Why is my Stone Patio Sinking?

January 26, 2017

Stone patios are popular because they are resilient, beautiful, and easy to fix or repair. But one of the pitfalls of a stone patio is that it can sink or dip over time for a multitude of reasons. So, if you’re wondering why your stone patio is sinking, there a few things to look for.

hydrangea in pots on stone paver patio

Shifting Ground

Beneath all of the foundation support for a stone patio is all-natural earth. The ground can shift over extended periods of time, especially if the land was back-filled to create a level surface. This can be corrected by adding more material to the gravel and sand base and then re-compacting the area. This should help to correct what ground shifted over time. This can be a more difficult repair job, so if you need help with fixing a sinking patio, contact a Maryland patio contractor first.

Shift in the Sand Base

Directly underneath the stone patio is about an inch of sand. This sand helps to level a stone patio and keep the patio stones from shifting. Over time, this sand will settle and can become un-level or shift, causing a stone patio to sink. This repair is as simple as removing the stone where the patio is sinking, reapplying sand, and then leveling out the sand base.

tree root cuts through a walkway

Tree Roots

A tree’s root system spreads, on average, twice as far as its canopy. This means, if you have a tree nearby where the patio is becoming un-level, it could be due to a near-by tree. What can cause sinking would be a tree root from a dead tree buried beneath the earth that has slowly decomposed over time causing the earth to sink.

Water Erosion

Much like the shifting ground issue, water is another natural reason a patio could shrink or rise. When the joint sand between patio stones erodes, it can increase the ability for water to permeate down into the underlying sand. Over time, this sand can get moved about or washed away. Additionally, water will freeze and shrink, called frost heave, and this can affect the alignment of your stone patio giving a sinking look.

For more help with repairing a sinking patio, get in touch with your local Maryland patio contractor today. Fireside Stone & Patio is a licensed and experienced patio contractor who has served Maryland customers for over 35 years. For more information on how Fireside can help you repair or build a new patio, give us a call at 410-203-2876 or fill out the contact us form on our website today.