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I have been told that there is special "sand" to re-secure pavers that is weed resistant.

Is it something different from the normal paver sand (to secure patios) you can buy at the Home stores?

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  • Were these pavers always like this, or do the gaps appear to be larger now? The current spacing is larger than I would expect sand to be able to "secure" them. – BowlOfRed Oct 21 at 21:29
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Polymeric sand is a fine sand that is combined with additives that form a binding agent when exposed to water. Silica is such as an additive and is often used to help lock the fine sand particles together. As the sand particles fuse, the joint between two patio pavers becomes impenetrable and the pavers are locked in place.

https://unilock.com/articles/what-is-polymeric-sand-and-how-is-it-used-for-locking-patio-pavers-yorktown-heights-ny/

Through particle bonding a solid surface is formed that resists weed growth. Pavers move, though, and cracks will exist that allow some weeds to establish. Periodic herbicide application or weed-whacking may be required, depending on traffic, sun exposure, etc.

"Paver sand" sold at home improvement stores may be polymeric sand. You'll need to read the label.

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    The polymeric sand I've used recommends, like most outdoor/home improvement products, regular maintenance (in the form of a 'top up' re-application every year). Just so no one thinks it's a one-and-done solution just because it's a application-specific. – TylerH Oct 21 at 14:33
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    herbicide may be more effective than pesticide :) – fred_dot_u Oct 21 at 20:09
  • Apparently you haven't seen the weeds I contend with. 😛 – isherwood Nov 1 at 14:06
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There are also paving sands with weed killer mixed in. Once example is "Dansand" from this vendor:

Dansand Manufacturer Site

I believe there are other similar products on the market that you might consider as well.

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    That seems fruitless, or to be more precise, fruitful. Weed killer doesn't last more than a year or two, tops. Even proper soil sterilants like diuron or imazapyr. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Oct 21 at 16:19
  • We had paving done over the summer and used Dansand, seems to work well. – Alan B Oct 22 at 6:47
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    @AlanB Most polymeric sands will look like they're doing the job for < 1 year. Check again in the summer of 2021 and see how it looks (nothing against Dansand; I don't know the brand). – TylerH Oct 22 at 14:46
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While you can get sand to try to prevent weeds, keeping the gaps between the pavers as small as possible is going to work better, especially long term. Also, I'm sure any weed prevention sand isn't design for the large gaps you have. As mentioned in a comment, any weed killer in the sand isn't going to last very long, so proper weed removal tools and regular spraying is still going to be necessary.

Small gaps will help prevent seeds from taking root, as well as minimizing the water getting to the ground underneath.

It's a lot of work, but your best bet is to remove the pavers, remove the weeds, smooth out or remove the remaining sand, and re-place the pavers. Then you can put a border around the path to keep the pavers in place and re-sand everything.

Once you get weeds in between pavers, it's pretty hard to keep them from returning. You need to get to the roots to prevent regrowth. You also need to remove or destroy the seeds to prevent new sprouts, and weed seed is generally notoriously small and resilient.

Looking at the 2nd pic, you have some pavers that are tight and some that are very loose. The tight ones won't accept the new sand well since it already has some sand, plus the existing weeds. And once you get rid of the weeds and sand the large gaps, your path will look all kinds of weird with that kind uneven spacing. In that 2nd pic alone, there's 3 distinct amounts of spacing that will be noticeable from any distance.

At least with existing pavers, you shouldn't have to cut anything to fit, so that'll save you a lot of time, as long as you keep things ordered and can put them back in the same order/location/area they came from. You can use some sidewalk chalk to mark things to make it easier for yourself. It's designed for pavers like this as well as being fairly easily removed.

I know this isn't the answer you want, but it might be the answer you need.

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  • If they're going to go through all the trouble of removing the pavers, they might want to re-base the area with paver base or those newer rigid base sheets of foam-like material that they sell nowadays, and then re-level sand on top of that. That way even with a 1"+ gap it's unlikely weeds will find their way up, at least for a decade or two. – TylerH Oct 22 at 14:49
  • @TylerH, that's a very good idea, too. I didn't think about that. I normally try to avoid suggest spending extra money, unless it's necessary. But those base sheets sound like a good investment, so it would likely be worth the extra expense, as well as the time. – computercarguy Oct 22 at 15:57

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