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San Diego Paver Installation | Clay Soil

Category: Pavers  |  Permalink

Published: Wednesday, August 4, 2010

In many areas of San Diego and Riverside County there exists a high degree of clay or expansive soils. When performing a paving stone installation with clay soil conditions, special care must be taken to prevent settling and shifting of the pavers. The physical nature of clay soil is very dense. High density soils, like clay, drain very poorly. In fact, during periods of heavy precipitation clay soils will become highly saturated. When this occurs, shifting and movement of the subsoil is common. In extreme cases the subsoil will actually migrate up into the base material. This will often translate to a noticeable shifting or depression of the paver stones on the surface. But fear not. The solution to this problem is simple and cost effective. And when installed correctly, a paver application over expansive sub soil is superior to any other form of paving.

When installing a paver driveway, the proper excavation of native soils must be achieved. In non-commercial vehicular areas with clay subsoil, the excavation must be at least 9.5" below final grade. In addition, a woven Geotextile fabric must be installed between the native subsoil and the compacted base material.

A woven Geotextile fabric is made of 100% polypropylene slit film yarns and will never degrade. It provides a permanent barrier between expansive soils and the installed base material. To install it, your crew will place the stabilization fabric directly on the prepared surface. They roll it out flat, trying to minimize folds and creases. When required, overlaps should be 1'-3'. Pins or staples can be used for convenience, but are not required to hold the fabric in place. If necessary, a pile of stone, dirt, or other piece of material on the corners is enough to hold it in place during the dumping of the aggregate.

When excavated to the correct depth and installed over a woven Geotextile fabric, a paving stone installation will perform flawlessly over even the worst expansive soil conditions.

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