Do you need drainage under pavers?

Answered by Jeremy Urbaniak

You absolutely need to plan for the drainage of your patio pavers. The purpose of drainage is to prevent water from pooling or accumulating on your patio, which can lead to a variety of issues such as erosion, water damage, and even structural problems.

When it comes to paver patios, the water that falls on them needs to be directed away and properly drained to ensure the longevity and functionality of your patio. Without proper drainage, water can seep into the base material under the pavers, causing it to become saturated and unstable.

One common method of ensuring proper drainage is to create a slight slope in your patio. This slope allows water to flow away from the surface of the pavers and towards a designated drainage area, such as a nearby yard or a drainage system. The recommended slope for a patio is typically 1/8 inch per foot, which is enough to allow water to flow naturally without being too noticeable.

In addition to creating a slope, you may also consider installing a permeable base material for your patio. Permeable materials, such as crushed stone or gravel, allow water to pass through them and into the ground below. This can help prevent the buildup of water on the surface of your patio and minimize the risk of water damage.

Another option to enhance drainage is to incorporate a drainage system into your patio design. This can be done by installing a series of perforated pipes or channels beneath the pavers to collect and redirect water away from the patio. These drainage systems can be connected to existing drainage infrastructure or designed to drain water into a designated area, such as a dry well or a rain garden.

It’s important to note that the specific drainage requirements for your patio will depend on various factors, including the size and shape of your patio, the local climate, and the type of soil in your area. Consulting with a professional landscaper or contractor who specializes in patio installations can help you determine the most suitable drainage solution for your specific needs.

In my personal experience, I had a paver patio installed in my backyard without proper drainage planning, and it ended up causing significant issues. Whenever it rained, water would accumulate on the surface of the patio, leading to slippery conditions and water damage to the surrounding landscaping. Eventually, the base material became saturated, causing the pavers to shift and become uneven. It was a costly lesson learned, and I had to have the patio redone with proper drainage in place.

To summarize, proper drainage is crucial for patio pavers to prevent water accumulation and related problems. Whether it’s creating a slope, using permeable materials, or installing a drainage system, it’s important to plan for effective drainage during the design and installation process. Consulting with a professional can help ensure that your patio has the necessary drainage measures in place to maintain its functionality and longevity.