How to repair paving

However well-laid your paving might be, eventually, issues are going to start to appear. Concrete is very hard-wearing, but constant exposure to the elements and repeated use can cause cracks to appear. Similarly, small ground movements, caused by rainfall can cause areas of your pavement to sink and crack. 

Damaged paving can be unsightly as well as potentially dangerous. Luckily, it is fairly simple to repair and thanks to these simple tips from Frank Key, you can have your paving looking as good as new in no time. 

Repairing a paving slab

If your paving is a patio or path made of slabs, repairing the damage is as simple as replacing the damaged slab. However, you also want to be sure you replace the slab in a way that prevents further occurrences from happening in the short term. 

First, using a plugging chisel and club hammer, chip away the pointing around the slab. Then lift out the slab using a spade, being sure to lay a piece of timber on the adjacent slab to avoid any damage to the adjacent slab. To make it easier to move the slab out of the way, use a broom handle and roll the slab across the top. 

Using a bolster chisel and club hammer, chip away old mortar beneath the slab. If the slab has been laid on sand, even the surface using more sand or timber. If the slab has been laid with mortar, wet the back of the new slab and lay it on a bed of mortar mixed with four parts sand and one part cement. Use a piece of timber and club hammer to press the slab into the mortar and level it off. Finally, fill the cracks with fresh mortar. 

Repairing block paving 

When fixing block paving, it’s important you replace all loose or uneven blocks, so take a good look at the area you need to replace in order to repair all of the damage. Use a club hammer and chisel to chip away the mortar between the blocks. This will become easier the more blocks you remove, though you may find that you have to completely smash the blocks in order to remove them, though this will mean you need to procure a couple of extra blocks to replace them. 

The paving blocks you have removed can now be cleaned using a stiff brush. This will ensure your blocks fit flush against one another when they are replaced. Then use sand to level the sunken area, being sure to use grit sand rather than building sand as this will allow for better drainage and prevent further sinkage. When you think the sand is level, lay a single brick on top and line it up with the other paving, then place a straight edge of timber along the top. The timber should be 2-3mm above the finished paving around the perimeter of the repair area, that should be fine. Be sure to check around the full repair area using this method. 

Following the pattern of the existing paving, relay the bricks, ensuring they are lined up flush to the already laid paving. Use a small rubber mallet to tap the blocks into place as you go. The last few blocks will be much tighter and will need a little more effort to get them into place. 

To compact the blocks, lay a piece of timber flat across the repaired area and strike it several times with your rubber mallet. Repeat this process until the paving is completely level. 

Once this is finished, apply kiln-dried sand to the joints by pouring it liberally over the area and ensuring it flows into the cracks between the blocks. Recompact the area and then sweep the surface sand into the cracks to account for any shrinkage due to the compaction. 

Repairing cracks and holes in concrete

Cracks and holes in concrete can cause further damage over time if left untreated as they will hold water which will then freeze and expand, further damaging the paving around the area. 

First, chip away at the damaged area using a sharp, cold chisel, to a depth of at least 15mm. Then undercut the edge of the concrete to ensure the filler will be held in place. Brush away dust and debris from the hole and paint it with PVA adhesive, according to manufacturer’s instructions. 

While the adhesive is still tacky, fill the area with concrete repair filler mix, in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Level the surface with the surrounding concrete, using a float for accuracy before covering the repaired area with polythene. It should harden within three days. 

At Frank Key, we sell all the materials and equipment you need to complete your repair, whether it’s replacement patio slabs or concrete path. Our expert staff are also on hand to support you with finding the right materials and offer guidance where you need it.