Fixing cracked or chipped brick pavers is a very simple task. Because it takes so many bricks to build a driveway, replacing individual bricks that have cracked or chipped is relatively inexpensive. The best way to care for brick pavers, however, is to have them sealed right after they are installed. Sealing brick pavers will help to ensure that they last a lifetime and it will also decrease the likelihood of the bricks cracking or chipping.
Of course, not all damage can be prevented by sealing the bricks. Everyday accidents are likely to occur, and your driveway will most likely suffer damage from the occasional contact with bike pedals or dropped items. When accidents happen, there is no need to fret. You can always pry up the damaged brick and replace it with a new one. There are steps that can be taken to prevent damage and erosion that are not caused by human error. These measures are vital to the longevity of your brick paved driveway.
- Inspect your brick pavers on a regular basis, particularly after harsh weather like rain or snow.
- Regularly sweep or pressure clean your paved driveway to remove damaging materials and debris.
- Seal and reseal your pavers on a regular basis to protect them from stain damage and the effects of high traffic usage.
When damage cannot be prevented, the cracked, chipped, or crumbling bricks will need to be replaced. Loose bricks also need to be dealt with immediately, because they can lead to injury. Replacing brick pavers is a simple task, especially if your bricks are whole and not cut to fit into a particular design.
Replacing Loose or Damaged Brick Pavers
- Mark each side of the loose pavers with a marker before they are removed to ensure that you are replacing the correct brick.
- Remove the brick paver and clean all debris from the area.
- Place a layer of sand down and, using a wooden float, push the sand into all of the corners. Tread on the sand to really compact it.
- Check the level of the sand base with a spirit level.
- Match up the chalk markings and place the new brick paver into the area.
- By using a screwdriver, make sure there is an even gap between the new brick paver and the surrounding pavers.
- Pour sand on top of the replacement bricks, so that the gaps are filled evenly.
- Using a mallet, tap the new pavers into place, then sweep the excess sand away.
If the bricks that make up your driveway are cut into different sizes, then you will need the proper tools for shaping and sizing them. There are many different types of tools that can be used to cut and shape brick pavers, so be sure to choose the right tools for your repair purposes.
Paver Hand Tools and Methods
- A lump hammer is often used for splitting pavers. The paver is first measured and marked to fit into its slot. Then, while supporting the paver, you must strike it several times from left to right, working your way to the center. This should allow you to split the paver to your desired size.
- Chisels are excellent tools for precise procedures like trimming pavers. After using a lump hammer to split a brick paver, you will often have to trim the side that was split. Work the chisel slowly to ensure that no mistakes are made. Continue trimming the brick paver until the desired size or smoothness is attained.
Paver Power Tools and Methods
- Powered saws are great for cutting your pavers to a specific size. They work quickly and often require no trimming. The various types of power saws include bench saws, floor saws, table saws and cut-off saws.
- The cut-off saw is the most popular power saw today. It is a hand-held saw that can cut many different materials. If you decide to use a power saw, make sure that you get the right type of blade for cutting brick pavers.
- Power splitters can split many different types of materials, and there are two different types: block and slab splitters. They are available in both hydraulic and manual operating modes. The manually operating splitters can use special blades for cutting irregular pavers.
The type of tool you should use depends entirely upon the state of your brick paved driveway. If you need to replace a lot of the bricks and they all need to be cut to size, then you might think about using power tools. Otherwise, hand tools should suffice.