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How to Fix Sinking Patio Pavers

How to Fix Sinking Patio Pavers

There’s no need to ignore your sinking pavers or say it’s impossible to fix. Sinking patio and walkway pavers are a tripping hazard, and can detract from all the work you’ve done to beautify your garden and property. Knowles Building Centre is happy to let you know that this is a satisfying DIY job that doesn’t require much time or effort.

You’ll need only a few materials and tools to raise your pavers – soon you’ll be walking on level ground again. Just a few simple steps, and your patio and garden walkways will look much better and be safer.


  • Gravel
  • Concrete sand
  • Joint sand
  • Pavers (if needed, to replace any broken pavers)


  • 2 large flathead screwdrivers or a putty knife
  • Screed board (purchase one or make your own with a straight board)
  • Level
  • Rubber mallet
  • Tamping tool (manual, roller or gas-powered)
  • Bow rake
  • Stiff bristle push broom


Step 1: Lift out the pavers

It’s a good idea to take a photo of your pavers before removing them if they are in an intricate pattern. Start by removing all the uneven, sunken and broken pavers. The first paver is usually the most difficult to remove, especially if it has been there for a long time. Lift out the first paver by inserting a flat head screwdriver into the space beside the paver. If it is still too hard to remove, try using a screwdriver at each end of the paver, and tap lightly with a rubber mallet to help loosen it. Once you have removed the first paver, it will be a breeze to lift out the remaining sunken paver stones.

Step 2: Clean the paving stones

Clean the pavers you have removed using water and a stiff-bristled brush to remove moss and debris, so they will fit snugly back into place.

Step 3: Even out the ground

Even out the exposed ground to ensure the pavers will be at the right level, in line with the other pavers. You may need to add some soil to fill in low spots or indents, and to even out slopes. A good tool to help you get an even foundation for your pavers is the screed board, which you can purchase or make yourself with a straight piece of lumber.

Pull the screed board firmly across the uneven ground to push the soil and even it out. You can use the pavers that are still in place as a guide to even out the ground.

If your sunken pavers are close to your home’s foundation, make sure that the ground slopes away from your house. You can remedy this when levelling the ground for your pavers to prevent damage from water leaking into your home’s foundation.

Step 4: Spread gravel

If you decide to make a firmer base for your pavers, you can add some gravel to the ground and spread it with a bow rake, checking as you go to make sure it is level. Tamp down the gravel with a tamper tool after spreading it evenly. You can use a basic manual tamping tool, a roller or gas-powered model, depending on the size of the area you are repairing. Check again to make sure the gravel is level and sloping away from the house.

Step 5: Spread sand

Add concrete sand to the gravel base, and smooth it evenly with the screed board to cover the entire area. Tamp down the sand to make sure it is firm, smooth and level.

Step 6: Replace the pavers

Lay the pavers in the pattern you want, making sure they are free of moss, leaves and soil.

Step 7: Pour sand on the pavers

When all the pavers are positioned, use a rubber mallet to tap them firmly into place. Spread joint sand on top of the pavers to fill in the grooves, and sweep with a broom to ensure the sand falls evenly into the grooves.


What type of sand should I use?

Consult with your local building supply centre to find the best sand to use below and on top of your pavers, as climate, weather conditions in your region and even the type of material and colour of your pavers can affect the results.

How should I maintain the pavers?

To keep your newly revived pavers in great shape, clean them every spring with a hard bristle broom. It’s best to avoid using a power washer as this can wear down the surface of the pavers. Keep weeds under control as they can shift the pavers.

Devoting some time to maintaining and fixing your pavers will leave you satisfied with the look and feel of your patio or walkway and help it stay a safe place to rest and play. And if you need any further advice, our team at Knowles Building Centre will be happy to help.

Disclaimer: The information and resources in these articles and on this website are available for informational and educational purposes only. The articles provided on this website are created with every reasonable effort to ensure completeness and accuracy. In doing so, the article writers, publishers, and the business that this website represents assume no responsibility for errors, omissions, or opposed interpretation of the articles and under no circumstance will these parties be held liable for any direct, indirect and/or consequential damages of any kind incurred from undertaking tasks outlined in the articles or on this website. In addition, it is suggested that readers check by-laws, zoning laws and building codes of your local area and country.