Feb 18, 2010

Brick Paver Repair or Winter Frost Effect

The Winter frost in Michigan is going to begin to thaw in March. Like most freeze thaw cycles, the devastating effects will push all pavements, even brick pavers, to their extremes. Spring is just around the corner and most homeowners will begin to come out of hibernation and stretch their arms & legs. One of the first thing homeowners do is inspect their paver patios, walks, or drives.

The beauty of interlocking pavers is their capability to expand from winter frost with minimal or no damge. The paver joints absorb the effects of frost and the high density & low absorption rate of the brick pavers keep them from cracking.  But when you are dealing with mother earth, there are no guarantees that brick repairs will not be needed from shifting or heaving.

I always receive calls from frantic customers in pre-Spring weeks that their brick patio has a huge heave or raised area.  Good News! this is interlocking brick pavers at work! After the winter frost works its way out, your brick pavers will reset. No cracks, warps, or expensive repair costs.  As the temps float over and below the freezing mark, you can literally watch your paver patio move like a waterbed mattress.

Pavers that are raised or heaved, will go down. Pavers that are down, most likely will not come up. So, you may now have some type of brick paver repair that will need to be addressed. Do not confuse that brick areas are low because other brick areas are raised.  It is not unusual in Michigan during late March to early April to see your brick patio look like pizza dough be tossed at a pizzeria.  It should all level off when it gets warm and dry and you can enjoy this one free topping.

Once the Spring weather gets warmer & dryer, do not forget the most important brick paver maintenance requirement .... sweeping joint sand in the paver joints! As mentioned in earlier posts, this will deter lateral paver shifting, base erosion, and weed growth.  So, before you call your brick paver contractor for patio repair work, make sure the winter frost has completely thawed.