Dealing With Paver Edging Popping Up: A Practical Guide

Dealing with paver edging popping up can be a frustrating and unexpected issue for homeowners and landscapers alike. Whether you’ve recently installed a new hardscape project or have noticed your existing edging starting to shift and rise, it's important to identify the root cause and address it promptly to prevent further damage. A failed edge can occur for various reasons, such as using excessive amounts of sand in your base-layer, incorrectly installing the edge restraint, or utilizing an inadequate edge restraint for the level of traffic your hardscape receives. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the various reasons why paver edging can fail and provide practical tips and recommendations on how to tackle this issue effectively. By following these guidelines, you’ll be well-equipped to resolve and prevent paver edging popping up, ensuring a durable and visually appealing hardscape for years to come.

Why Are My Pavers Sinking?

Dealing with paver edging popping up can be frustrating, but it’s a common issue that many homeowners face. One of the main reasons why your pavers may be sinking is due to something underneath them. It could be that the pavers weren’t properly installed, leading to a lack of stability and support. This can cause them to shift over time and eventually sink into the ground.

If the ground underneath the pavers is eroding, it can create voids or empty spaces where the pavers can sink into. This is especially common in areas with heavy rainfall or in locations where there’s poor drainage. The excess water can wash away the soil, leaving gaps for the pavers to sink into.

If the area where the pavers are installed doesn’t have proper drainage, water may pool around the edges and seep underneath the pavers.

In addition to filling in the gaps, it’s important to clear out any plant matter or clumps that may have formed under the pavers. This debris can create uneven surfaces and cause the pavers to become unstable. With a rake or garden spade, carefully remove any obstructions and smooth out the area.

If the sinking is severe or continues to be a problem, it may be necessary to consult a professional to assess the situation and provide proper solutions. They may recommend additional measures such as improving drainage, reinforcing the base, or even reinstalling the pavers altogether.

By addressing the underlying causes of paver sinking and taking the necessary steps to correct the issue, you can ensure that your paver edging remains stable and aesthetically pleasing for years to come. Regular maintenance and inspections can also help to prevent future issues and keep your pavers in top condition.

Uneven and lifted pavers can be a common issue caused by improper installation or the composition of the soil. In areas with clay-rich soil that retains water, the expansion during freezing temperatures can exert pressure on the pavers, causing them to rise. It’s essential to address this issue promptly to ensure the durability and safety of your paver installation.

Why Are My Pavers Lifting Up?

Dealing with paver edging popping up can be a frustrating issue for many homeowners. One common reason why pavers lift up is when they aren’t installed deep enough or at an even thickness. Unevenness in the base or improper compacting can cause the pavers to shift and become uneven over time. This can be especially problematic in areas with heavy foot traffic or vehicular movement.

Soils that have a high clay content tend to hold more water than soils that are primarily sandy. When the soil retains excess moisture, it can expand when frozen, pushing the pavers upwards. This can occur during the winter months in regions with cold climates.

To address this issue, it’s important to ensure that the pavers are installed correctly. They should be set at a proper depth and compacted thoroughly to create a stable base. Additionally, using a geotextile fabric beneath the pavers can help to prevent soil movement and minimize the risk of paver edging popping up.

Regular maintenance is also key in preventing paver edging from lifting up. In addition, monitoring the levelness of the pavers and making any necessary adjustments can help to prevent further lifting.

In some cases, it may be necessary to re-level the pavers or replace damaged ones to ensure the longevity and stability of the installation. Seeking professional assistance from a landscaping contractor or paver specialist can help to identify the underlying issues and provide the best solutions for dealing with paver edging popping up. By addressing the root causes and implementing proper installation and maintenance practices, homeowners can enjoy a durable and aesthetically pleasing paved surface for years to come.

