Paver patios are attractive, cost-effective, and quick to install. One of the few complaints with these patios is that they can sometimes suffer from drainage problems. Fortunately, this is an issue you can avoid.
1. Base Construction
Good drainage begins before the first paver is laid into place. A well-drained base consists of a thick layer of gravel on top of a weed-blocking fabric. The fabric, also called a geotextile, allows water to trickle through. The gravel further provides a drainage trough beneath the patio, which minimizes standing water on the service as well as washouts from beneath the pavers. In low areas, the base may need to be deeper so that there is more porous gravel for the water that may collect in the low spot.
2. Proper Grading
Grading refers to the slope of the paver patio. Generally, a paver patio should slope toward one side or corner, otherwise, water can pool on the surface of the patio. When water pools instead of draining off, pavers become more prone to damage and joints can wash out. The slope should be installed from the base up. This means that after the base is installed, but before the pavers are laid down, both the gravel and the sand bed on top of it will be graded towards the edge or corner that will provide the most drainage. Only then will the pavers be installed.
3. Sand Joints
Skip the mortar joints on your patio. Mortar isn't porous, so it doesn't allow moisture to seep in between the pavers. Sand joints are a better option because moisture can percolate through these joints and into the base where it drains away harmlessly. You can prevent sand washouts by using polymeric sand sold specifically for paver installation. A semi-porous seal helps hold the sand in place. Once a year, sweep fresh sand into the joints to renew them from the minimal loss that occurs from weathering.
4. Drain Integration
In some areas, the above tactics can help, but a high water table, low spot, or heavy moisture means that there is still standing water on your paver patio. In this case, it makes sense to have a drain installed either beneath the patio or at the edge of the patio on the bottom of the slope. A perforated drain pipe is installed in the best location, and then a small external drain captures the excess water so that it goes into the pipe and is routed away from the patio.
Contact a pave patio builder in your area to learn more.