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Why Use Polymeric Sand On Pavers

Why Use Polymeric Sand On Pavers

Using Polymeric Sand

When it comes to installing pavers, one of the most important steps is filling the joints between them. Traditionally, this has been done with regular sand, but in recent years, polymeric sand has become a popular alternative. Polymeric sand is a mixture of fine sand and a polymer that, when activated with water, creates a binding agent that locks the pavers together. This article will explore the benefits of using polymeric sand on pavers and why it has become the preferred choice for many homeowners and contractors.

The Problem with Regular Sand

Regular sand has been the go-to option for filling paver joints for many years. However, it has several drawbacks that make it less than ideal. One of the main issues with regular sand is that it is not very stable. It can easily be washed away by rain or blown away by wind, leaving gaps between the pavers. This not only affects the aesthetic appeal of the pavers but also compromises their structural integrity. Regular sand also tends to shift and settle over time, causing the pavers to become uneven and creating tripping hazards.

Another problem with regular sand is that it is a breeding ground for weeds and insects. The small particles of sand provide the perfect environment for weed seeds to germinate and grow. This not only makes the pavers look unsightly but also requires constant maintenance to keep the weeds at bay. Insects, such as ants, are also attracted to regular sand and can create tunnels and nests, further destabilizing the pavers.

The Advantages of Polymeric Sand

Polymeric sand offers several advantages over regular sand when it comes to filling paver joints. One of the main benefits is its stability. Once activated with water, the polymer in the sand creates a strong bond that locks the pavers together. This makes the paver surface more stable and durable, reducing the risk of shifting and settling. Polymeric sand is also resistant to erosion, meaning it can withstand heavy rain and wind without being washed away.

Another advantage of this type of sand is its ability to prevent weed growth. The binding agent in the sand creates a barrier that prevents weed seeds from germinating and growing. This eliminates the need for constant weeding and maintenance, saving homeowners time and effort. Additionally, the polymer in the sand is not a food source for insects, making it less attractive to them and reducing the risk of infestation.

Polymeric sand also has a more aesthetically pleasing appearance compared to regular sand. It comes in a variety of colors to match different types of pavers, giving a more cohesive and polished look to the overall design. The sand also hardens when activated, creating a smooth and level surface that is more visually appealing than regular sand.

Installation Process

The installation process for polymeric sand is relatively simple and can be done by homeowners or contractors. The first step is to ensure that the pavers are clean and free of debris. Next, the sand is poured onto the paver surface and swept into the joints using a broom or brush. It is important to ensure that the sand is evenly distributed and fills the joints completely. Once the sand is in place, it is activated with water, which causes the polymer to bind and harden. Any excess sand is then swept off the surface, and the pavers are left to dry for 24-48 hours.

It is essential to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using polymeric sand to ensure the best results. Factors such as temperature and humidity can affect the drying time, so it is important to take these into consideration when planning the installation.

Cost and Longevity

One of the main concerns homeowners have when considering polymeric sand is the cost. While it may be more expensive than regular sand, the long-term benefits make it a worthwhile investment. The stability and durability of polymeric sand mean that it will last much longer than regular sand, reducing the need for frequent replacements. This not only saves money in the long run but also reduces the hassle of having to constantly maintain and refill the paver joints.

Real-Life Examples

Many homeowners and contractors have seen the benefits of using polymeric sand on pavers firsthand. One example is the city of West Hartford, Ct, which has been using polymeric sand on its sidewalks since 2008. The city has reported significant cost savings and a reduction in maintenance needs since switching to polymeric sand. Another example is the town of Westport, which has also seen success with using polymeric sand on its paver projects.

Conclusion

Polymeric sand offers numerous benefits when it comes to filling paver joints. Its stability, weed resistance, and aesthetic appeal make it a superior choice compared to regular sand. While it may be more expensive upfront, the long-term cost savings and reduced maintenance make it a worthwhile investment. With its proven success in various cities and the satisfaction of homeowners and contractors, it is clear that polymeric sand is the way to go for a strong, durable, and visually appealing paver surface.

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