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Treating Weeds in Paver Joints

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by JimLewis, May 22, 2013.

  1. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,830

    This is not a paver patio we installed. But we have a client who's home we maintain as part of our landscape maintenance service. They have a good 3000+ sq. ft. of pavers (driveway, back patios, pathways). A month or two ago they called us to help get rid of the moss that had started to grow on the pavers and the weeds that had begun to grow in the joints.

    It looked to me like the people who installed the pavers several years ago didn't use poly sand. So my idea was to pressure-wash the entire area (the pavers looked a little dark and dingy anyway), get all the moss off the top of the pavers in the shady areas, jet the weeds out of the joints, and then install poly sand.

    So we did that. But unfortunately the weeds that were in the joints were very difficult to get out with a pressure-washer alone. So 4 of my guys actually spent several hours on their hands and knees digging out weeds with screwdrivers prior to installing the poly sand. They weren't able to get 100% of the roots, but they got most of them.

    We installed the poly sand and all was finished. Or so we thought.....

    Now the weeds have started to come back through and are looking pretty bad again. At this point, I'm not about to go through that whole process again. I'm thinking we'll just spray the weeds with round-up or some other herbicide. My main concern is staining the newly cleaned pavers. I saw a property recently where the homeowner had sprayed *something* on the weeds in his paver joints and it bleached out the pavers around every weed. It looked really bad. Now, I have no idea what he used. For all I know, he used actual bleach. But I don't want to make that same mistake.

    Anyone know if (properly mixed) Round-up will stain pavers?

    I think once we get the existing weeds killed off they shouldn't return. Maybe we'll fill in a little more poly sand after they die and we remove them. But I don't anticipate them coming back so strongly now that we've filled in all of the joints that were so open before. The main thing is just killing the existing weeds and roots. I just want to make sure I don't stain the pavers in the process.
     
  2. exmarkking

    exmarkking LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,012

    Spray them with roundup
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  3. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,830

    You're sure the Round-up won't stain the pavers???
     
  4. Landscape Poet

    Landscape Poet LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,637

    Jim, it is very common to have paver driveways and entry ways and patios in my location. I use round up quick pro all the time and do not have a staining issue. Been using the quick pro for at least 3 years without any staining.
    There are some pre emergents that will stain pavers - maybe that is what you have seen?
     
  5. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,403

    Jim - I am disappointed in you.

    So all these years you have been participating here at Lawnsite.com.

    You've shown pictures of very nice work your enterprise has done.

    You've shown pictures of a very nice looking pick up truck that you drive.

    Knowing you to have thought that POLYSAND is a vegetation control is VERY disheartening, Jim.

    It's well know by most of the hardscape pros that POLYSAND is NOT a weed inhibitor. Infact, I have written multiple times over the course of years on this forum that POLYSAND is NOT to be used nor sold as a means for keeping unwanted vegetation out of the paver joints.

    When I go on estimates and meet with prospective clients I specifically spend about 2-3 minutes talking about polysand and what it's intended for. I always say "now, many contractors will tell homeowners that polysand will keep weeds out of the paver joints. This is not the case, it is not intended to keep vegetation out......" And nearly everytime the people will say "actually the guy that we met with last night told us polysand is for keeping the weeds out"!


    Round up is fine for pavers.

    You will also want a pre-emergent. One with no color.

    And it may take multiple visits before the vegetation is under control.

    While on the subject of polysand - polysand is not a DO OR DIE product. It's not absolutely necessary. We were building interlocking patios before polysand really was introduced to the market. Use used #2 silica sand. And it eventually sets up just as hard as mortar. Yes, we use polysand. But it's not a MUST HAVE like geo-textile fabric.



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    Last edited: May 22, 2013
  6. zturncutter

    zturncutter LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,308

    Glyphosate will not stain pavers, but the weeds will return. If not from the existing root systems that may not be killed by the systemic properties of the Gly you will get new weeds from the seeds of weeds that blow in on the wind and they will germinate in the cracks, Poly sand or not.
     
  7. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,830

    Well, I think your first mistake is thinking that I read everything you write. Your second mistake is assuming that I believe everything you write.

    As for poly sand being a vegetation control, yes, I believe it does control weeds better than regular masonry sand does. First, there's the very obvious fact that if you look at a sample of poly sand that has been hardened up and look at a sample of regular sand you can see where the sand that is totally rock hard would be a little harder for roots to grow through than the regular sand would. That's just basic observation. But aside from that, the company I buy poly sand from actually states in their literature and their website that their poly sand deters weed growth.

    So forgive me for going with my observations and with the manufacturer over the rhetoric of a guy in another part of the country who's opinions I don't usually agree with.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2013
  8. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,830

    Yah, I realize some weeds may come back. I think less than before. Because before we started, the joints were mostly missing a lot of the sand, at least on the top, and there was lots of places where dirt and dust had filled that void. Now that hard poly sand fills those voids rather than dirt and dust, I think we'll fare better. But it doesn't really matter. We're there every week anyway. Often spraying weeds in beds already. So it isn't hard to teach my crew to keep the weeds in the pavers controlled by round-up. Just wanted to make sure that wasn't going to stain the pavers.
     
  9. zturncutter

    zturncutter LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,308

    I just sprayed a patio we put in about 6 years ago, the first few years almost no weeds were showing up in the polysand joints.Starting last summer we had to spray more often, I realized the Live Oaks had grown and completely shaded the patio keeping it wet much longer after the summer thunder storms. I think the prolonged period of moist conditions helps the new weeds germinate.
     
  10. exmarkking

    exmarkking LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,012

    if your really concerned, test an area that isn't easily seen. But I've never known roundup to stain
    Posted via Mobile Device
     

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