Pavers are concrete paving stones or brick-like pieces that are commonly used as outdoor flooring. Concrete pavers are manufactured in factories by pouring a concrete and coloring agent mixture into a mold of any shape. These are then allowed to set. Pavers are typically made of brick, clay, stone, or concrete and are used to construct patios, driveways, or walkways.
Polymeric sand is the secret to sealing pavers with sand. This is a type of sand that has polymers added to it. When mixed with water, the sand and polymers form a strong bond that holds the pavers in place. This will give your pavers a long-lasting sand-finished appearance.
To properly and adequately interlock the individual pavers, the spaces between pavers must be filled with sand. In this article we'll run you through everything needed to learn how to seal your own pavers with sand.
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Sand Types for Paver Joints
Pavers have the immediate effect of improving the appearance of your property, so you must ensure that they are properly installed. Sand is the most important tool in paver installation because it is used to join the pavers together. It's worth noting that sand is used twice during the installation process.
Before the pavers are laid, the first layer of sand is used as "bedding" to act as a cushion. The second layer of sand is then applied to the paver joints to seal the stones together, resulting in a smooth paver surface with no chance of weeds growing through the gaps between pavers.
Both functions, however, are performed by two distinct types of sand. When it comes to which type of sand should be used for each function, this can be very confusing for many homeowners. To avoid confusion, here is a quick guide to which types of sand should be used for each function.
Sand Types That Can Be Used
First, we'll go over the different types of sand that can be used for paver bedding. The sand used for this function should be coarse and grainy in texture, so that when pushed together, the edges move together and lock the sand in place. This helps to keep any movement or erosion at bay.
The sand used for bedding is not the same as the sand used to fill gaps between pavers. If loose-fill sand is used, it will wash away over time or when exposed to water in the event of heavy rains. To address these concerns, polymeric sand was created specifically for paver joints. This sand holds its shape and keeps your paver in place.
What Is Polymeric Sand?
Polymeric sand is a type of granular sand that is used to fill the gaps between paver cracks and joints. Using this sand makes it easier to interlock the paver units while preserving the integrity of the pavers and the appearance of your patio or walkway.
This sand differs from other types because it contains a water-activated polymer. When you apply sand to a paved surface and spray it with water, the polymers in the sand begin to harden. This aids in anchoring the sand and effectively sealing the paver. The polymeric sand is extremely durable and can be power washed with caution.
This means you will not have to replace the material on a regular basis, even if it has been exposed to extreme weather conditions. Polymeric sand is also strong enough to prevent water from seeping beneath the paver. This is necessary so that the water does not wash away the sand's base layer.
If the integrity of that base layer is compromised, your pavers may move around or even sink because their foundation is compromised. It also helps to do some paver sealing to ensure that this does not happen.
How to Seal Pavers With Sand
Follow the steps below to ensure that you have effectively sealed the pavers and that they will remain that way for a long time:
1. Make Sure the Base Is Right
Examine the surface for moisture. Because polymeric sand must be installed on a completely dry surface, this is a critical step. As a result, it is critical to check for dampness before installing and sealing your pavers.
2. Check the Weather
Clouds can cast a gloomy shadow on your patio, making it difficult to seal the pavers in your driveway. The day of sand installation must be clear with no chance of rain. Before you begin installing the sand, you should also check the temperature. Polymeric sand should ideally be installed at 32 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. Paver sealing also requires several hours to completely dry and be effective.
3. Start Spreading the Sand
Take a small amount of sand and begin spreading it evenly across the pavers. Make certain that the sand completely covers all of the pavers.
4. Sweep It In
Begin sweeping the sand that has been spread over the pavers with a sturdy broom from one corner. Make sure to fill in all of the gaps between the pavers. Work your way through the other side, using the broom to trap the sand between the pavers. When you're finished with this step, the sand should be relatively compact.
5. Clean the Excess
Once you're certain that the sand has settled between all of the pavers, use a broom to sweep any excess sand away from the pavers. Sweep as gently as you can. This is necessary to keep the sand that has crept down the gaps in the pavers from becoming dislodged.
6. Time to Water
Turn on your garden hose and set the spray nozzle to low. It is critical to spritz the pavers with water because the sand must settle thoroughly in the gaps where the pavers meet. After that, wash away any sand that remains on the surface and allow the area to dry.
You will be required to repeat all of the steps once you have completed them. Pour some more sand onto the concrete pavers and repeat all of the previous steps. This is done to ensure that there are no gaps between the pavers that have not been adequately packed with sand and sealed.
You may believe that using a paver sealant is no longer necessary, but sealing pavers helps them last longer. The main reason for sealing the pavers with sand is to keep the paver installation strong. The paver sand is necessary to keep the pavers from shifting and sliding against one another. The paver seal is necessary so that the structural system of the pavers is not disturbed if the sand is dislodged.
By sealing the paver surface, you can keep the sand from washing away. Sealing the paver helps to restore its beauty by acting as a glue between the sand particles and holding the sand and paver together. Even during rainstorms or pressure washing, a layer of paver sealer keeps the sand from washing away.