Polymeric sand is a popular choice for filling the paver joints between pavers. It is a thin synthetic granular material that hardens when it comes to moisture, effectively locking the pavers in place. To remove polymeric sand from pavers, you will need various components, such as a soft-bristled broom, a leaf blower, a garden hose, a pressure washer, and white vinegar.
It’s important to note that the removal of polymeric sand requires some level of caution due to the fine sand particles and crystalline silica that can pose health risks. In our guide, you can learn more about how to clean polymeric sand. By the end, you’ll see the polymeric sand advantages, and also how to remove hardened polymeric sand quickly and without risk of health issues. (Read Why Does My Roomba Keep Cleaning The Same Area)
What are the Causes of Poly Sand Haze?
Polymeric sand is a synthetic granular material that fills the gaps between pavers, stones, or any other paved surface. However, one common issue with polymeric sand is the appearance of a hazy residue on the paver surface, commonly known as poly sand haze.
Poly sand haze is caused by moisture, rain, and improper drainage. When the paver surface is not completely dry during installation, the polymeric sand left on the surface can mix with the moisture and harden, resulting in a hazy residue.
Manufacturers claim the sand is an effective way to lock the pavers in place, but if the excess polymeric sand is not removed correctly, it can harden and form rough clumps on the surface.
Moreover, using a pressure washer with too much pressure can damage the paver surface and create a polymeric haze. To avoid poly sand haze, installing it properly and removing excess sand at this time is essential.
Why Remove Excess Polymeric Sand?
If you have a paved surface, you may have used polymeric sand to fill the gaps between the stones or pavers. Polymeric sand is a synthetic granular material that hardens when it comes into contact with moisture. However, there are times when you may need to remove the layer of polymeric sand from the pavers.
Benefits of Removing Polymeric Sand
For several reasons, you may want to remove polymeric sand from your paved surface. Here are some of the benefits:
- Removing sand haze: Over time, polymeric sand residue can create a hazy film on the surface of the pavers, making them look dull and unattractive. Removing the haze can restore the beauty of your paved surface.
- Repairing the surface: If rough clumps or residue are left on the surface after installation, removing the excess polymeric sand can help repair the surface.
- Replacing the sand: If you want to replace the old polymeric sand with new sand, you must first remove the old sand. This is important to ensure the new sand adheres properly to the paver joints.
- Preparing for wet weather: If the weather forecast predicts rain, you may want to remove excess polymeric sand from the surface to prevent it from clogging the drainage system.
Can I Use High-Pressure Water to Remove Polymeric Sand?
If you have tried other methods of removing this jointing sand from your paver surface and failed, you may be tempted to use a pressure wash to blast it away. While it is possible to use pressure washing to remove polymeric sand, it should only be used as a last resort and with caution.
When using pressure washing, it is vital to keep the pressure low, so you don’t damage the paver surface or remove the sand from the joints. If you use hot water in the pressure washer, the heat will also help to soften the sand and make it easier to remove. Ideally, the water temperature should be around 180°F. (Read Best Way To Clean Up Drywall Dust)
Step-By-Step Guide to Remove Polymeric Sand from Pavers
- Soft bristled broom
- Pressure washer
- Brick/block paver cleaner or white vinegar
- Garden hose
Steps for Removing Polymeric Sand
If you’re looking for how to remove polymeric sand from pavers your pavers, here’s a step-by-step guide to help you out:
Step 1: Sweep the Surface
Use a broom with soft bristles to sweep the surface of the pavers. This will help remove any loose polymeric sand and rough clumps. Make sure to sweep gently so you don’t damage the paver surface.
Step 2: Apply Brick/Block Paver Cleaner or White Vinegar
Apply brick/block paver cleaner or white vinegar to the paver surface. This will help dissolve the polymeric sand residue.
Step 3: Let the Solution Sit
Let the solution sit on the paver surface for at least 15 minutes. This will give the solution enough time to break down the hardened polymeric sand.
Step 4: Pressure Wash the Surface
Use a pressure washer to wash away the polymeric sand residue. This will help remove the polymeric sand without damaging the paver surface. As an alternative, you can try boiling water without pressure washing.
Step 5: Repeat Steps 2-4 if Necessary
If there is still as much polymeric sand left on the paver surface, repeat steps 2-4 until the surface is clean. It may take several rounds to remove the polymeric sand altogether.
Step 6: Let the Surface Dry
This is important because moisture can prevent the new sand from correctly filling the gaps and effectively locking the sand from pavers back in place.
Step 7: Fill the Joints with New Sand
Once the concrete surface is arid, fill the joints with new sand. Make sure to use fine sand that is compatible with polymeric jointing sand. Sweep the surface with a broom to ensure the sand is evenly distributed. (Read Remove Wax Ring From Toilet)
After Removing Polymeric Sand
Cleaning the Patio Pavers
Once you have removed the polymer sand from your patio pavers, it is vital to clean the surface thoroughly.
Use a broom to sweep the surface gently to remove any residue or clumps. If there is any remaining thick sand residue or haze, you can use a brick/block paver cleaner or a solution of white vinegar and water to clean off traces of the polymers.
Reapplying Polymeric Sand
After cleaning the pavers, you can reapply paver sand to the joints. Ensure the surface is completely dry before applying new sand.
Fill the gaps without overfilling them, and use a leaf blower or broom to blow excess from the surface of the pavers. Once you install polymeric sand, wet the surface with water to activate the polymers to start the hardening process of the paver sand.
Does Vinegar Remove Polymeric Sand Haze?
When removing polymeric sand haze, white vinegar is a popular home remedy. However, vinegar may not be effective for all types of polymeric sand haze.
If the haze is caused by excess sand left on the surface or rough clumps of sand, vinegar can be an effective solution. However, if the haze is caused by hardened polymeric sand or polymer residue, vinegar may not be strong enough to dissolve it.
What Shall You Do After You Remove Polymeric Sand From Pavers? Tips And Life Hacks
Removing polymeric sand from pavers can be a tedious process. Still, once you have successfully removed it, you must take some precautions to ensure the pavers remain in good condition. (Learn How To Clean Landscape Rocks)
Here are some tips and life hacks that you can follow after removing polymeric sand from pavers:
- Check the weather: Before washing the paver surface, ensure no rain is forecasted for the next 24-48 hours. Rain can wash away the new sand and undo all your hard work.
- Ensure proper drainage: If you wash the paver surface, ensure drainage to prevent water from pooling and damaging the pavers.
- Remove residues: After removing the polymeric sand, you may notice some residue or rough clumps left on the surface. Use a soft-bristled broom or leaf blower to remove any excess residue.
- Apply new sand: If you removed polymeric sand haze or excess polymeric sand, you might need to apply new sand to fill the gaps between the pavers. Ensure the paver surface is completely dry before using the new sand.
- Consider using white vinegar: If you notice any polymeric sand residue left on the paver surface, use white vinegar to remove it. Mix one vinegar with ten parts water and apply it to the affected area. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes, then scrub with a soft-bristled brush and rinse with water.
- Prevent future polymeric sand haze: To prevent future polymeric sand haze, make sure that you apply polymeric sand correctly. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and ensure the paver surface is completely dry before applying the sand. Use a hot water pressure washer or garden hose to remove excess sand.