As a matter of fact, polymeric sand is a better choice for filling in the joints between the pavers compared to regular sand. But what really is polymeric sand? Well, it is a high-tech mix of graded sand and polymer binders. This mix is specifically formulated for filling in narrow or wide joints when installing spread pavers, replacing existing joints, natural stones and slabs.
Unlike the regular sand, this mixture fully locks in place and stays stable for a long duration of time. Best of all, it firms up when the weather is dry and softens when wet to better resist soil movements. Here are some of the polymeric sand advantages and why you should settle for it for filling in joints between pavers instead of regular sand.
Regular sand when used for joining pavers eventually does wash out of the joints, thereon causing the pavers to pull apart. To solve this issue, simply use polymeric sand as it is water resistant and is flexible enough to withstand the contraction and expansion that occurs with weather changes. This not only increases the longevity of the joined pavers, but also provides easy maintenance.
Polymeric sand is able to keep the pavers locked in securely in place while remaining flexible and thus taking care of the change in seasons. As it is composed of both high-tech mixture of graded sands and polymer, it is able to remain bonded and solid, as well as flexible enough to move during the freeze and thaw cycles without shifting the pavers out of place.
Helps the prevent pests and weeds
When polymeric sand is used to fill in the joints, plants are prevented from growing up in between the stones. The sand also prevents pests such as ants, rats from coming up from between the pavers and the building nests. But before purchasing polymeric sand, it is a good idea to note that not all are created equally. Get yours only from reputable manufacturers or suppliers because of their meticulous attention to detail and commitment to offering the best performing polymeric sand in the industry.
Mistakes to avoid when using polymeric sand
Though polymeric sand offer quite a number of benefits when compared to regular sand, a lot of time, effort and attention to detail are required for a successful installation process. In this regard, here are some of the commonest mistakes to avoid when using polymeric sand to fill in joints for successful installation.
Over or under watering
The amount of water used when applying polymeric sand between the pavers does make a difference in the success of the installation. Using too much water too quickly creates the possibility of washing away the polymers. Too little water on the other hand ends up leaving you with fragile joints. And if the joints are not properly watered, a hardened and very difficult to remove crust forms at the top of the joint.
Choosing the wrong polymeric sand
There is a wide array of polymeric sand types available in the market but that not all created equal. A cheaply priced type of polymeric sand is the best indicator that poor quality ingredients have been used in its makeup. To prevent issues such as hazing and ultimately protect your reputation, choose a sand type that is made up of high quality clear polymers.
Ignoring the weather forecast
Even after having followed instructions to the letter, if it rains shortly after or before finishing the installation, the polymeric sand will end up getting washed away or in a mess. After installation, a heavy downpour on the polymeric sand that has not yet fully set up results with the material all over the surface being worked on. You want to ensure that surface is completely dry before the installation and that no rain is in the forecast after completing the task for a specified duration of time.
Inexperienced installers skip this step to save money and time, however, they end up with weak joints that crack, settle or break over time. When polymeric sand is swept into a joint, there usually are pockets of air and spacing throughout the sand matrix. The best way to avoid these is to perform a proper compacting job on the surfaces being worked on. This tightens up the sand particles eliminating voids and pockets of air while at it.
Poor preparation of the surface to be worked on
After sweeping sand into the joints, it is recommended to remove the remaining particles using a leaf blower. Once water is applied, any remaining polymeric sand particles harden and remain on the surface. You need to thoroughly sweep the surface and then use a leaf blower to remove the remaining particles for a successful installation. While at it, make sure not to blow sand out of the joints. The surface also needs to be dry for a successful installation.
If you want to find out more about buying or installing pavers such as patio pavers and interlocking pavers in Bloomfield, NJ, do contact us today and let us advise you further.