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The Benefits of Polymeric Sand

Polymeric SandThe type of joint sand used in your interlocking paver patio or walkway may be the biggest factor in how much time and effort you spend maintaining your paved landscape. Polymeric sand is regarded by many landscape contractors as the best choice for the joint sand that goes between pavers. Though it costs a little more upfront, over the long term, using polymeric sand will save you money and time.

What is Polymeric Sand?

The main component in polymeric sand is quartz or silica sand, just like mortar sand or builder’s sand that you buy for construction use. It’s the additional ingredients, the polymers, which make it special. Depending on which brand you buy, there are organic or chemical components that serve to bind together the sand particles once the polymeric sand is installed. This binding action produces the benefits of polymeric sand.

Polymeric Sand Stays in Place

One of the biggest benefits of polymeric sand is that it stays in place much better than traditional joint sand. Heavy rain, concentrated water runoff and jet spray from a hose can all cause regular sand to wash away. The binding properties of polymeric sand keep it in place so you don’t have to replace sand after storms or cleaning.

Polymeric Sand Means Fewer Weeds

Polymeric SandMost weeds in established patios and walks start from seeds that blow in and take hold in regular joint sand. The pore space in regular sand allows water to flow down through the sand; weeds can easily take root. If weeds get too large, their roots start to displace sand and pavers. Even pulling them out can cause damage. Polymeric sand typically prevents water and seeds from getting between pavers. With the sand bound together, weed roots have nowhere to take hold.

Fewer Ants

Patios with regular sand are like a playground for ants. They dig tunnels into the sand and build nests, displacing joint sand in the process. They are a hassle and a nuisance, even if it rarely gets to the point where they cause significant damage to your walk or patio. Polymeric sand is much more challenging for ants; they have a hard time digging, and the binding materials tend to keep them away.

It’s important to note that the quality of polymeric sand has improved over the years. Research and experience has led to better additives and binders used as the polymers in the sand mixture. Like any construction material, it is important that polymeric sand is installed correctly. Get detailed instructions from your landscape supplier if you are doing the work yourself or have a qualified contractor do the installation.

If you are planning a new patio or walkway, be sure to use polymeric sand for the construction. If you have an existing interlocking paver patio with regular sand that causes maintenance problems, it’s not too hard to replace the existing sand with polymeric sand. Talk to the experts at Van Beek’s Garden Supplies about installing polymeric sand in your new or existing paving project. You will spend less time maintaining your landscape and more time enjoying it.

Driveway photo credit to Les Chatfield
New Path photo credit to Bryn Pinzgauer