Concrete pavers, also referred to as paving stones, are premanufactured slabs that are installed outdoors as flooring. They came in different textures, colors, shapes, and sizes. One can use one type or mix them, especially colors, to ensure the end product is beautiful. To obtain the best results, concrete pavers are laid over a compacted flat base made from gravel or sand. The space in the joints allows water to pass through. It also gives room for expansion which prevents cracking associated with freezing and thawing during winter. Large concrete pavers have bigger spaces between the pieces. As part of the style, some grass can be planted in this space to produce a neat finish. However, weeds are also plants and they comfortably grow and even dominate these spaces. Concrete pavers are used to line patios, driveways, walkways, and even garages.
Concrete pavers are increasingly the preferred option in both commercial and residential construction projects. Interlocking pavers can be installed quickly and form an aesthetically pleasing pattern. It is important to ensure that the concrete pavers are properly installed. This is the most effective and basic way to prevent weed growth.
An important step in installation is compacting the base. Failure to do this, even for a small section leaves the entire flooring vulnerable to quick aging and damage from foot and vehicular traffic. Even for appropriately installed pavers, regular maintenance and repair is important to prolong the floor’s life. Routine maintenance typically involves washing off stains, replenishing sand in the joint spaces, and removing any weeds that may have grown in the joint spaces. The most preventable yet difficult challenge in maintenance is weed growth.
After installing top quality concrete pavers, your outdoor space will look great. However, after sometime, you will have unwanted guests in the form of weeds. The weeds include grass where it is not part of the design. Sometimes, grass is part of the design especially in the case of large square blocks, but even these can be infested by other unwanted weeds thus destroying the delicate blend of grass and concrete. Once the weeds have grown, there is no option but to remove them to maintain the integrity and beauty of your outdoor flooring. There are a number of options from which you can choose to address or prevent your weed problem which include:
1. Removing Weeds Manually or Using Tools
Manually removal of weeds is demanding. However, it is a necessary and environmentally friendly process in weed removal. Wear garden gloves and directly pull out the weeds by hand or use tools such paver weeders, cape cod weeders, v-notch weeders, or soil or kitchen knives. The tools must be carefully used to avoid damaging the concrete pavers. Wetting the soil beforehand will help ease your work especially if you are planning to pluck the weeds by hand.
2. Applying Natural Remedies to Kill Weeds
Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) is a commonly used natural environmentally safe weed killer. It overloads the weeds with salt and absorbs most the water thus killing the weeds. Other natural remedies include vinegar, common salt (sodium chloride), and boiling water.
3. Burn Weeds with A Weed Torch/Blowtorch to Prevent Weed Growth
A weed torch is an option especially if the weeds are away from any flammable substances or structures. It is an instant cure for the weed infestation.
4. Using Herbicides to Kill or Stop Growth of Weeds Between Paving Stones
Herbicides can be used to kill existing weeds as well as prevent the growth of weeds. Pre-emergent herbicides inhibit germination thus any seeds of weeds already in the soil will not sprout. Post-emergence herbicides are quite effective in killing existing weeds. Most herbicides are not environmentally friendly and they can be quite toxic. Carefully select your herbicide and where possible choose an organic formulation.
5. Applying Polymeric Sand in Joint Spaces
Artificial polymeric sand granules bind together when they make contact with water. On drying, they harden and block the space between the pavers thus preventing growth of weeds.
6. Using a pressure washer to remove weeds
Pressure washers can be used to effectively remove weeds between concrete pavers. They are easy to use and since you are using water, they are also environmentally friendly.
If you are having a weed problem between your paving stones. Don’t let it fester. Deal with the issue decisively and leave your concrete pavers looking great.