How to Repair a Patio
It can be incredibly disappointing when you spend time and money choosing your perfect patio only for slabs to crack or mortar to come loose and ruin the aesthetic. Should this happen, it may be possible to fix the damage without a full replacement.
The best way to repair your patio depends on the type of damage that needs repairing. Here, we’ll be going through the best course of action for some of the most common patio faults and how you can repair them.
Replacing individual slabs
One common repair you may need to make to your patio is replacing individual slabs. This is also one of the easiest repairs to make.
There are a number of reasons you may need to replace individual slabs, such as cracks that are too severe to be repaired, or if a slab has been stained or discoloured in some way. Whatever the reason, replacing individual slabs is a straightforward process.
Start by breaking down the mortar around the slab you wish to replace with a hammer and chisel. In some cases, the slab may have already come loose from the mortar, in which case you won’t need to do this part.
Use a spade to lift out the slabs, using a piece of scrap timber to protect the surrounding slabs. Then remove the rest of the mortar around the removed slab.
If necessary, you will need to add more sand or mortar (whatever was used previously) under the slab and level it off. Gently place the new slab in place and then fill the surround with new mortar.
Repairing cracked slabs
Some cracked slabs can be repaired rather than replaced. To repair paving slabs, you can start by removing the loose and damaged concrete debris from the slab with a wire brush. There are several different concrete patching compounds and mortar mixes you can use to repair cracks.
Use a trowel to smooth the mixture and press it into the cracks, making sure it is pushed all the way down into the crack.
Remove any excess, smooth off the surface and wait for the mixture to dry. If your slab has a roughened texture, you may want to rub the surface of the mixture with a wood block to try and match it.
If you cover the patch with plastic and leave it for 3 days, it will allow the mixture to cure, giving a much better finish.
The mortar between your patio tiles can easily become cracked or damaged over time. Luckily, repointing is a fairly straightforward patio repair job that will have the area looking great again.
You will need to begin by removing the old mortar from around the paving slabs, using a chisel and hammer as you would when replacing an individual paving slab as described above.
Mix up your choice of jointing compound. There are plenty of compounds available, or you can make your own mix from sand and cement.
Pour the mixture onto your patio and brush it into the gaps between the slabs, ensuring each gap is full, and sweep away any excess compound. Press the mixture down with a trowel or piece of timber to make sure it is firmly packed and then sweep away any remaining product.
Leave the product to dry and set completely without disturbing it.
If the stones of your patio have started to sink or become uneven, it is possible to rectify the problem with a little work.
You will need to start by removing any of the stones that are sinking, as described in the section for replacing individual slabs. Next, you will need to excavate the ground beneath the sinking stones by at least 3 inches.
Pour two inches worth of course stone into the area you have excavated and level it off. Next, add an inch of fine gravel to the area, plus however much more you need to bring the surface to just above the bottom of the other paving slabs.
This is necessary because the new patio stones will settle down over time, so they need to begin slightly higher than the surrounding stones. Finally, place the slabs back in place and check they are level.
In some extreme cases, a patio may be beyond repair and may need to be replaced. However, with these tips, hopefully you now know how to repair a patio before it gets to that point!