Wednesday, July 2, 2014

I've Got Sand In My Cracks!


So about a year ago, I added this lovely border to the front and side of the house. At the time, I used regular old sand to fill in the gaps between bricks. This didn't last past the first rain when it all washed right out. Ever since then, I've been planning to use polymetric sand instead. Well, I finally got on that.


Polymetric sand is nifty because once it gets wet, it hardens into a concrete-like substance so it won't wash away and also holds together the pavers.


Before I could dive in, I had some prep work to do. Things were looking a little rough. I pulled up all the weeds and grass that had grown up between and over the border. Then I ran the lawn mower along the edge because we haven't mowed in like three weeks (don't judge, it's been really dry) and then swept the border clean.


Looking much better already. As you could see in the picture of the sand bucket, my tools were pretty simple. A shovel and a small brush.


I poured some sand onto the gaps between the bricks and then used to brush to sweep everything down into the cracks. I also used the handle of my shovel to tap on the tops of each brick to make sure everything was settled.


The instructions on the sand said about 100 times in various combinations of bold, italics, and all caps that I should be sure to remove all the sand from the top of the bricks or else it would stain. I was therefore very thorough about sweeping the brick surface clean before moving on to the next section. You can see above that there was still  a layer of dust left behind and I worried that it would discolor the pavers, but in the end, it did not.


After that it was time to wet everything down. As instructed, I used to "gentle shower" setting on my sprayer and sprayed until water stop soaking in and started to pool. You want to do this to make sure the sand gets wet all the through.

The bucket said some of the larger gaps may take up to 72 hours to dry and they certainly did. Now that the time has elapsed, though, everything is nice and firm as it should be.


I really wish I had done this last year because there are weed roots that I am afraid will still push through and over time some of the bricks have shifted around and aren't as straight and even as they were initially. So I guess the moral of the story is, don't put off finishing projects for over a year. :)


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