Just like anything else, paving won’t last forever. But if your patio is looking worse for wear, you’re probably wondering whether you can make do, or if it’s time to replace it. After all, replacing old patio slabs is a big job to do on a whim.
Before you go digging up your patio, you should be aware of the signs that tell you it’s time to make some changes. In this post, we’ll look at three tell-tale signs that time is up for your existing patio slabs – and how to go about replacing them.
Cracks aren’t always seen as a bad thing. Some can even add character to a property. However, there are some cracks that can lead to bigger problems. Large cracks can become dangerous for people to walk on and will eventually become a hazard for people living in the property.
Some large cracks will also gather water which could affect the ground beneath and encourage weeds to grow. Cracks will often happen naturally through wear and tear over the years. However, they’re particularly problematic because they tend to grow. Once a small crack appears, it’s highly likely that it will expand at some point.
Cracks can become worse by people walking across them or weight be applied in form of furniture. The good news is, some cracks can be repaired. It doesn’t necessarily mean you need to replace your slabs. It’s best to ask a professional whether replacing old patio slabs is something you should do.
2. Uneven ground
When purchasing patio slabs, people don’t often think about how the ground will change over the years. No matter where you live or what type of property you own, your land will always shift slightly as the years go by. That may mean that your patio slabs feel or look visibly uneven. Your slabs may still last a few more years but the uneven ground can be a worry.
If you place furniture on your patio slabs, for instance, it could mean that the furniture becomes wobbly. The last thing you want is for a visitor to wobble off a chair and hurt themselves. Replacing patio slabs with a material like Indian limestone could solve the problem and give you better durability. It’s also a cost-effective option if you don’t want to spend too much on your replacement patio.
3. Unsightly damage
You may simply be thinking about replacing patio slabs because your garden has become unsightly. Just like anything else, paving can get to a point where it needs to be replaced in order for the surroundings to look better. People often notice damage during the Spring and Summer months, when they spend more time outdoors and want to entertain at their homes.
Alternatively, you might simply want to replace your patio because it doesn’t fit with the theme of your property anymore. Many people who own older homes are renovating indoors and want their exterior to match the design. It could mean a simple change in materials that creates a more stylish, modern look.
Do I need to replace my entire patio?
Replacing your entire patio could be a costly and time-consuming job. However, in some cases, you might be able to simply patch up your existing patio. There are lots of instances where a full patio replacement is unnecessary, and the patio may just require a few replacement slabs. It’s also possible for cracks to be fixed in order for the slabs to last longer.
How to repair patio slabs
If your slabs just need a quick repair, there are several methods you can use. Here are some ways you can quickly and easily repair cracks in your slabs.
Resurfacing is ideal if you want something to last a bit longer for the short term. If you’re holding a summer party, for instance, you will want your slabs to look good and be safe for your guests. Resurfacing is just a way to cover the cracks and hold the slabs in place for a short period of time. It won’t fix the problem and you’ll still need to replace at a later date.
Mudjacking is an excellent option for anyone who has uneven slabs due to land movement. The process involves drilling a hole through the centre of the slabs and filling the ground with a mortar-based mixture. This levels the ground so the slabs are no longer uneven and won’t need replacing. It also helps to close any gaps between slabs and prevent further movement in the short-term.
Polymer packing is very similar to mudjacking. The only benefit of choosing polymer packing over mudjacking is it uses a lightweight material, unlike mortar. This makes the clean up a lot easier if you have an event coming up shortly. If your patio is uneven slightly in a few places, this could quickly solve the problem and save you a lot of time and money.
How long should a patio last?
When installed correctly, your patio should last an average of ten years. Before this time it’s unlikely to need any major repairs. If you’ve had your patio slabs less than ten years and they’re already showing significant damage, it’s probably best to get a professional opinion on what’s going wrong.
Is it time to replace your patio?
If your patio is over ten years old or it’s showing any of the above signs, it could be time for a replacement. Infinite Paving has a range of high quality paving options for any outdoor space, to make sure you don’t need to replace again any time soon. Take a look at our full range of paving products and find the one that’s perfect for your property.