Polymeric sand is an important step in the paving process and is chiefly used as paver joint sand to fill in joints and bind interlocking concrete pavement. In the industry, polymeric sand for pavers is a common tool; every professional has likely made use of it at some point. However, even as a commonly used item problems can still occur. Here are five tips to avoid these common issues and ensure your paving job looks its absolute best.
Tips for Using Polymeric Sand
- Applying To Damp Surfaces: Before applying the polymeric sand check to see that the joints and pavers are dry. A damp surface causes the polymeric sand to activate and can lead to the surface not being set correctly. A good procedure is to wait for the morning dew to dry before applying polymeric sand and also to complete your project before the evening dew starts to develop.
- Adding Water: Once polymeric sand has been applied water is added to activate it. Too little water causes crusting and too much leads to a weak bind. The proper watering time does depend on the size of your project; however it should be done in 9 square foot sections at a time to allow for even application.
- Overfilling: Using too much sand is a common error. While you want to ensure you use enough sand overfilling can cause problems such as spill-over. This tends to happen due to not leaving enough space to add water. Always leave 1/8 inch of room to allow the addition of water and the activation of the sand as it binds to the surface.
- Not Removing the Excess Sand: Once the polymeric sand has been applied, any access sand should be swept away from surfaces. Due to its binding properties, sand left on the surface of your pavers can become bound to it. This can cause the surface finish to become hazy. It would help if you cleaned excess sand when applying it to the joints and when you are applying water.
- Lack of Drainage: Some issues with polymeric sand are caused by the surface you are applying it to. A lack of drainage can cause problems such as the sand not setting correctly due to water collecting. A work surface should be stable, level, with some degree of slope, and with a barrier, be it natural or manmade.
Polymeric sand sees a lot of use in backyard and landscaping projects. Using it correctly is not difficult. However, mistakes with its use are often due to rushing or not taking outside factors into account. By being patient with your project, you can ensure it is done right.