Patio Paver Repair Guide for Sunken & Loose Pavers | Unilock

Bitmap We’re Hiring! Start your career at Unilock and join our growing team.

Copthorne Paver Steele Blue Basalt 8355 2 MOBILE
Share this

Patio Paver Repair 101: How to Fix Sunken or Loose Pavers

A paver patio can be the perfect outdoor oasis for al fresco dining, barbecue parties or simply relaxing after a long day. 

However, time and weather can take a toll on your patio, which is why regular maintenance is key. 

If some of your patio pavers are in need of repair, you came to the right place. We’ll walk you through our guide to patio paver repairs, including how to repair sunken and loose pavers. 

We’ll also introduce you to our vast selection of high-quality concrete pavers at Unilock that are guaranteed to withstand the test of time, as well as the harshest weather conditions. 

Reimagine your patio with Unilock. Explore pavers


Tools You’ll Need to Repair Patio Pavers 

Depending on the extent of the job, you might need a wide range of tools and equipment to repair your pavers, including: 

  1. Flat Head screwdriver to remove sunken and loose pavers without causing further damage to surrounding pavers 
  2. Shovel or garden trowel to excavate the area, remove debris and add gravel or sand 
  3. Hand tamper or vibratory plate compactor to compact gravel or crushed stone 
  4. Wheelbarrow to transport pavers, gravel and sand 
  5. Level to ensure the pavers, base and sand layers are level throughout the installation process 
  6. Screed board to level the sand for an even and smooth surface 
  7. Rubber mallet to tap the pavers into place, ensuring they are level and secure in the sand bed 
  8. Polymeric sand to fill the joints between pavers, locking them in place and preventing weed growth or soil erosion 
  9. A stiff-bristled broom to sweep polymeric sand into the gaps between pavers and clean the surface of excess sand or debris 
  10. Personal protective equipment like gloves, safety glasses, respirators and work boots to protect yourself during the repair process 
  11. Paver sealer, nap roller or sprayer (optional) to protect and enhance the look of the pavers with sealer, once the repair is complete 
With the right tools and equipment, you can restore your patio back to its original state


Step-by-Step Patio Paver Repair Guide 

The repair process can vary based on whether you’re repairing sunken or loose pavers, as each paver concern requires different methods and materials to achieve long-lasting results. 


How to Fix Sunken Pavers 

Sunken or uneven pavers are often the result of poor soil compaction that causes an uneven surface or an improper drainage system (If the latter is the case, check out our guide on how to install a patio drainage system!) 

To repair sunken or uneven pavers: 

  1. Identify the cause of the sinking. 
  2. Add more soil or compact the existing soil if the problem is soil erosion. If the problem is poor drainage, consider installing a new drainage system. 
  3. Lift the sunken paver using the tip of a flat head screwdriver. Be careful not to damage the surrounding pavers. 
  4. Remove the sand from the base using a shovel or garden trowel. If you find weeds growing, use a block knife to remove them. 
  5. Replace the aggregate base by filling it with around 4 to 6 inches of gravel and 1 inch of concrete sand. Use a trowel or screeding board to level the surface. 
  6. Use a stiff-bristled brush to remove any dirt and grime if you are reusing your old pavers. 
  7. Lay the pavers by using the click and drop method to lay your pavers by holding the paver at a slight angle, with one edge touching the adjacent paver’s edge. Gently slide the paver down, allowing it to “click” into place against the adjacent paver. Once you hear the click, drop the paver onto the sand bed. 
  8. Use a rubber mallet to tap the pavers into place. 
  9. Fill the gaps with polymeric sand to help stabilize the pavers and prevent weed growth. Then, use a rubber mallet to make sure the pavers are compacted. 
  10. Sweep the surface to remove any excess sand or debris. 
  11. Apply a sealer to help protect the pavers from water damage and prevent weeds from growing between the joints.
Blog Contractor Installing 4069 1
The click and drop method is a common technique used to lay concrete pavers


How to Fix Loose Pavers 

 Loose pavers are often the result of too much (or too little) joint sand and a lack of edge restraints. 

 To fix loose pavers: 

  1. Lift the loose paver out of its position using a flat head screwdriver. Set the paver aside for reinstallation. 
  2. Excavate the base and add 4 to 6 inches of new gravel or crushed stone if the base layer is damaged. Compact the material using a hand tamper or vibratory plate compactor to ensure a stable and level base. 
  3. Add 1 inch of sand if the existing layer is uneven. Level the sand using a screed board to create a smooth and even surface. 
  4. Place the paver back on the sand layer, ensuring it is level with the surrounding pavers. Use a rubber mallet to tap the paver back into place. 
  5. Sweep polymeric sand between the gaps of the pavers to lock them in place. 
  6. Remove any excess sand or debris from the surface of the pavers and apply a paver sealer to protect the pavers from wear and tear. Follow the sealer manufacturer’s instructions for proper application. 

