Patios are a great exterior home upgrade, but brick and mortar patios can fall apart with time if they're not properly maintained. Mortar crumbles, and then bricks begin to fall apart. Unfortunately, many homeowners ignore the first warning signs of an issue.
Most patios can be saved if they're repaired on time, but it's important to recognize the warning signs. If you own a brick and mortar or flagstone and mortar patio, performing quick inspections and getting professional repair when the time comes can help you keep your old patio up to date. If your old patio is beyond repair, it's very important to work with a capable and experienced professional.
Signs Your Patio Needs Repair
Mortar is the most vulnerable part of any brick and mortar patio. The same is true of patios made from other materials like flagstone, if mortar is involved. This is because mortar only lasts for so long. Over time, rain water and ice can cause mortar to wash away, crack, and break down.
As a homeowner, you can tell that your patio's mortar is in trouble if the grooves between the bricks begin to deepen and grass or weeds begin to appear between the bricks. You may also see cracks in the mortar, or you may see little pieces of mortar sitting on the bricks. Eventually, all mortar will become cracked and loose. You'll be able to tell when the mortar is at this stage, because you'll be able to reach between the bricks and pull out chunks of mortar.
Why Is Degraded Mortar a Problem?
Once mortar begins to fall out of the spaces between bricks, it's not long before the soil between bricks will be exposed. This can cause a variety of problems to occur:
- The soil beneath the patio bricks will begin to absorb moisture from rain and snow.
- Freeze thaw cycles cause soil beneath the patio to shift and heave.
- This movement causes the bricks themselves to degrade.
If the mortar is not replaced soon after it begins to fall out, the entire patio may begin to fall apart. Once this happens, repairs can become more expensive, and at some point, replacement becomes the only sensible option. This is why it's very important to contact a contractor as soon as cracks in the mortar begin to appear.
What Can You Do To Avoid a Necessary Replacement of Your Patio?
If the mortar in your patio is beginning to fall apart, have a skilled and experienced contractor examine your patio and make recommendations for repair as soon as possible. Hopefully, your contractor will be able to save your patio without replacing it all together. The sooner you get a contractor to your home to asses the damage, the more likely it is that your patio can be saved.
Why Is It Not a Good Idea to DIY this Project?
Most homeowners don't have the tools or training to remove old mortar and install new. Often, homeowners who try to fix this problem on their own fail to remove all old mortar or other debris between the bricks. This leads to improper installation of new mortar, and often, this new mortar falls out very easily.
Improper patio repair wastes time and money, and soon your patio may be back to where it was originally, in need of quick repair. The best way to ensure that your patio brick or flagstone repair will be successful is to work with a contractor who has the right tools, the right materials, and enough patience to get the job done right.
When Is It Best to Replace Your Patio?
The best time to replace your patio is if the cost to repair is not that different than the cost to replace. Work with your contractor to determine when the best time is to replace your patio. Your contractor can give you an estimate for both services, and you can decide which one is right for you.
Other signs its time to replace your patio:
- Bricks are crumbling.
- Many flagstones or bricks are deeply cracked or heaving.
- You spend more time weeding your patio than you spend weeding your garden.
At First Class Lawn Care, we're happy to inspect your Wilmington, Delaware patio to help you determine whether your it needs to be replaced.
Need Patio Care? Contact First Class Lawncare
Is your patio in bad shape? Are you concerned it may need replacement? It might not yet, but it will soon if you don't get help from a capable contractor. Get your patio repair finished before winter, when harsh weather and freeze-thaw cycles can lead to further damage. First Class Lawncare is here to help! For more information about lawn care, hardscaping, landscaping installation and patio repair or replacement in Wilmington, Delaware and New Castle county, contact us today for a consultation.