Oct 24, 2010

Common Paver Driveway Repair: Ruts into Garage

Interlocking pavers are perfect for driveways in Ann Arbor

We performed a brick paver driveway repair this week in Ann Arbor. This paver repair is a common repair you see not only for interlocking pavers, but also for cement, gravel, or asphalt driveways. Look at your current transition area between your driveway and cement floor and I am sure you have experienced imperfections, settling, chipping,and / or gaps.

Driveway ruts leading into the garage are very common and somewhat of a mystery.  Years ago I began reinforcing this area of pavers directly in front of the garage floor by installing extra layers of grid within the base material that was installed & increased layers of compaction.  I have seen good results but this area of a driveway, whether using brick pavers or not, seems to be susceptible to repairs or visible stress.

I have concluded that because this is an area of transition from one pavement, paving stones, to another pavement, usually cement, there is added load stress or frost damge.  One conclusion is that base material under the paving stones may slide under the cement floor of the garage during freeze thaw cycles. Another reason may be the load transfer from the cement surface to the paving stones creates vertical and/or lateral load force that stresses the paving stone & paver base material.

By adding additional reinforcement products like geo-textile fabric (below the base) and strata-grid (within layers of the base), extra layers of compaction (2-3" lifts), and stronger paver laying patterns (herringbone or random joints) have help eliminate the severity of this common brick paver repair

This paver driveway repair we performed in Ann Arbor this past week had approx. 8ft long ruts leading into all 3 garage door entrances.  When performing this paver repair, it is necessary to lift up the entire stretch across the garage floor, not just where the ruts exist.  Another brick paver contractor recommended to this customer that they lift and repair the actual rut areas only.  I easily showed the customer with a carpenter's level that the areas in between the ruts are usually raised and the paving stones are tilted.  The whole area in front of the garage was compromised and needed proper attention.

We lifted up the entire paving stone area in front of the garage, re-compacted the base, added more base material, screeded the area for proper pitch, and re-installed the pavers.  I expect that the problem of having future driveway ruts will be minimal but not entirely impossible. This paver repair will reinforce the area for years to come. 

When we were completed with this driveway repair, there was not visible evidence that this area had been repaired. This is the long-term benefit and beauty of using interlocking brick pavers for your next driveway installation!