Once we start bringing high-pressure equipment into the cleaning process, the hazards and potential for damage increase, from cracked concrete to uneven paving blocks.
A high-pressure jet stream of water, when misused, can blast apart all manner of surfacing – kiln dried sand included.
What does jointing sand do?
Jointing sand is quite literally used to fill the gaps which created the joins between outside paving blocks.
Dried in a kiln which removes all moisture, the sand is brushed over a clean driveway or paved surface, allowing the sand to run into the cracks and joints, to stabilise and strengthen the finished structure.
The sand in between the joints of block paving prevents water from seeping into the paved area and locks the individual pavers together to stop them from moving.
Why might it become displaced?
There are several ways in which you can damage your driveway or paving using a pressure washer, including:
• Displacing the paving stones
• Creating cracks or grooves in the concrete blocks
• Dislodging the jointing sand
The latter may sound like a minor issue but can lead to water running through these gaps, which in time can cause the paving blocks to sink and become loose.
Not only is this unsightly, but it can also become dangerous when walking or driving over the surface.
What do I do if the sand becomes displaced during the cleaning process?
The first thing to note is that, if you bring in a professional cleaner to perform your driveway or paving clean, the re-jointing process is an essential part of their cleaning package. If it isn’t, make sure you get some other quotes to cross-compare prices!
You’re looking at completing the process on your own, the first you will need is to invest in a decent bag of kiln-dried jointing sand. Make sure, on the purchase, that you are buying proper jointing sand rather than just builder’s sand.
Jointing sand should be a little more expensive but will ensure a professional finish, and you will likely need a 20-25kg bag of sand for every 30 metres squared of paving.
Once you’ve got the correct sand
and you’ve completed your block paving power wash, follow these steps for a hassle-free re-joining process:
1. Allow your block paving to fully dry – this is because the sand needs to be freely brushed over the full surface without getting stuck to wet surfaces, and allowed to flow between the paving slabs to fill the gaps.
2. Use a soft-bristled broom to brush the sand over the entire surface, allowing the sand to flow freely between the holes in the paving stones and fill up to the top.
3. Brush away any remaining excess sand, without removing any of the sand which has settled between the paving slabs.
4. Re-bag the excess sand for future use.
5. If necessary, look into a sand stabiliser or sealant to hold the sand in place. Setting the joint sand in place and leave it able to withstand more of a blow from natural weather conditions, though it will not seal the entire surface of your paving – so care still needs to be taken when using a pressure washer.
If you’re unsure on any of the steps surrounding washing, preparing or re-joining your paving or block driveway, bringing in a professional will not only ensure a clean and polished finish but also extra care around the safety of the process.
Get in touch today to get a quote and find out more.