Full Member
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Jun 01, 2009 11:15 am
Location: new forest

patio area is crumbling


When we moved in we inherited a crumbling cement patio area.

I have no idea whether I need to dig it all up, and start over or can I cheat? eg:

Can I place a 2" mixture of sand and cement on top and lay patio slabs,


Can I dig down and concrete in some uprights and lay a wooden decking over the top?

With thanks
new gardener alert,
any tips and hints welcome.

User avatar
Mod Emeritus
Posts: 7646
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2008 1:04 am
Location: Oregon

If it's crumbling badly, I would not try to lay a new patio on top of it. You need a solid substrate to support the new patio.

I think you could probably build a deck over it, though. I did that at a house I used to own. I would do it here where I live now, except it would involve moving one of the outdoor faucets; creating a new entry to the crawl space under the house; and it would require a lot of upkeep, since it's on the northeast corner of the house, with prolific growth of moss and algae in the winter. :roll:

Greener Thumb
Posts: 1152
Joined: Sun Feb 24, 2008 10:26 am
Location: North Carolina

It all depends upon the soil which sounds like clay which has a tendency to heave so putting anything over the top you'd get the same result except maybe if you put down a couple of inches of sand and do a dry brick patio, but then you might have weeds growing in the sand. Best thing you might want to do is to take away the broken chunks and use the base but you might want to call in 3 contractors and get their free opinion. I'd say a good base wasn't put down intially and that's why you have problems. Personally I don't like decks.

Full Member
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Jun 01, 2009 11:15 am
Location: new forest

Thanks for your replies.

I have no idea what preperations were made for the patio area. It is approxmately 8' by 25'. We cannot afford to have it repalced for a year or two, as we have more pressing renovation projects. The crumbling isn't too dangerous yet. There is only one small bad area. There is more erosion than crumbling, I suppose.

The decking may well be a cheaper alternative for the next few years. I worry about my mother in law on anything uneven. Also decking would blend into the wooden windows and doors against white house wall and the beautiful 15' high hedge that runs the length of the garden.

Thanks again

Newly Registered
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Jun 17, 2009 4:59 am

Whatever you do Mini I would highly recommend you take up the concrete patio first! As eventually further down the road this is bound to cause you trouble!

Garden Doctors Ltd
Newly Registered
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Oct 11, 2009 4:01 pm
Location: Swindon, Wiltshire

Hi Mini,

At what level does your existing concrete patio sit in relation to your damp course? If you were to pave on top you may well jeopardise the damp course. Best practice is to leave 6 inches between this and the finished paving level.


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