Polymeric sand is a product that works wonders but hasn’t earned much of a reputation among the general public. However, it is relied upon by landscape contractors and professionals to lock patio pavers in place and achieve seamless results throughout landscapes in Yorktown Heights, NY, and other areas. Read on for more information about polymeric sand and how it works.
What Is Polymeric Sand?
Polymeric sand is a fine sand that is combined with additives that form a binding agent when exposed to water. Silica is such as an additive and is often used to help lock the fine sand particles together. As the sand particles fuse, the joint between two patio pavers becomes impenetrable and the pavers are locked in place.
How Is It Used?
Compacting pavers and locking them in place with polymeric sand serves as the last step in a paving project. Polymeric sand is swept into the gaps between pavers. The pavers are then compacted to ensure that the sand spreads thoroughly into every crack. This can be repeated a couple of times to ensure that the pavers are completely surrounded by sand.
A final layer is then swept in between the pavers without the aid of any compaction. Before water is added, great care is taken to remove all polymeric sand from the surface of the pavers. If any polymeric sand is left on the surface, it will harden when exposed to water and create an unsightly blemish. There are various ways to clear excess polymeric sand away, including sweeping and utilizing a leaf blower. Due to the fact that polymeric sand will bind to any moist surface, pavers should not be set in place when rain has been forecast.
Once the surface has been cleared of any excess polymeric sand, a light mist of water is sprayed over it to activate the binding agent. Most polymeric sand varieties can only be activated once and are waterproof thereafter. However, there are varieties available that have the ability to be softened by water to facilitate the correction of minor imperfections. Twenty-four hours are required for the pavers to lock completely.
The Benefits of Polymeric Sand
Precision and attention to detail are required skills to use polymeric sand without creating hardened imperfections on the surface of pavers that will be difficult to remove. Why, then, would one opt for polymeric sand over regular jointing sand?
A project finished with polymeric sand is considered stronger and more long-wearing than a project that utilized regular jointing sand. This durability is awarded by the binding agent within the sand, which ensures that it will not budge for years to come. Sturdy, immovable joints ensure sturdy, immovable pavers.
The joints are so tightly bound to their adjacent pavers that heavy rain is unable to wash any of the fine sand away. Regular jointing sand may be eroded by rainfall and is known for requiring replacement.
Weeds are incredibly resilient and chances are you will find one or two making their way between your pavers despite your use of polymeric sand. However, the airtight consistency of activated polymeric sand does deter weeds considerably. Other pests, like ants, will also find it more difficult to enter the spaces between your pavers.
Polymeric sand, like regular jointing sand, comes in an array of colors. This allows you to choose the variety that will best suit your patio pavers. Aesthetic appeal does not need to be compromised to achieve enhanced durability.
The title image features a hardscape utilizing Courtstone pavers.