common patio problems in northern michigan

Are you tripping over that same uneven area in your patio over and over? Standing water from sunken pavers not allowing you to use portions of your patio? Frustrated with never-ending weeds popping up through the joints?

Patio problems are the last thing you want to deal with when warmer weather rolls into Northern Michigan. Not only are they unsightly, but they can also be a serious safety issue.

Whether you are dealing with existing patio issues or are considering installing a patio, it is important to be educated about what can go wrong. Let’s look at 5 of the most common patio problems we see and how you can fix them.

#1- Broken Pavers

With our intense winter weather and frequent freeze/thaw cycle, cracked or broken pavers are a frequent complaint from many in the Northern Michigan area. Thankfully, this patio problem is typically the easiest to solve. The cracked or broken stone can usually be pulled up and replaced with a new stone from the manufacturer.

Many new pavers are made to expand and shift with cooling temperatures, which helps to prevent cracks or damage. In some cases, cracks can be caused by improper installation as well.

#2- Uneven and Loose Pavers

Uneven pavers are really one of the most dangerous patio problems. Even a small height difference can cause trip and falls for guests and hazards, especially in the evening hours. You do not want to have to navigate around a certain area of your patio because the pavers are so uneven you stub a toe or fall.

Pavers can become loose if they are installed too far apart or incorrectly in general. Uneven gaps can also become a tripping hazard. Often times this issue is seen near the perimeter of your patio, especially if a proper edge restraint is not installed. It may look like the edge is leaning or tipping and pavers are about to topple over into the grass. In extreme cases, if you step right on the outer paver, it will fall, roll, or sink. There are several great options for edge restraint PVC, aluminum, or metal depending on the specific application.

flagstone paver patio with uneven pavers and weeds growing through joints

All of these issues can arise as a result of improperly installed pavers. Because of this, the repair process is usually quite extensive. Uneven and loose pavers typically point to an issue with the base installation. A proper base is key for supporting the weight of the pavers themselves and whatever else is then put on the pavers—furniture, grills, or even vehicles.

#3- Weeds Growing Between Paver Joints

Weeds popping up between pavers is thankfully much more of an annoyance than a safety issue. This problem can arise if the installation company did not use polymeric sand. Poly sand is not like typical loose sand as it hardens like cement and binds your paver joints. This significantly helps prevent weed growth.

paver patio with no polymeric sand between joints

If polymeric sand is not installed properly or not used at all, weeds will certainly grow through. If the structure of your patio is strong, installing polymeric sand years after the patio is installed can still help discourage weed growth. Using targeted weed control spray can be a simple fix to aggressive patio weeds as well.

#4- Sunken Pavers

Sunken pavers are unfortunately one of the biggest and most expensive issues to fix. They usually mean that the base has not been properly installed or that there is a major drainage issue. It is possible that the base has not been installed to the proper depth, that the base was not properly compacted, or that drainage or grading issues were ignored during the installation.

patio with properly installed base and edging

Most times this issue has to be resolved by completely replacing the patio. A poorly set base can not be effectively repaired and the sunken area problem will likely re-appear if pavers are just pulled up and soil or crushed stone is amended.

#5- Discolored, Moldy, or Dirty Pavers

While discolored, moldy, or dirty pavers are mostly an aesthetic issue, these problems can create a slippery situation. No matter how your patio is installed, it is likely that at some point it will need to be cleaned and sealed, as it is exposed to the elements year-round. We’ve written an entire article about sealing your patio and how to care for your patio. Be sure to check your warranty on your pavers, as sometimes cleaning them yourself can void the warranty.

dirty patio pavers

Selecting a Landscape Contractor to Address Your Patio Problems

Patio issues can not only prevent you from effectively using your space, but they can be dangerous. Slipping, tripping, or twisting an ankle is definitely not your idea of a great time outdoors. Depending on the seriousness of your problem, simple repairs can sometimes make a big difference.

If your patio has larger issues like a poorly installed base or drainage issues, unfortunately, your only solution may be to replace the patio. This is why it is so important to carefully interview your landscape contractor before signing. Be sure to look at reviews and photo galleries to see what type of work they do. Look on their website for information about how they install a patio, and if you can’t find it, be sure to ask. Many companies offer a warranty with installation as well, which can relieve some of the stress when making such a large investment.

At TruNorth Landscaping, our team leaders have been installing beautiful hardscapes for well over 30 years. With annual training and the right tools, we are careful to protect your investment. To learn more about our landscape design and installation process, check out our process page.

Ready for a beautiful and well-installed patio in Grand Traverse or Leelanau County, MI? If so, meet with our team of experts, choose a solution to improve your property, and get ready to sit back, relax, and enjoy your beautiful outdoor space.

Get started today with a consultation!

Want tips and tricks for your lawn & landscaping?

Sign Up For Our Free Quarterly Newsletter

We take your personal information very seriously. We will not share any of the information you provide with any 3rd parties. Provided information will be used specifically to contact you in regards to your inquiry.