Should I sand my Paver joints?
Should you re-sand your Brick Paver Joints? YES
The Importance of Brick Paver Sand.
Brick pavers absolutely, 100% need to be re-sanded prior to sealing. The sand in the brick paver joints serves MANY integral purposes. Keeps joints stable, paver’s level, and insects out, plant life from growing between the joints and helps prevent mold. Please read and educate yourself in this small write-up before you let another brick paver sealing contractor talk you out of re-sanding or over-sanding your brick pavers…
Joint stabilization – If you don’t have sand in the joints, rain water or pool water will run between the brick paver joints, and wash out the base aggregate sand material your brick pavers float on, (usually a 1” – 2” sand base) making your brick pavers loose, wobbly, uneven, sunken in or even raised up in some areas. Commonly called “sub surface erosion” or “Degradation”also commonly found with improper installation, dripping water and/or-drainage areas.
DON’T walk or Drive on the sealed surface till it has cured, doing so can loosen up the sand and cause the pavers to shift.
Once the joint sand has been activated with the brick paver sealant the sand will become extremely hard, comparable to the consistency of concrete. Once it’s hard like this, as you can imagine, not only can water no longer wash out that aggregate material the brick pavers float on, but that solid joint sand acts as an impenetrable barrier that weeds won’t be able to break through and water won’t be able to stand between and below those paver joints, warmed by the Florida sun, creating the perfect environment for mold growth. In other words, no more mold or weeds in your brick pavers!! As it acts as that barrier for mold and weeds, insects like ants will no longer be able to make their homes under your driveways or pool decks leaving small ant piles throughout your brick paver installation.
Many companies will advise against you having your brick paver joints sanded after cleaning and before sealing. Why? Because getting the joint sand to the ICPI (Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute) standard is a skill obtained only from a lot of experience doing that task. The ICPI calls for joint sand to be between 1/8th and 1/4th inch below the chamfer edge of the brick paver (the beveled edge around the individual brick). The reason for this recessed sand level as opposed to a high level like you would find grout between tiles in your home is for three reasons.
Reason # 1 The small 1/8th inch canal below the surface of the pavers allows for a channel that rain/pool water can find its way to the deco drain that you would find on a pool deck, for a path to safely trickle between the brick pavers in your front walkway down your brick paver driveway to the street gutters, or run off the side of the driveway.
Reason # 2 Why you don’t want the joint sand flush with the tops of the pavers is so when the sealer does start to wear off, that sand that the contractor who didn’t follow the ICPI joint sand standards will stick to the bottom of your feet, or wash into the pool, clogging up your pool filter with sand, find its way on your car tires when you pull your car into the garage, or shoe bottoms when walk into the entryway of your home.
Reason # 3 The sand/sealer will also wear unevenly as well as at a faster rate as you walk on, move furniture, drive on, rubbing off the sealer and will find its way all over the surface area making your sweeping job never-ending! Resulting in loss of joint sand which can cause wobbly uneven pavers, water to not drain properly and an unsafe environment.
When you want the job done correctly, contact the pro’s at:
We don’t skate around the project by leaving out the most important steps as far as protecting and preserving your brick paver investment. There are a lot of companies that will try to encourage you against re-sanding the joints, or charge extra if you want them to re-sand the paver joints. Those are the companies that you want to stay away from. Usually, the ones that encourage against it are the ones that have failed many times in attempting to sand the joints correctly.
What is Polymeric Sand?
Poly sand is a high-tech mix of a properly graded sand and a binder compound (yes, it’s a polymer) that is specially formulated for filling the joints of pavers and slabs. Polymeric sand has revolutionized the installation of interlocking concrete pavers. It is sand that hardens once it is activated and has dried and yet remains flexible when it is wet.
Benefits of Poly Sand
- Poly sand stays in the paver joints and resists erosion.
- It retards weeds from growing in the joints.
- It retards ants from coming up through it as well.
- The biggest benefit is that it is flexible when it’s wet and is able to move with the pavers.
- It works in all paver applications and can be used in those natural stone applications with a joint width of up to 1″ wide.
- Polymeric sand meets the ICPI industry standards.
- We only use Cleaned dry sand.