DIY Methods for Maintaining and Preventing Paver Lifting

  • Regularly sweep the pavers to remove dirt and debris
  • Use a pressure washer to clean the surface of the pavers
  • Apply a weed killer to prevent weeds from growing between the pavers
  • Inspect the pavers for any signs of lifting or movement
  • If any pavers are loose, remove them and reposition them using fresh sand
  • Fill in any gaps between the pavers with polymeric sand to prevent shifting
  • Avoid using heavy machinery or vehicles on the pavers to prevent damage
  • Regularly check the drainage system to ensure water doesn’t pool under the pavers
  • Apply a sealer to the pavers to protect them from staining and fading
  • Consider installing edging or borders to help keep the pavers in place

Now that you’ve assessed the problem and understood the steps involved, let’s dive into each step of repairing sinking patio pavers in detail.

How Do You Fix Sagging Pavers?

When dealing with paver edging popping up, it’s important to address the issue promptly to avoid any further damage to your patio or walkway. One common problem that occurs with pavers is sagging, where the stones sink or become uneven over time. Luckily, there are practical solutions to fix sagging pavers and restore the beauty and functionality of your outdoor space.

The first step in repairing sinking patio pavers is to assess the problem. Take the time to thoroughly examine the affected area to determine the cause of the sinking. This could be due to insufficient base material, poor drainage, or erosion. Identifying the underlying issue is crucial for an effective and lasting repair.

Once you’ve identified the problem, it’s time to pull up the sinking pavers. Use a pry bar or a similar tool to carefully lift the affected stones. Be gentle during this process to avoid causing any additional damage to the surrounding pavers.

After removing the pavers, you’ll need to remove the bedding layer beneath them. This layer usually consists of sand or gravel and may have become compacted or eroded over time. Use a shovel or a trowel to scoop out the old bedding material and dispose of it properly.

Next, it’s time to replace the base material. This might involve adding or compacting gravel or sand to create a sturdy foundation for the pavers. Make sure to follow the recommended guidelines for your specific project and consider consulting with a professional if needed.

Once the base is restored, carefully re-lay the paving stones in their original pattern. Take your time to align them properly and ensure that they’re level with the surrounding surface. Consider using a rubber mallet or a similar tool to gently tap the pavers into place, making sure they’re securely set.

Finally, tamper the repaired area to ensure that the pavers are firmly in place. Use a hand tamper or a rented plate compactor to compact the base material and create a stable surface. Once you’ve completed tamping, sweep sand or gravel into the joints between the pavers to lock them together and prevent further movement.

Remember to always prioritize safety and consult with a professional if you’re unsure about any aspect of the repair process. With the right tools and techniques, your pavers will be back in great shape in no time.

Common Causes of Paver Sagging and How to Prevent Them

Common causes of paver sagging include improper installation, poor base preparation, and inadequate edging. To prevent paver sagging, ensure that the base is properly compacted and leveled before installation. Use a sturdy edging material such as plastic or metal to provide adequate support and containment for the pavers. Regular maintenance, including releveling and resealing, can also help prevent sagging over time.

Source: How to Repair Sinking Patio Pavers – Western Interlock

To ensure that your pavers stay in place without any shifting, there are a few measures you can take. Firstly, filling in any gaps or cracks between the pavers with gravel and compacting it firmly will contribute to a stable base. Moreover, if you opt for brick or concrete pavers, ensure that their pattern is carefully aligned to create a tight fit, enhancing stability and preventing movement.

How Do I Make Sure My Pavers Don’t Move?

Ensuring that your pavers stay in place is crucial to maintaining a stable and visually appealing outdoor space. To prevent any movement, it’s important to take proactive measures during the installation process. One effective method is to rake gravel into the cracks between the pavers and then compact it with a tamper. This will help create a solid base and minimize any potential for shifting.

Furthermore, if you’ve opted for brick or concrete pavers, choosing a pattern that fits together snugly is vital. The interlocking design can significantly enhance stability by limiting movement. Double-checking the alignment and making any necessary adjustments before completing the installation will help prevent future issues with paver movement.

