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If you have decided on pavers as your preferred choice of flooring for the outdoors of your residential property and you are willing to complete and conduct the installation process yourself, good on you. A well planned paving project should be your priority as commencement of installing pavers to completion will be a breeze. One of the key issues to a successful paving application process is the joint sand.

What Is Joint Sand?

Because pavers are individual units after installation joint sand is required to fill in the gaps in between each paver which makes the paved surface one unit. The other purpose of joint sand is to prevent weeds from growing in between the paver joints. Without joint sand your pavers are more likely to move out of place, this will be dangerous for those who use the area.

Joint Sand VS Mortar

One of the advantages of joint sand compared to mortar grouting is no cracks will ever appear in the paver joints. Joint sand is also a cheaper alternative to mortar grouting. Joint sand also does not require constant mixing and making sure the consistency is correct. Joint sand does not require regular maintenance as does mortar grouting. The only time you need to maintain joint sand is when harsh weather conditions have affected the paved surface.

Dry Joint Sand

Joint sand used for paver applications should be a course, washed concrete sand. This sand takes more time to get into the joints, but is also more difficult to wash out. Do not use silica sand or mason sand. The joint sand should also be completely dry. If the sand you have is damp, spread it out to dry before using. Wet and damp sand will prevent it from flowing freely into the paver joints.

Joint Sand Stabilizers

There are joint sand stabilizers on the market, such as SandLOCK, which help to bind the joint sand together. This will further improve washout resistance and make it more difficult for ants to push the sand out. If SandLOCK is to be used, all the sand used to fill the joints must be mixed with SandLOCK. A final top coat will not work. SANDLOCK is an organic joint sand stabilizer additive that is mixed on the job site or purchased premixed. It can be mixed in a wheel barrow by hand, but this is very time consuming and the SandLOCK may not be thoroughly mixed in. Using a concrete/mortar mixer is faster and ensures proper mixing. Depending on the sand used for the joints, SandLOCK is mixing in 2 5 pounds per 100 pounds of sand. This 100 pound mix with SandLOCK will cover approximately 170 200 square feet (depending on paver size, thickness and joint width). Once the sand and SandLOCK have been mixed, spread a thin, even layer across the top of the pavement.

Warning: SandLOCK is a water activated product. Do not spread the mixture over a wet pavement or if it looks like it will rain soon.

Paver Surface

Before adding joint sand to your finished paved area you need to ensure that there are no present dirt, debris, or any other paving disturbance. Using a fine brush sweep away all existing debris and ensure that the paver surface is completely cleaned and dust free. If the paver surface is wet or damp you must wait until it is fully dried before adding joint sand. The reason as to why sand grouting should not be done on wet surfaces is because the wet surface will dampen the sand and prevent it from flowing freely into the paver joints.

How to Add Joint Sand

Adding joint sand is an easy process which consists of filling the paver joints with sand and compacting. With a layer of joint sand spread, run the plate compactor. If there is another person to help, have them continue to spread the sand around the pavement with a push broom as the compactor is run. Continue sweeping and compacting until the joints are full. Once the joints are full, thoroughly sweep off the entire pavement.

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