Where there’s smoke, there’s fire and where there’s Techo-Bloc pavers, there’s polymeric sand!
Regardless of whether you’ve decided to install Techo-Bloc’s beloved concrete pavers or will be making use of the top hardscaping brand’s porcelain slabs, you’re going to need to be able to properly utilize polymeric sand in order to get the job done right.
Do you think you’re up to the task? Brushing up on a few smart tips for applying Techo-Bloc polymeric sand will go a long way in ensuring that your project goes off without a hitch.
The Importance of Properly Applying Techo-Bloc Polymeric Sand
At this point, you may be thinking that working with polymeric sand really isn’t rocket science. Why, then, would you need to bother with this guide on its proper usage and application?
After years in the industry and working closely with Techo-Bloc products, though, we’ve seen many contractors and homeowners make some relatively basic installation mistakes. No matter how large or small the error is, it could cause significant damage to your overall project, resulting in a lot of lost time and money.
Whether you need to immediately re-do a large portion of your paver project or find that it just doesn’t hold up as well as it should over time, you’re going to rue the day that you made a mistake in working with Techo-Bloc polymeric sand. It’s better to slow down, listen to advice, and follow direction now than to deal with a disaster later on.
5 Great Tips for Correctly Applying Techo-Bloc Polymeric Sand
As experts on Techo-Bloc products and polymeric sand, we’re more than happy to provide you with some valuable tips for applying the material to your pavers and slabs. Here are 5 of our expert’s top suggestions for completing your upcoming project successfully:
1. Choose the Best Sand
You’ll have your share of options when it comes to shopping around for polymeric sand, but not all products are worthy of your business.
It can be tempting to go with the sand with the cheapest price tag, but the ultra-low cost could be a red flag that low quality, cheap ingredients have been used throughout the manufacturing process.
While the product might work to set the pavers in place, it could also leave a hazy residue on top of the pavers. It’s much better to find a reliable polymeric sand that uses the best ingredients and clear polymers.
This will guarantee that you have an easy time installing your pavers without sacrificing the beauty of the completed project.
2. Pay Attention to the Forecast
Even if you follow all of the other manufacturer instructions for working with Techo-Bloc polymeric sand, you’ll still end up with a major mess on your hands if the weather interferes with your plans. Rainy days immediately before or after the installation of your pavers and sand is a recipe for disaster.
You don’t want to apply polymeric sand after the rain because putting the sand on a wet or damp surface can actually cause the material to stick to and harden on the surface of the pavers and become very difficult to remove.
If it rains after the polymeric sand has been applied but before it has had the chance to fully set, the sand could get washed out from between the pavers and you’ll have a big cleaning job ahead of you (not to mention the fact that you’ll have to re-fill the joints with sand!)
The good news is that avoiding these issues is as simple as keeping an eye on the local weather forecast before starting your paver project. In the event that an unpredicted rain shower shows up, be sure to have a tarp on hand and cover up the pavers and sand to prevent damage.
3. Compact Thoroughly
Rushing through the application of your Techo-Bloc polymeric sand, skipping steps, or cutting corners can be a serious problem.
One of the most common “time-saving techniques” that we’ve seen contractors and homeowners use is to skip the step of compacting the polymeric sand after it’s been placed between the joints of pavers and slabs. After polymeric sand has been swept into joints, though, the sand will feature numerous pockets of air.
This can lead to settling over time, which can ultimately cause problems with the stability and structural integrity of your pavers. Instead of rushing past this step, we suggest that you take the time to firmly press and compact the sand before allowing it to set.
4. Remove Excess Sand
After you’ve spent a fair amount of time sweeping your Techo-Bloc polymeric sand into the joints of your pavers and slabs, you may be eager to get the polymers activated and be finished with your project.
You’re not quite ready to let the joints cure and harden, though. Before you can expose the sand to water, you need to make sure that you carefully brush away any excess polymeric sand that is present on top of the pavers.
If any sand is left on top of the surface, it will harden and stick to the hardscape when exposed to water, creating an unsightly mess that’s difficult to clean up.
5. Use the Right Amount of Water
The amount of water that you use and the methods that you use to apply it to your Techo-Bloc polymeric sand will play a significant role in the success of your project. Because water is used to activate the polymers present in the sand, many people make the mistake of believing that you can never use too much.
This simply is not the case. Adding too much water throughout the installation process can ultimately lead to fragile joints. On the other side of things, if a joint isn’t correctly watered to a minimum 2/3’s depth, you could wind up with the formation of a hard crust at the top of the joint.
As soon as the first heavy rainfall hits that crust, it will break and wash away, forcing you to re-do the work. Make sure that you stick to manufacturer specifications when it comes to applying the correct volume of water.
Be sure to apply the water correctly, too. Using a high-pressure stream will blast all of the sand you’ve just swept between the joints out of place. Instead, set your hose nozzle to “mist” and lightly sweep over the area.
You should continue to spray until the sand has been thoroughly moistened and the water just starts to sit on top of the joint. Let the water soak in for several minutes before continuing to apply water.
Working With Techo-Bloc Polymeric Sand in NJ
Do you have other questions about how to install Techo-Bloc pavers and slabs or how to best go about applying Techo-Bloc polymeric sand? The experts at Braen Supply can help.
As authorized Techo-Bloc dealers, we’re qualified to help you determine how much sand you’ll need to use and can address any concerns that you may have.
Our Techo-Bloc products, including polymeric sand, are available at competitive prices and can be picked up or bulk delivered to areas throughout NJ, NY, NYC and PA.