Polymeric Sand- Is It Worth The Added Expense?
To achieve interlock in concrete pavers it is necessary to use course particle sand & lodge the sand into the paver joint. Polymeric sand is composed of primarily small particle sand, which is designed to become hard when you wet it. Once adhesion breaks down the sand will begin to wash out of the joint, typically during the freeze thaw cycles in Michigan.
There are many types of polymeric sand available on the market today so it’s easy to think that all types are alike until you experience washout & failure. Some polymeric sand manufactures will add cement to the mix to reduce the cost of manufacturing. Cement residue gets wet & leaves a white or light gray film on the surface of the pavers making them look dull & discolored.
Most manufactures use organic polymers in their sand, which are not as strong as synthetic polymers. This leads to loss caused by washout caused by heavy rain.
The primary reason one type of polymeric sand is less expensive than another is simple. You are getting a lesser quality sand. If you have to have the sand replaced due to failure you will end up spending more that if you had purchased the best quality sand to begin with. Many use polymeric sand as a sales gimmick.
Polymeric sand is not the best solution to stop moss & weeds from growing in brick pavers. We have developed a very reliable system for eliminating weed growth in pavers, which does not involve the use polymeric sand. Our solution utilizes medium grade sand stabilized by Paver Gloss, a deep penetrating acrylic sealer. This locks out water, which typically weakens polymeric type sand over time.
If we are not sealing your pavers with Paver Gloss acrylic sealer we will use only the very best quality polymeric sand available. After extensive testing of every brand of polymeric sand on the market, from Techniseal, Envirobond, Unilock, Oaks & Quickrete we discovered a brand that works without leaving a haze residue or washing out. The polymeric sand we use is PolySweep by SEK. It performs well & has proven to deliver consistent & reliable results. At All Surface Restortion we are always striving to provide you with the best quality materials & results possible.