Additionally, utilizing edging materials can be highly beneficial in preventing paver shifting. Installing paver edging along the perimeter of your paved area will serve as a barrier to keep the pavers in place. There are various edging options available, including plastic, metal, or concrete, which can be chosen based on your personal preference and the overall aesthetic of your space.

Furthermore, in colder climates where freeze-thaw cycles are common, it’s essential to address any potential issues before they escalate. Applying a polymeric sand or joint stabilizing sealer between the pavers can help keep them in place by preventing weed growth and enhancing the bond between the individual units.

Taking the time to ensure a solid base, choosing a snug interlocking pattern, installing edging, and addressing any issues promptly will help keep your pavers in place for years to come. By implementing these practical strategies, you can create a beautiful and long-lasting outdoor space that will withstand the test of time.

Regular Maintenance of Pavers: Discussing How Regular Cleaning and Maintenance Can Help Prevent Paver Movement and Keep Them in Place.

  • Regular maintenance is crucial for keeping pavers in place and preventing movement.
  • Cleaning the pavers regularly removes debris and dirt that can cause them to shift.
  • Sweeping the surface with a broom or using a leaf blower can help prevent buildup.
  • Using a pressure washer with a low-pressure setting can effectively remove stubborn stains and grime.
  • Inspecting for any loose pavers and resetting them promptly can prevent further movement.
  • Applying a paver sealer can help protect the surface and enhance stability.
  • Regularly removing weeds and moss growth between pavers is essential to prevent displacement.
  • Applying polymeric sand between the joints helps stabilize the pavers and inhibit weed growth.
  • Avoid using harsh chemicals or excessive force when cleaning pavers to prevent damage.
  • Keeping the pavers well-maintained not only prevents movement but also ensures their longevity.

As time passes and the sand beneath them settles, loose pavers can become a common issue. These pavers, which are typically laid on top of compacted sand, may start to shift or become lopsided due to gaps forming underneath them. This can occur when the sand settles into the ground, causing the pavers to lose their stability.

What Causes Loose Pavers?

Dealing with loose pavers can be a frustrating issue that many homeowners face. So, what causes pavers to become loose in the first place? Typically, pavers are laid on top of a bed of compacted sand, providing a sturdy foundation. However, over time, the sand begins to settle into the ground, causing the pavers to become uneven and lopsided.

As the sand settles, these gaps become more pronounced, allowing the pavers to wiggle and shift out of place. This can happen due to various reasons, such as poor installation techniques or natural ground movement.

This is particularly true if the base underneath the sand isn’t strong enough to support the load. The constant pressure and movement can gradually dislodge the pavers and create a hazardous or unsightly situation.

To prevent loose pavers and alleviate this issue, it’s crucial to maintain the integrity of the sand bed and ensure it remains compacted. This can be done by periodically adding fresh sand and using a tamper to compact it. Additionally, inspecting and repairing any damaged or deteriorated edging is essential for keeping the pavers in place.

By addressing these issues proactively, homeowners can maintain the stability and aesthetics of their paver installations.

Common Installation Mistakes That Lead to Loose Pavers

One common installation mistake that often leads to loose pavers is improper edging. When the edging used to secure the pavers isn’t installed correctly, it can cause the pavers to pop up and become unstable over time. This can be due to using inadequate or ineffective edging materials, not installing the edging deep enough, or failing to properly compact the base material beneath the pavers. To avoid this issue, it’s essential to use durable and appropriate edging materials, ensure the edging is installed at the right depth, and compact the base material thoroughly before laying the pavers. By addressing these common installation mistakes, you can prevent your pavers from popping up and maintain a sturdy and long-lasting pavement.


By understanding the common causes of a failed edge, such as excessive sand usage, incorrect installation of edge restraints, or using inappropriate edging materials for the intended traffic level, one can take effective measures to prevent or rectify the issue. Properly preparing the base-layer, choosing suitable edge restraints, and ensuring proper installation techniques will help maintain the integrity of the paving project and prevent edging from popping up. With a careful and informed approach, one can enjoy a durable and visually appealing hardscape that withstands the test of time.

Scroll to Top