Troubleshooting Problems with Cobblestone Driveways
Cobblestone driveways are an interesting and attractive feature which can add important olde-worlde charm to a modern home. However, despite their great beauty and attraction, there are many factors which could mean that a cobblestone driveway is damaged, unstable or otherwise faulty. As cobblestone pathways or driveways age, they can become unstable and may even come away from the rest of the stones. This could leave you with a driveway which is difficult to walk on, unsuitable for driving, and could even be dangerous. Troubleshooting these problems and then resolving them can help you to make your driveway a better place to be.
One of the biggest problems with cobblestone driveways is wobbly stones. This could involve just one or two stones, or it could be the majority of your cobblestones. If the driveway is quite old, then you may find that you can simply reach in and remove some of the stones. This problem is caused by the concrete around the stones aging, and dehydrating. This causes it to shrink, and may also result in large cracks forming. As the concrete shrinks and crumbles, the stones become loosened, meaning that if you put your feet on these stones, you feel a definite movement. The only way to resolve this problem is to remove the concrete around the stones, and add it again.
Weeds between the Stones
If you find that weeds such as grasses and nettles are growing up between the stones on your paver, then you may be frustrated with trying to remove them. Small spaces in the concrete and stones can allow plant seeds to settle and grow there. Removing nettles and dandelions are particularly difficult, as the roots reach far underground. Start by using a weedkiller across the driveway, and then remove all of the plants. You can then add a sealant to your driveway, which will protect the cobblestones. Make sure that you have removed all of the plants before you add the sealant, as the roots may simply push up if they have not been completely cleared.
Another problem with cobblestones is poor drainage. If you find that puddles start to form after rain, or you find that pools of water collect in one particular part of the driveway, then this needs to be fixed before it causes water damage to the foundations of your driveway. You first need to work out what the problem was caused by, either by installing the cobblestones without adding a proper drainage slope, or fitting the driveway over an already existing pool of water. If you find that the latter is the problem, then you may need to raise up the driveway a little, so that the water doesn't have a chance to penetrate the concrete. If you have not allowed a proper incline when building the driveway, so that water is channeled into the lowest part of the cobblestones, then you may need to remove the stones and lay a firm foundation of wood, or similar, to keep the driveway upright.