The chap who laid my brick-paving drive a year ago replaced a couple
of bricks today and in passing suggested that "You really should get
it sealed." He went on to elaborate that he would
- remove the few bits off grass that were growing in the sand
- sweep in new sand
- using a roller, cover the surface with a 'sealer', that would
effectively retain the sand by covering it with a thin plastic layer,
keeping out further weeds, and enhance the general appearance of the
Of course, he's just looking for some fast extra income (he quoted
£450) but I wonder whether the suggestion has merit anyway? If so, is
it the sort of thing I might do myself?
It is the sort of thing you can do yourself....I do block paving for a
living, but don't include it in any of my quotes because I hate putting it
down, plus it puts the price up.
If you are going to do it, you need to remove the existing grass first
otherwise it's a wasted exercise - use sodium chlorate, and do the entire
drive, then leave to dry for a few days.
go to a builders merchant and buy silica sand, or kiln dried sand, but make
sure it's the stuff especially for drives - don't buy KDS from B&Q as it's
not the right stuff - the grains are too big and they won't hold in the
joints....proper silica sand is white, or to be more precise, magnolia, and
it's the stuff used in egg-timers.
use a soft brush (when the drive is completely dry - no moisture showing in
any of the joints) and brush the sand all over, making sure you fill all the
joints level and not leaving any surplus sand on the surface.
Then go over it with patio and block paving sealant (about £90 for 25L)
using a roller....it splashes up your hands and arms and sets like plastic,
meaning you have to pull your arm hairs out to get it off, unless you have
an industrial sized bottle of acetone.....coverage is about 4m2 per litre,
that is to say, I used about 20L on an 80m2 drive a few weeks ago, so you
can work out from this how much you need, again, don't use B&Q because: A)
it's expensive, and B) it's crap
it binds the grains of sand together making an inpenetrable surface for
seeds etc, which, contrary to popular belief, is how weeds appear in paving,
and not from underneath as commonly thought.
You need to do it every 24 months for it to be most effective.
Quite possibly the most expensive thing to point paving with - 11L will
cover about 4m2 of paving, and at £20, that makes it a fiver a metre just
for pointing - not bad if it's just a stone circle feature type of thing,
but a whole patio or drive would be out of the question....most people use a
type of mastic gun filled with sand/cement, quite weak, about 6:1, which
seems very effective and fast, although I've never used it and prefer to
butt my flags close together, IE a few mm or less....then brush KDS into the
so i guess it sets like plastic on the drive, hence why it looks so shiney
on the drive, makes a nice looking drive look crap to be honnest when they
parents had a concrete drive in that coloured stuff with the patterns in it
done, looked brilliant, natural and all that, then they applied the sealer,
and it looks naff,
but i guess a shiney drive is better than one with weeds growing through it.
If you don't want shiny or weeds I found treating with sodium chlorate
every couple of years does the job. I have a yard lower than the road
so instead of getting a ramp in I laid concrete blocks to raise a part
of the yard to the level of the road for off street parking. The gaps
get weeds and moss in them so I just fill a watering can with a strong
solution of sodium chlorate and treat the whole lot in spring.
Many thanks Phil, appreciate the detailed and helpful reply. I'll give
that some serious thought.
One cause for hesitation is the one raised later in the thread, about
the 'shiny' effect on the bricks. Without a 'before and after' picture
I'm not sure if it would improve or spoil the general effect. What do
I'm going to post another question about my brick drive, which will
include a photo, so I'll show the link here too as my 'before'.
Pretty much any surface coating looks shiny if it is allowed to form a
film on the surface. Normally the answer is to thin it and mop the
excess off before it dries. How this would work with paving I'm not so sure
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