Need help repairing your pavers? Find a Unilock Authorized Contractor

How to Keep Patio Pavers From Shifting 

 Whether you’re building a new paver patio or fixing pavers yourself, we’ve put together some tips to help ensure that your pavers stay in place over time. 

 If you’re building a new paver patio: 

  • Use high-quality Unilock pavers that are designed to endure and deter damage caused by harsh climate conditions. 
  • Remove tree roots and weeds that can make your pavers uneven. Use a root saw or pruning shears to carefully cut the roots and use a hoe or block paving knife to remove weeds in between pavers. 
  • Add around 4 to 6 inches of crushed stone or gravel as the base of your patio. Make sure it’s compact and level to provide a stable foundation. 
  • Spread 1 inch of sand as a bedding layer over the compacted base of gravel. Ensure the sand is level. 
  • Interlock pavers to create a durable patio surface and evenly distribute the weight 
  • Install edge restraints, such as plastic or metal edging, around your patio to help prevent pavers from shifting. 
  • Fill the joints between the pavers with polymeric sand to further secure the pavers and improve their stability. 
  • Use a vibratory plate compactor or a hand tamper to compact the pavers and polymeric sand, ensuring a stable and even surface. 
  • Apply a solvent or water-based sealer to your pavers to keep the sand in place, preventing them from shifting. In addition, sealing pavers protect them from staining and wear and tear, maximizing their lifespan. At Unilock, our pavers are built for optimal durability, with or without a sealer. 
  • Consider hiring a professional, like a Unilock Authorized Contractor, to install your patio pavers, as they have the expertise and tools to ensure your patio pavers are properly installed. 


If you’re fixing your paver patio: 

  • Install new edge restraints if your existing edge restraints are damaged. Utilize durable materials, such as metal or heavy-duty plastic edging, and securely anchor them in place using metal stakes or spikes. 
  • Inspect your patio pavers for signs of shifting or sinking and replace the affected pavers to prevent further damage. 
  • Replace pavers that have shifted by removing the affected pavers, replacing the sand layer underneath and then reinstalling the pavers. To ensure that your pavers are flush with the surrounding surface, make use of a level during installation. Make sure to compact the reinstalled pavers and refill the joints with sand. 
  • Inspect your patio pavers for signs of shifting or sinking and replace the affected pavers to prevent further damage.  

Durable Patio Pavers at Unilock 

At Unilock, we have devoted years to creating exceptional outdoor spaces throughout North America. 

As a pioneer in the retaining wall and paving stones industry, we are committed to producing high-quality products and delivering unparalleled customer service. 

We provide a Transferable Lifetime Guarantee on the structural integrity of our paving stones and retaining wall units for residential use. 

Whether you’re a budding DIY enthusiast or a seasoned expert, you can find your distinct style with our wide range of high-quality concrete pavers. 


Wrapping Up on Patio Paver Repair 

With patience and the right tools, you can restore your paver patio to its original beauty and functionality.  

Whether you’re dealing with sunken or loose pavers, the key to fixing your paver patio is to identify the problem that is causing your pavers to sink or shift. 

By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can prevent trip hazards and enhance the look and feel of your paver patio. 

With durable Unilock pavers, you can choose from a full spectrum of pavers that will last the test of time, with different colors, textures and finishes to make your paver patio a cut above the rest. 

Achieve your dream patio with Unilock. Explore our pavers!




We’re Here
To Help

Find a Contractor you can trust

Working with a Unilock Authorized Contractor is working with the best of the best. Our UACs possess the knowledge and expertise to bring your dream project to life, and deliver stunning results that will exceed your expectations.


Browse our Design Idea Catalog

Explore endless design possibilities through our Design Idea Catalog. Browse our extensive portfolio of paver and wall products, and get inspired by our outstanding design projects that will fuel your creative expression.


Visit an Outdoor Idea Center

Experience the beauty and quality of Unilock paver and wall products in a life-sized setting by visiting a local Outdoor Idea Center. Our knowledgeable and friendly staff are on hand to answer any questions and offer free product samples.

Idea Center
Skip to content