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Have you recently installed pavers? Maybe you’re wondering, can polymeric sand stop weeds from growing between them? Wonder no more because we have researched this question and have the answer for you here.
The short answer is, yes, polymeric sand prevents weeds from growing between your pavers. If you install polymeric sand correctly, it can protect the gap between your pavers not only from weeds but from insects as well.
But how do you install it? Find out in the sections below! We've also included tips for preventing weeds, so read on!
How to properly install polymeric sand?
Follow the steps below to install polymeric sand after you have completed installing your pavers:
- Spread the polymeric sand evenly into the gaps or joints between the pavers.
- Gently tap the edges of the pavers to let the polymeric sand settle better into the joints. Keep repeating this step until the polymeric sand no longer slides further into the gaps.
- Use a hard-bristled broom to remove the excess polymeric sand from the top of your pavers. Using a leaf blower is preferable if available.
- Put your hose on the ‘shower’ setting.
- Wet the polymeric sand with your garden hose for 30 seconds. The actual length of time depends on the width of the joints between your pavers.
- Wait for three minutes for the water to get absorbed.
- Water the polymeric sand once more for 30 seconds.
What are the don’ts when installing polymeric sand?
Now that you have the complete steps to install polymeric sand, here are the don’ts that you should keep in mind. Installing polymeric sand is easy, and avoiding these things will help you achieve the best activation of the polymeric sand and gain all its benefits.
Don’t install when pavers are damp
What some installers miss is ensuring the pavers are dry, including the joints. If you install polymeric sand while the pavers are wet, it can get activated prematurely, and you will not get an even finish.
Wait until the morning dew is burnt off by the sun and finish installing before the evening dew starts to form.
Don’t under-water and over-water
Under-watered polymeric sand will form a crust on the top layer. A crust doesn’t properly bond the joints of the pavers and is also vulnerable to cracks and gaps. It will eventually break away and erode the joint.
On the other hand, over-watering will cause the polymers to separate from the sand during activating and severely reduce bond strength. In most cases of over-watering, the polymeric sand will not harden fully.
Don’t water until you have removed excess sand
Leaving excess sand will create a layer of activated polymeric sand on top of the pavers. This creates a hazy layer on your pavers.
You can avoid this situation by thoroughly sweeping any excess sand with a hard-bristled broom.
While watering the polymeric sand, use a pushing motion to remove any excess polymeric sand on top of the pavers. The water can push any excess sand into the joints of the pavers.
Don’t install on pavers with poor drainage
Poor drainage will not let excess water flow out of the pavers, and it can cause the polymeric sand to be washed out before it can harden.
To avoid this, pavers should be installed on top of a layer of crushed concrete or limestone. The top area of the pavers should have a general incline so that excess water can flow freely off the top of the pavers.
Don’t install on too narrow or too wide joints
Polymeric sand is best used on joints with gaps between an eighth of an inch to four inches. If the joint is too narrow, there will not be enough polymeric sand to create a proper bond.
On the other hand, if the joint is too wide, the polymeric sand will easily lead to a washout during activation because there is too much water on the surface area of the joint.
Don’t install if the depth is less than an inch
Polymeric sand requires at least an inch of depth to create a proper bond. This depth ensures that the polymeric sand will develop enough structure when it hardens to support the pavers.
The Dominator Polymeric Sand (camel-brown color) is available on Amazon. Check it out through this link.
What can I do to prevent weed growth in my pavers?
A patio made from pavers will have spaces between them. These spaces can trap moisture and become ideal growing beds for weeds.
Weeds can cause damage to the entire floor in addition to diminishing its appearance. A properly installed polymeric sand is only one method of preventing weed growth between your pavers. The simple tips below can also help prevent weed growth.
Home Remedies for Weed Prevention
These remedies make use of solutions that can easily be found. They're cheap, and they make use of items that you likely have inside the house. Additionally, these remedies are safer compared to their chemical counterparts.
Baking soda can overload weeds with salt and absorb the water within its tissues. This eventually dries up the roots of the weed, and it dies.
Baking soda is an excellent weed killer because it can easily be found and accessed.
The Arm & Hammer Baking Soda is available on Amazon. Check it out through this link.
Bleach kills weeds and grass by dropping the soil pH. This makes the soil uninhabitable for weeds and other plants.
Put the bleach in a sprayer and apply it on areas between pavers. It makes the soil too acidic for weeds to grow, thus permanently preventing weed growth for a time.
Keep in mind that bleach kills any and all plants. Thus, make sure not to use it near your garden plants.
The Clorox bleach is available on Amazon. Check it out through this link.
This is the cheapest way to get rid of weeds in your pavers.
The best way to use boiling water is to cut the weeds first to open the crown. Finish it off by pouring boiling water on the weeds and the spaces between.
Mix salt with water using a 3:1 salt/water ratio. Mix well until all the salt has been dissolved.
Place in a sprayer and spray sparingly over the weeds. Salt dehydrates weeds, and they die in a few days.
Repeat the process monthly until the weeds stop growing between your pavers.
Weeds do not come from underneath the pavers because there is a layer of crushed limestone and concrete. They come from seeds that make their way to the joints of your pavers and take root.
Regular sweeping is a preventive remedy to remove the seeds before they get the chance to take root between your pavers. Sweeping also gets rid of surface dirt that helps enhance the appeal of your patio by keeping your pavers clean.
According to Build Direct, vinegar works like baking soda by drawing out moisture from the tissues of the weeds.
Place the vinegar in a sprayer, and spray the weeds with the vinegar sparingly, letting it reach the roots of the weeds. Rinse the vinegar off after letting it sit for a few hours.
The weeds will dry out in one to two days.
Chemical weed remedies
Chemical weed remedies are classified based on the stage of growth of the weed where they are most effective. According to Kalyani Industries, Ltd., weedicides can kill specific target plants and leave harmless plants unharmed.
These weedicides prevent the germination of weed seeds hidden between the soil of patio stones. It attacks specific enzymes that cause weed seeds to sprout.
Post sprouting weedicides attack weeds as soon as they complete germination. It can be mixed at specific concentrations to become effective at other stages of a weed’s lifecycle.
Most weedicides of this type are effective only with specific types of weeds.
These weedicides are effective only for specific types of weeds. It prevents the weed seeds from sprouting at the pre-emergent stage. However, some types are still effective against weeds at the post-emergent stage.
Non-selective types are harmful to any plant—whether it is a useful plant or a weed. It should be handled and used with extreme care, especially if your patio goes through your garden.
Contact poison weedicide
Contact poison types get activated only when it comes into contact with any part of a weed plant. It kills weeds immediately and can be dangerous when used in a residential area where the wind can blow it into other parts of the area—especially where kids play.
A systemic weedicide immediately gets absorbed into the body of a weed once it comes into contact with any part of the weed plant. Once absorbed, it gets dispersed into the internal system of the weed including the roots, stems, branches, and leaves.
After it gets dispersed, it disrupts key enzymatic processes within the weed and gradually kills it. It is safe for use when handled carefully in residential areas.
What tools are useful for removing weeds?
Here are some common gardening tools that you can use to get rid of weeds before applying solutions, like bleach or pre-sprouting weedicide.
Gardening gloves will give you a good grip for pulling out weeds between pavers. It will allow you to grab at weeds and protect your hands from bacteria in the soil.
These gardening gloves are available on Amazon. Check them out through this link.
If the weed is too firmly rooted between the pavers, you can use a knife to cut it off. You can then drag the blade along the space between the pavers to get to the roots of the weeds.
Polymeric sand is an effective way to prevent weed growth between your pavers. However, it is important to install and activate it properly to become truly effective.
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