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Pavers - Compacting gravel base when wet/damp

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by Akshue, Apr 19, 2009.

  1. Akshue

    Akshue LawnSite Member
    Messages: 20

    OK, here is my little dilemma....

    I was planning on compacting my gravel base on Wed for pavers - We are supposed to have light rain until Tuesday, and get about 1/2 in today

    Our soil is clay, any my excavated hole is easily the lowest part in the lawn, which means that I now have a some standing water. It won't be bone dry by Wed.

    I am using a geotex between the clay/existing slab and the traffic bond... Do I have to wait until things are nice and dry before compacting? Or, is it OK to start compacting when things are still a bit squishy (or is it better, as the soil will compact that much more)
  2. lblmike

    lblmike LawnSite Member
    Messages: 45

    Do you have the geotextile between the clay and gravel?

    This is where it should be so that the clay does not migrate into the gravel. As far as compacting with standing water you will probably making soup. Is it possible do drain or pump some of the water out?
  3. Akshue

    Akshue LawnSite Member
    Messages: 20

    Yes, the geotex will be between clay and gravel. I don't think I will have standing water by then, but it will likley still be pretty wet.
  4. Akshue

    Akshue LawnSite Member
    Messages: 20

    Just checked it now.... Even though it is still raining, and there is 1-2" of water in some spots, the clay is not soupy at all - pretty firm, actually.

    Hopefully it will dry up in time, but Im still curious if a little give will be OK.
  5. lblmike

    lblmike LawnSite Member
    Messages: 45

    How thick of a gravel base are you planning to put?
    Here some contractors excavate down to frost line 4' then fill with gravel and no geotex fabric. this is a pretty safe way of accomplishing a good base but very expensive manufacturers here recommend 2' of gravel as a base
  6. lblmike

    lblmike LawnSite Member
    Messages: 45

    using geotex of course
  7. Akshue

    Akshue LawnSite Member
    Messages: 20

    I am doing at least 6" of gravel - closer to 7 in most places though (depending on how level I got my dirt in that particular area)
  8. Mid-Ohio Scaper

    Mid-Ohio Scaper LawnSite Member
    Messages: 135

    You know, if you were to use a clean crushed 3/4" gravel for base with geo under it you wouldn't have to worry about rainy or wet conditions at all.
  9. LB1234

    LB1234 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,208

    We work with clay soil all the time. If the clay is like a sponge we just wait until it dries out...which can take a few days to a few weeks depending on site conditions.

    If the site is good and you start compacting we always try to remember to have a few bags of portland cement on hand. If the QP/base starts to get oversaturated we just mix in some portland cement. You are not trying to make cement so obviously shouldn't do it if there are huge puddles all over the place but for small areas with too much moisture it should keep the job going.

    good luck
  10. Akshue

    Akshue LawnSite Member
    Messages: 20

    Well, we are up to about 3" of standing water in my swimmin' hole now - its supposed to be cold and rainy until Tuesday.

    Planning on going out tuesday night after the rain is done, vacuuming out as much water as I can, and setting a few fans on it overnight. We probably won't get to work on it on Wed, but mabye by thursday things will be dried out enough.

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