Paver patios are stone, so why does drainage affect them? The yard you had before you installed the patio drained just fine, and even if a bit of water is collecting on the patio, won’t it take a very long time before the pavers are impacted? Not really. Poor drainage problems on your patio can affect the pavers and the rest of your home negatively, quite quickly. It’s important to know what impacts improper drainage might have on your whole property.
1. Water Flow Towards the House
Pavers don’t absorb water the way that grass and soil do. In order to resist the impact of rain, pavers are made of a concrete-like mix and kiln-fired. They do not absorb water, so the water that falls on them runs down their slope. If your patio is sloped towards your home, this can be a huge problem. Water that collects here can erode your foundation and cause very serious damage to your home.
Proper installation requires you slope your patio away from your home.
2. Soil and Paver Erosion
Patios should have drainage built into them so that the water which naturally collects on top can drain into the ground quickly, within a few hours after rainfall at the longest. Otherwise, sitting water on your patio can erode the pavers, ruin their seal, and potentially also ruin their color. You may find algae and moss grow on the patio due to the wet conditions.
Depending on how the water flows off the patio, it can also erode the soil around it. This can flood garden beds and lawns, killing plants. It may also create erosion problems, washing away soil, especially on those properties which have slopes or are already dealing with erosion.
3. Polluting Water
Run off from your patio may run near your garage, greenhouse, over your driveway, and thus potentially over spills or chemicals, and bring those contaminants into the stormwater management system. It’s important to allow water to drain faster and to understand what might be in its path so that you don’t leave chemicals or spills there for long.
Improper Drainage Fixes
If you’ve discovered that your paver patio doesn’t have proper drainage, you’ll likely want to fix it as soon as possible in order to prevent damage. It’s wise to get a professional in to examine the patio to see what needs to be done to fix it. Potential solutions include:
- Fixing slope: If the entire patio has been sloped incorrectly, the professional may need to take it up and fix the slope. They may need to regrade and re-tamp the various layers of the patio. Sometimes a layer is missing and this contributed to the problem in the first place.
- Add drainage: Sometimes the patio is missing drains that should have been installed to handle water flow. While not all patios need dedicated drains, many do, and installing them doesn’t necessarily mean the whole patio has to be re-built.
Changing pavers: There are permeable pavers that allow water to pass through them. In some situations, this is the best solution for drainage issues.