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View Full Version : what would cause this?


westcoh
09-20-2009, 02:59 PM
I took this picture this spring. Installed the walkway in the fall of last year, and over the winter somehow this happened. Any thoughts on what would've caused something like this?

4 seasons lawn&land
09-20-2009, 03:06 PM
frost heaving

billwlod
09-20-2009, 04:30 PM
make sure you dig up all topsoil and 7 inches of clay then build up with crush gravel 6 inches and 1 inch of sand. Pretty crazy though. Kind of a freak thing to happen with pavers. Is there a irrigation line under them?

4 seasons lawn&land
09-20-2009, 04:46 PM
thought it was on a pad

westcoh
09-20-2009, 05:00 PM
It was built properly. All topsoil removed, geotextile, six inches rd. crush, 1 inch of concrete sand. The part that amazes me is how some of those pavers cracked within a half inch of the edge of the paver. No irrigation lines running under that I'm aware of.

4 seasons lawn&land
09-20-2009, 05:22 PM
is it poly sand or mortar gaps? The mortar might not let anything flex at all and is obviously stronger than the pavers.

STL Ponds and Waterfalls
09-20-2009, 06:52 PM
Check with Zedosix on here, he had the samething happen with a couple pavers. He is in Ontario, so it maybe a regional paver supplier issue.

BrandonV
09-20-2009, 09:07 PM
tree fall on it or tuck traffic?

zedosix
09-20-2009, 09:20 PM
Nothing to do with the pavers, what I am thinking is the poly sand is holding the pavers together so well that the frost is actually cracking the surface. Its happened twice to me now. I follow all guidelines of install and have only just started to see this. Here is a product from Unilock.."brussels"

There is a conduit placed under the walkway which is likely responsible for the heaving as well, but I've never seen brick split down the middle from heaving. This brick took close to one hour to remove btw.

DVS Hardscaper
09-20-2009, 09:41 PM
Interesting Pictures.

Ya know, me and another guy were just talking on Friday about call backs for warranty work, only to later discover that the problems were caused by other happenings not related to our workmanship.

Here, in Maryland our ground doesn't really freeze anymore. Maybe the top couple inches may freeze for a few days or so. I do understand that Canada does have deep freezes. If it wasn't the freezing that cause it, like someone else mentioned - I could see a tree limb falling and cracking the pavers. If there are any trees nearby - check to see if they have any places where branches may have snapped or were sawed off.


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DVS Hardscaper
09-20-2009, 09:52 PM
Back in feb I was at a paver seminar. The speaker said "even though we're in a recession we're NOT short-cutting our paver mix LIKE OTHER MANUFACTURERS ARE".

Well, about a month and a half later we were putting in some pillar kits of another brand. Had a block where I watched my guy tap it with a rubber mallot to level it. IT BROKE in half upon the first hit! JUNK! And when I saw it happen, I instantly thought of the speaker referencing other manufacturers short cutting their mixes.

So, could be not that the poly sand is super strong. Could be that the density of the pavers is non-existant.


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zedosix
09-20-2009, 10:47 PM
That is possible, but I can usually get a good sense of how strong the pavers are especially when cutting them or roughing up the edges. After working with pavers for the last 26 years or so you get a feel for this. Compacting them would of likely cracked them if their density was weak. I am curious what co. that brick was manufactured from in the original post.


oh and no trees in the area.

DVS Hardscaper
09-20-2009, 11:01 PM
I'm not trying to try and convict the manufacturer, but while on the subject......

When the speaker made the comment about other manufacturers short-cutting their mixes I thought to myself "that's a goofy, bold thing to claim". And then when we had product of another brand break apart like nothing - it hit me "maybe he's right".

Think about it: last year fuel costs doubled, and then the industry got hit with the recession. Many manufacturers knew they could not raise prices or they'd price theirselves out of the market during these times. So to compensate for all that's happened - I could see some manufacturers shorting mixes to compensate for the inability of raising prices. "Well we can't add a 6% cost increase so we'll have to cut back on the Portland in the mix by 9%....."



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klaf
09-20-2009, 11:14 PM
I don`t think a crack like this would be caused by a problem in the base. If your base were to settle or heave to stone would do the same and shouldn`t crack. Especially not that close to the edge of a piece.

My guess would be that this is water/ice related. Is there any chance that this area receives a lot of run off water or maybe a hose faucet nearby that leaks. If so you could be getting a build up of ice in this area. A crack like this looks like the brick had no room move and with the added strength of the poly sand something had to give.

billwlod
09-21-2009, 12:29 AM
Polymeric sand is a great product but don't fill the hole paver with it just the last 1/4 inch. And only use it in potential problem areas like downspouts or around pools or close to retaining walls or in areas with ants.

zedosix
09-21-2009, 06:52 PM
Polymeric sand is a great product but don't fill the hole paver with it just the last 1/4 inch. And only use it in potential problem areas like downspouts or around pools or close to retaining walls or in areas with ants.

