Why Are My Patio Slabs Not Sticking? – Common Reasons

You know you are adulting right when home renovation excites you more than anything else.

Renovating your garden is a huge deal that comes with so much stress and shortcomings. Not to forget, it teaches you some DIY quickies, tips, and tricks that shall help you in the longer term.

Laying down the patio slabs is one of people’s favorite home renovation ideas. The patio must look attractive, as if a whole path has been decorated for your guest or yourself.

People usually opt for patio slabs as there is a wide variety for them – wooden, metal, and marble, you say it! With the variety comes a wide range of issues as well.

But what happens when your patio slabs aren’t sticking? Find out as you read through this post.

Patio Slabs Not Sticking?

You might have this question in your mind, i.e., “why are my patio slabs not sticking?” while working on it.

If the answer is “yes” anytime sooner, this article shall help you find the problems you didn’t understand back then. Also, if this query is in your head right now, gladly, you have landed on the right page.

What’s the main reason?

The main reason for your patio slab not sticking is the quality of the rocky bed beneath. Sometimes, it’s uneven, bridged, or of some material that doesn’t have an adhesive nature.

There are multiple techniques we can apply to make it work.

1. Rocky Bed Needs To Remake

If your slab is not sticking or is wobbly, the most convenient way to fix this problem is to remake the bed underneath.

For this, you need to lift the slab that isn’t being stuck, break out the bed underneath, make a new bed out of full mortar material, apply adhesives or glues to the underside of the slab that has to be laid or re-laid, and then fix it into the place.

This is the safest method that works every time without any risk of failing.

2. Adhesives Being Used Aren’t Strong Enough

Using a slurry of good quality is a great idea.

Some people don’t prefer going for all the hassle of removing the rocky bed and remaking one, so they pour the slurry into the empty joints of the high-strength mortar slabs. If not slurry, then any other runny viscous outdoor tile adhesives or glues.

Then, the slab is rocked to draw into the adhesive to fill up the minor voids (if any) within the rocky bed and then made to set the voids and level it up.

This method works sometimes, but not always. It perfectly accepts as a technique and provides long-term stability if it works. Slurry doesn’t work every time. There are fewer chances of slurry being your perfect shot. One important thing to remember is that it must be a good quality hydraulically bonded material.

Also, this process leaves a lot of stains on your slabs. Exceptional cleaning is required after slurring your fixes. Hence, it is highly recommended to either keep it as the last option or give it to an expert.

3. Glue-ing Method Isn’t Right

Glue-ing it down is the easiest way to fix your patio slabs. Just put the glue underneath the slab and put it on to fix. This method might be the easiest yet, but it is more declined towards uselessness.

Glue-ing is effective when the slab is around 1-2 mm thick. Other than that, it doesn’t work. The method won’t work if the issue lies in bed.

Glue-ing your patio slab down onto an imperfect bed may not fully resolve your issue. If your slabs aren’t sticking, then NEVER stick the joints with adhesives together.

Even if it works, it will inevitably reveal itself to be a temporary fix.

Please remember that the significant reason lies underneath the slab, i.e., the rocky bed, not the slab itself.

How To Perfectly Fix Loosed Patio Slabs

Knowing how to fix loose paving slabs is crucial if you have noticed any of the following signs:

  • Your slabs are starting to sink
  • They move every time you step on them
  • They cause trip hazards
  • If your patio is on an uneven surface

The solution to your patio not sticking isn’t an outright replacement for your slaps.

Laying new ones on top of the old patio isn’t also going to work. It’s not only going to look terrible, but it’ll also result in you raising the level of your garden.

Here’s how you can fix loosed slabs

  • Lift the patio slabs with a plugging chisel and a spade. You might need a few people around to help.
  • Once your slab is out, you will need to mix fresh mortar. The mortar should comprise cement and sharp sand in a 1:4 proportion. Ensure that the mortar is thick to prevent future wobbles.
  • Level the mortar on the empty surface, gently lay your slab, and tap across it to ensure it sticks firmly.

When adding a new mortar mix, you must avoid causing damage to the surrounding slabs.

To ensure other stones are not damaged in the process, cover the adjoining slabs so that the mortar marks or droplets do not spread across and set hard on other surfaces.

Final Thoughts

One reason your slab isn’t firm is that you may have laid it on a bed that is either too dense or too dry. If you must fix it, following the steps highlighted in this post will guarantee the best adhesion for your slabs. So, the next time you ask yourself why your patio slabs aren’t sticking, you will know then.

Next time your guests visit your house, they’d see the perfectly paved path to your house.

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