My customers Paver patio Heaved!

gofastjd

LawnSite Member
Location
Broken Arrow, OK
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Background: I've been installing pavers for more than 10 years. Icpi certified, BAC, we use proper 3/4" compacted crusher run, compacted in 2" lifts, we know how to install a good solid base. Etc etc.

So here's the problem:

I had a family friend call us for a concrete patio removal and a new patio installed. We came out and saw some previous foundation issues. Some setting, badly cracked concrete patio, cracked brick on the house etc. they had the house Piered and it hadn't moved since.
So we removed the concrete and a lot of soil, we installed approx. a 8-10" deep compacted base. We got great compaction, installed our bedding sand, pavers, 2% fall for drainage etc etc. it looked great! Then about 6 months later the patio heaved about 1-2" in the middle. We put a laser level on it and you can clearly see it has heaved in the middle. The Hollander pavers at the house have heaved as you can kinda see in the picture. It for sure had a 2% fall from the house away towards the yard.
I called an engineer to see what he recommended cause I had never seen this before. The engineer did a report and basically said I need to remove and install a new compacted base. I disagree. I think I have to excavate 24"+ or put a concrete slab or something to alleviate the clay soils from moving. It has to be clay deep down that we just didn't get into. I don't know I'm just assuming. Without digging several feet in the ground.

No problem I can do all of that. However I'm extremely worried that this will happen again.

What do I do? Should I just eat the cost? I have a great reputation in this town and plan on keeping it. We do a ton of work just want some opinions before I take my medicine.

Oh and I also removed the edging to see if it settled or moved horizontally. But you could tell that nothing has moved on the paver edging. It has heaved in the middle. The engineer said it settled. I think he assessed it incorrectly.

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TPendagast

LawnSite Fanatic
So IF it settled
Then on the right hand side of the pic the pavers would have dropped down below the wooden post trim
But you can see it’s the same as the trim on the posts to the right (on the other side of the heave.

So left to right the levels look the same
It does look as if something pushed up in the middle

I think you have soil conditions out of your control

IF IT was me
I’d excavate 36” down
Lay geotex fabric
Compact in 6” lifts with be fabric every lift
My excavation area would be 20 percent large than the patio
Spike down the edges of the geotex
Photograph and document the process

This is what I would do anytime I was worried about foundation or preexisting settling issues
Especially in areas with freeze thaw

Does the ground freeze where you’re at?
Do you have hot springs?
 
OP
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gofastjd

LawnSite Member
Location
Broken Arrow, OK
We don't get a very deep freeze line here. We typically only have to install 4" crusher base. (I know we're lucky). unless of course you have expansive soils, then we have to dig out and install more crusher. But we excavated at least 12" on this job. How was I supposed to know I needed to excavate 24"+.
I really appreciate your input.

I don't know about hot springs?

So how do I go about dealing with my customer. Do I just tell them sorry your soil issues are out of my control and I'm not responsible.
 

redmax fan

LawnSite Silver Member
i dont do pavers but my thought is tell customer ive no way of knowing for sure what is going to happen down the line , and if a big project would be enough to fix issue permanently . so how bout i just patch it for now and let some time go by to see what happens before a final fix is attempted .
 

TPendagast

LawnSite Fanatic
We don't get a very deep freeze line here. We typically only have to install 4" crusher base. (I know we're lucky). unless of course you have expansive soils, then we have to dig out and install more crusher. But we excavated at least 12" on this job. How was I supposed to know I needed to excavate 24"+.
I really appreciate your input.

I don't know about hot springs?

So how do I go about dealing with my customer. Do I just tell them sorry your soil issues are out of my control and I'm not responsible.
Well

I don’t know
I’m reaching with the hot springs
Trying to think what made soil go UP
With out freezing

Earthquake?
 

ztman

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
mountain pa
If they had the house piered then the most likely have a geo tech report. That will give you some indication of what you are dealing with.

And a P.S.
Go look at the deck surface above and see if that elevation corresponds to the paver patio. I assume those porch posts are on footings. If they piered the house, but not the deck post footing, the footings for the deck posts could moving with the type of soil you have in OK. (Especially the one with the downspout attached to it)
 
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hal

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Georgia
We don't get a very deep freeze line here. We typically only have to install 4" crusher base. (I know we're lucky). unless of course you have expansive soils, then we have to dig out and install more crusher. But we excavated at least 12" on this job. How was I supposed to know I needed to excavate 24"+.
I really appreciate your input.

I don't know about hot springs?

So how do I go about dealing with my customer. Do I just tell them sorry your soil issues are out of my control and I'm not responsible.
Yes, but fix the area. How about underground water? What was the reason for the house piers? What caused that? Did the outside area of the patio drop at all? If not just retamp and fix the upheaval and make it level again. BUT warn, instruct customer (in writing, signed, notorized....).
 

scagman52

LawnSite Senior Member
If they had the house piered then the most likely have a geo tech report. That will give you some indication of what you are dealing with.

And a P.S.
Go look at the deck surface above and see if that elevation corresponds to the paver patio. I assume those porch posts are on footings. If they piered the house, but not the deck post footing, the footings for the deck posts could moving with the type of soil you have in OK. (Especially the one with the downspout attached to it)
I would suspect that report will tell you the problem. Down here in Florida that would be sinkhole activity for sure. I had it at my home and they drill down all around the house 10' deep and as far as 30' for my problem. Then they pump concrete (35 truck fulls) so now the house is literately sitting on the rock of Gibraltar!
 

TPendagast

LawnSite Fanatic
I would suspect that report will tell you the problem. Down here in Florida that would be sinkhole activity for sure. I had it at my home and they drill down all around the house 10' deep and as far as 30' for my problem. Then they pump concrete (35 truck fulls) so now the house is literately sitting on the rock of Gibraltar!
Yea
Sinkhole would make the ground go DOWN
In this case it went up...
 
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