I'll continue to use it the entire way thru, 1/4" is not enough.

DVS Hardscaper
09-21-2009, 07:19 PM
Polymeric sand is a great product but don't fill the hole paver with it just the last 1/4 inch. And only use it in potential problem areas like downspouts or around pools or close to retaining walls or in areas with ants.

1/4-inch definitely won't suffice, gotta do it all the way through. We've never had problems with polysand. Based on 13 years of working with pavers, I don't think the poly sand has anything to do with the cracked pavers. It's my unfounded opinion that a combo of frozen ground/pavers and poor quality paver manufacturing is the culprit.


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zedosix
09-21-2009, 07:23 PM
It's my unfounded opinion that a combo of frozen ground/pavers and poor quality paver manufacturing is the culprit.


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Yes but the sand plays a part in bonding the pavers together, and not allowing the brick to work independantly. I also agree that the pavers are not of the same density as years before. At the moment one of my crews are finsihing a re-lay of a driveway we installed in 1987. They are quite faded but none are cracked.

zedosix
09-21-2009, 07:28 PM
1/4-inch definitely won't suffice, gotta do it all the way through. We've never had problems with polysand. Based on 13 years of working with pavers, I don't think the poly sand has anything to do with the cracked pavers.
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I believe that the sand plays a part, small part anyway in the cracked brick. It bonds the entire surface together as one and doesn't allow the brick to move independantly. I also agree that the brick may not be of the same density as it was years back.
As a side note.. one of my crews is relaying a driveway we installed in 1987 and very few if any pavers are cracked and as you know that was not installed with poly sand.

billwlod
09-21-2009, 07:52 PM
The only thing that sucks about putting polly sand all the way threw is pulling up the pavers and scraping them off when something like this happens.

zedosix
09-21-2009, 08:18 PM
Oops guess I repeated myself. lol

westcoh
09-21-2009, 11:53 PM
The pavers in my picture were manufactured by expocrete. No trees or anything around that could've fallen on it. I think your right in saying the frost played a large part in it, and the poly-sand is definitely locking everything together tight. It is embarrasing though when you sell a client on a flexible surface that wont crack like concrete and something like this happens. It was a nightmare replacing those pavers, we had to destroy them with a hammer to get them out. . .which brings me to another question. Anyone have any quick/easy methods for removing locked in pavers?

billwlod
09-22-2009, 02:47 AM
It sucks Good question wood chisels work good to scrape the polymer off once you have them out. I did a relay job at a strata where some "joey" did a hell of allot of shady work, didn't realize when I bid the job that they were all polyed together.

zedosix
09-22-2009, 06:41 AM
The pavers in my picture were manufactured by expocrete. No trees or anything around that could've fallen on it. I think your right in saying the frost played a large part in it, and the poly-sand is definitely locking everything together tight. It is embarrasing though when you sell a client on a flexible surface that wont crack like concrete and something like this happens. It was a nightmare replacing those pavers, we had to destroy them with a hammer to get them out. . .which brings me to another question. Anyone have any quick/easy methods for removing locked in pavers?

Use a portable hammer drill like bosch or hilti. That is the only way to remove them. The poly sand actully makes it a non flexible surface in my opinion that is why we are seeing this. I wouldn't be surprised to start seeing more of this problem. It just tells me you are installing your sand correctly. I still see guys flooding their brick after poly sand install.

White Gardens
09-25-2009, 05:32 PM
I would have to agree that there might be some water issues in the original post.

I feel that if water can't escape the base and is collecting water, then that is what caused the problems when it freezes.

I'd like to know what the sub-soil conditions are like under that sidewalk.

Twitchy
09-26-2009, 02:00 PM
I've also seen this on bullnose pool coping, mainly because there is no flex w/ the mortared joints. The patio was 8yrs old and a Nicolock product.

DVS Hardscaper
09-26-2009, 05:22 PM
I've also seen this on bullnose pool coping, mainly because there is no flex w/ the mortared joints. The patio was 8yrs old and a Nicolock product.


Nicolock is the company whom I have seen my aforementioned problems with as well. I always tell people "nicolock only ever gets one leg over the fence". Meaning - they have some nice looking products, I've noticed many of our clients really like Nicolocks colors over all the other brands - yet, they have quality issues.

Twitchy
09-26-2009, 07:05 PM
Nicolock is the company whom I have seen my aforementioned problems with as well. I always tell people "nicolock only ever gets one leg over the fence". Meaning - they have some nice looking products, I've noticed many of our clients really like Nicolocks colors over all the other brands - yet, they have quality issues.
This yr Nicolock has tried to improve their product and get higher end contractors to install their stone, but i dont think that it has helped. Mostly because of their track record. I personally know one of the reps, and he constantly come to my jobsites to check things out and persuade to use their latest and greatest stone. I've gone to their plant here on Long Island and seen the manufacturing of the stone. Truth be told i don't bring their catalog to estimates any longer (3yrs now). I am registered as a Nicolock Pro installer on their website, and still refuse to install their products.