Hey, it’s Mark with the Perfect Paver Company. Today, I wanted to kick off our first question of the week talking about weeds.
That’s right, weeds, mold, any type of vegetation in your pavers, it’s never a good thing. So I wanted to just take a minute to explain why do you have weeds, what’s causing them, and what can be done to prevent them or minimize them.
It’s important to understand that weeds and vegetation happens because of site conditions. And there are a few different site conditions that can be taken into consideration that can prevent or cause weeds and mold and those types of things to grow and germinate.
The first one is going to be sun exposure. If you have an outdoor space that has a tremendous amount of shade, doesn’t get a lot of sun exposure, you’re going to be more prone to have things like mold and algae and those types of things grow. Also as a result of not having much sun exposure, you’re going to have a lot of shade, and things are gonna stay damp longer. Vegetation, weeds, all of those things require moisture to thrive, germinate, and grow. So the first condition is too much shade or not enough sun exposure.
The second component is adequate drainage. When an installer installs pavers, we suggest that you have a minimum of one quarter inch slope per foot of paver per foot of area of patio. So if you have a 10 foot wide patio it should slope two and a half inches. So when you don’t have that much slope, it decreases the ability for the water to channel off the surface, it should be channeling off the surface into a into a drain or off the edge of the patio into the landscape. When that’s not happening, the pavers retain the moisture of the sand, and the joints retains the moisture in the setting bed underneath of the pavers. Again, you’re creating the perfect conditions for weeds to germinate and grow.
The third condition is lack of maintenance. When pavers are installed, the installer will fill up the joints with a sand material. Over time that sand can settle, wash out, and that joint starts to fill up with organic material. Airborne dust, debris, mulch, leaf clippings, grass clippings, all of those things find their way into the joint, deposit into the joint and turn into compost. That creates the perfect conditions for weeds to germinate and algae and mold and those types of things to germinate and thrive.
So, there’s this three way scale, so to speak, between the adequate sun exposure between the adequate drainage and the adequate maintenance. What I mean by a three way scale is if you have less sun exposure, you’re going to require that your pavers have more drainage capabilities built in and more maintenance. If you have bad drainage, the drainage component comes down, and it’s going to require that you have more sun exposure and more maintenance.
What We Can Do
So a lot of people think when they contact us and they have their pavers sealed and the joints are hardened, that that solves all of their problems, and they’re not going to have weeds anymore. Now, the only component that sealing your pavers and the only sight condition that sealing your pavers will solve, is the maintenance component. It can make your pavers easier to maintain, but it’s not going to take the place of proper sun exposure and proper drainage. So when we come in, we’re going to thoroughly steam clean all of the pavers, we’re going to clean out all of that organic material between the joints. Then we’re going to install back a polymeric sand into the joint that gets hard to stabilize in place. So when you’re doing regular maintenance on the pavers, and you’re not washing out that sand, you’re preventing that the organic material from building building up. Once that’s done, if you have poor drainage and not enough sun exposure, you’re just going to need to do your maintenance more frequently. It’s the maintenance that you do on your pavers that prevents the weeds and the mold and the algae from growing, and not the hardening of the sand or the ceiling component by itself that’s capable of doing that.
So I hope that answers all of your questions as to why you have weeds and vegetation and mold and algae growing in and on your pavers, and what can be done to prevent those things. So again, I’m Mark with Perfect Paver Company. Thanks for tuning in, and we’ll see you next week!