Polymeric Jointing Benefits For Your Polymer Paver Sand
Used daily by hundreds of professional stone and concrete pavers in the world, polymeric sand offers exceptional stain resistance, as well as preventing insect infestation, and deterioration of joint performance. In this article, we’ll describe what exactly is polymeric sand, as well as list the various benefits it offers paving paver installers above the use of many other natural grouting substances. Essentially, sand (alcium carbonate) is composed of numerous amino acids that can bond together in a multitude of ways. These various chains can then be further modified through a process called “cross-linking,” giving polymeric sand several times more options when forming sealing agents, such as in mortar. With the right mixture of additives, the finished product will have incredible physical properties, resisting damage from cracking, chipping, or breaking, as well as staining from UV light, heat, oil, or salt.
The most common polymeric sand component is called calcium carbonate. Calcium carbonate has the highest level of cross-linking of any binding agent, making it ideal for a wide range of applications involving binding, crushing, indentation filling, as well as jointing sand. One of the first applications for calcium carbonate in mortar was back in the 1800s, for the raising of steep slabs in the construction of public buildings. Today, because of its incredible wear resistance and excellent corrosion resistance, calcium carbonate is still one of the most popular ingredients for paver bags, as well as jointing sand. Another advantage of calcium carbonate is that it has excellent water resistance, and beads can be formed on its surface with ease.
The strength of calcium carbonate is what makes it ideal for paver joints and bagging. Because of the numerous chains of repeating C-shaped carbon atoms, when this calcium sand strand is squeezed or driven across a rough surface, it creates tiny gaps. These gaps are actually small enough to allow water molecules to escape, yet they are large enough that larger water molecules will not be able to pass through them. With this property, any weed and root obstructions in the joints will have no effect. It is also important to note that polymeric sand will not affect the strength of a paver joint, only the strength of the weed edge cuticle. In other words, it will not make the joint weak, it will simply cut off the weed edges so that they do not grow back as quickly.
Many paver installers prefer to use high-carbon polymeric sand because it produces finer grain than low-carbon polymeric sand. However, this fine grain also adds a unique chemical fingerprint to the material, which experts say helps to identify the exact paver area being installed. For this reason, many paver installers now recommend using high-carbon polymeric sand, because it produces a tighter grain with every square inch. This reduces the potential for the joint to become weak over time. Another benefit of using polymeric sand in paver joints is that it does not produce as much pollution compared to low-carbon aggregates.
When choosing polymeric sand for paver jointing, you need to consider more than just cost and availability. The type of joint you are installing will determine whether polymeric sand is the best option for you. For instance, it might be preferable to use low-density polymeric sand for paver jointing if you are installing on softscape such as soil, mulch, and vegetation close to the ground. On the other hand, if you are installing on hardscape such as concrete, asphalt, or rock, high-density polymeric sand could be better suited for the job. Low density polymeric sand can create “hot spots” where weed growth is faster than it should be.
There are different ways that polymeric additives work. Some are applied to the paver surface while some are applied to the ground. The majority of polymeric sand additives are applied to the ground. These additives, most commonly called surfactants, bind water molecules together so that water can move through the porous materials of the pavers easily. This allows the surface of the pavers to dry more quickly between treatments.
Other surfactant additives include binding agents like clays, tar deposits, and fine sand particles. Some products also contain surfactants that can improve the bond between the various layers of polymeric material. These additives are typically used in conjunction with regular sand but there are also available all-purpose sand that can also act as a surfactant. If you are considering the application of polymeric surfactants to your paving project, then you should check with your supplier to see which all-purpose sands are compatible with your paving system.
Another benefit of polymeric jointing is that it can help reduce the dust haze that can be caused by pavers when the weather starts to dry out. The polymeric additives prevent the material from drying out and the Pavers will retain a nice, moist, glossy finish for much longer. When you combine these two benefits, you can have a great polymeric paver sand that will stand up to all kinds of weather conditions without the risk of water logging the surface and creating problems for your paving materials. A polymeric sealer that includes polymeric additives will prevent your pavers from becoming faded by the sun or damaged by the rain.