengthens the joint sand and keeps it in place.
9. Take Good Care of the Landscaping Bricks
Apart from maintaining the landscaping bricks regularly, it’s good to take care of them. Some things you could do to take care of landscaping bricks to keep them from sinking include:
Removing Excess Water From the Landscaping Bricks
If it’s the wet season, don’t allow water to sit on the landscaping bricks for long. The water can eventually dislodge the joint sand and seep into the ground.
If the water seeps under the landscaping bricks, it could eventually damage the core, and the bricks could start to sink.
Keeping Heavy Objects Away From the Landscaping Bricks
Every structure has limits and tolerances. For instance, if you allow heavy things like machinery to stay on the landscaping bricks for long durations, they could eventually cause some of them to sink.
So, removing heavy objects from your landscaping bricks can prevent sinking and other problems.
10. Hire Professionals To Install the Landscaping Bricks
Poor workmanship is one of the most common reasons why landscaping bricks sink. As mentioned earlier, installing landscaping bricks in your yards is an investment, and you should get your money’s worth.
One way to ensure your landscaping bricks don’t sink is by hiring professionals to install them.
Here are some reasons you should hire professionals to install the landscaping bricks:
- They can give you expert advice: Professional contractors can provide you with expert advice regarding the design for your landscaping bricks project. They can also tell you the best course of action and your options based on their expertise.
- They give you high-quality work: Professional contractors understand the best practices required for landscaping brick projects. So long as you hire a reputable firm, you should expect high-quality work. Your landscaping bricks likely won’t sink when installed by licensed professionals.
Before hiring a contractor, do some due diligence to find their experience and reputation. By doing so, you ensure that you get the best value for your money.
Installing landscaping bricks is an excellent way of beautifying and increasing your property’s value. Landscaping bricks are versatile and can be used to create patios, driveways, walkways, and more.
If you install landscaping bricks correctly, they can last for years.
Some of these tips will help to keep landscaping bricks from sinking:
- Excavate the yard and check the drainage.
- Clear and level the ground properly.
- Create a strong and durable base.
- Install the landscaping bricks properly.
- Install edge restraints around the landscaping bricks.
- Maintain and take care of landscaping bricks.
- Hire professionals to install the landscaping bricks.