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How to Patch and Repair Patios and Walkways (page 1 of 2)

Find out how to replace broken patio pavers, fix a sagging brick walkway, patch asphalt, re-lay a gravel path and repair concrete.
Excerpted from Do It Yourself Home Improvement

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Replace a Broken Patio Paver

Stones can become unstable, or may crack due to poor laying technique, frost or a material problem. In whichever case, the stone needs to be lifted and relaid. Laying stones on a bed of sand is a more straightforward procedure than shown here, where they have been laid on mortar.

Use a pry bar to lift the old stone (Image 1). If it is laid in concrete, break it with a sledgehammer and chisel. (Block of wood provides leverage.) Wear protective goggles and gloves.

Chip away any old mortar and remove debris from the stone bed (Image 2).

Lay a new bed of mortar, leveling it off with a trowel (Image 3).

Position the new slab, checking that it is level with those around it. Tap it into place with a rubber mallet (Image 4).

Repoint the stone with mortar, or a dry mix as required (Image 5).

Maintain Paving

In damp climates, paving, along with other exterior surfaces such as decking, can become covered in algae. This is very slippery and potentially dangerous. Pressure-washing these areas at least once or twice a year should keep the problem at bay. In some cases, particularly in shady areas, fungicidal washes may be useful to prevent algae from quickly regrowing.

Level Brick Paving

Brick paving can often sink if it has not been laid correctly. Because it is generally laid on sand, rectifying the problem involves lifting the sunken bricks and reseating them on more sand.

Hold a furring strip across the area, and mark with chalk any bricks that do not sit flush with the underside of the furring strip (Image 1).

Pry up the bricks with old flat-head screwdrivers. Add more sand with a trowel, leveling off with a furring strip (Image 2).

Reposition the bricks, checking that they are level, and brush sand into the joints (Image 3).

Patch Asphalt

Re-laying an asphalt drive is a job for the professionals, but patching holes is relatively straightforward. Use cold-mix asphalt that can be bought by the bag.

Remove any loose debris from the damaged drive (Image 1).

Trowel in some cold-mix asphalt, leaving it slightly proud of the surrounding surface (Image 2).

Tamp it down using a wooden post offcut, or a tamper if you have one (Image 3).

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Excerpted from Do It Yourself Home Improvement

© Dorling Kindersley Limited 2009