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Since beginning our business, we have relied on polymeric sand as the product of choice for our jointing compound. It is not without its cons, but as long as you follow the directions carefully and the conditions are right, polymeric sand is a good option for paver joints. However, there are other choices that have their applications as well. In this article, we will be highlighting a semi-permeable jointing compound from Azpects called EASYJoint.
This product is an all weather jointing compound that is suitable for paving material with joints at least 1/8″ thick and 1″ in depth. It is installed wet and air cures, making it the perfect product to install on rain days to wrap a project up. Though it takes a little bit longer to install than polymeric sand and costs about three times more, it has its applications as it is a semi-permeable product with flow rates of 50 to 70 inches per hour. It is available in five colors ranging from a buff and tan to a light grey, dark grey, and black.
It leaves no residue or hazing as long as you use enough water and the surface is rinsed off properly of oil and sand. Additionally, there is no waste as it can be swept back into the container with water added to it so that it can be used on your next project. It can be pressure washed as well to free any blockages caused by organics on the surface of the joints.
In my experience, it is an easy installation that takes about twice the time than a typical polymeric sand installation. I was certainly happy with the installation and the permeability of the product, especially for open graded bases. In tighter joints, it requires more patience to get the grains into the joints and may require a compactor to be able to achieve this or a thin tool to push it into the joints. A lot of water is required in the installation of this product and it is much easier with two or more people. A squeegee and / or soft bristle broom is required.
I found that the shower or vertical setting on the hose nozzle works well with the installation of this product. When finishing the joints, a jointing tool may smooth out the surface of the joints to give a more pleasant look to the finish. The product should sit 1/8″ below the surface of the paver or bottom of the chamfer, whatever is lower.
How to Install EASYJoint
- Compact the pavers or slabs using a compactor with a protective pad to set them into the bedding layer prior to beginning the installation of the jointing compound.
- Pre-wet the pavers or slabs and begin to work in small 100 square foot areas to install the jointing compound and pre-wetting the next 100 square foot area when you move onto it. You do not want to install this jointing compound onto a dry surface.
- Open the container, rip the bag open, and pour it onto the paving surface. Immediately wet the jointing compound. We like to use a mixture of the shower and horizontal setting on the hose nozzle to move the jointing compound around the paving surface.
- Use a squeegee or soft bristle push broom to move the jointing compound around the surface and water to move the compound to the bottom of the paver joint.
- Continue to move the jointing compound around the surface filling the joints to 1/8″ below the top of paver or bottom of chamfer.
- Rinse any remaining jointing compound off of the surface of the pavement and any oil residue. You do not want to leave any remaining residue on the surface otherwise it will stain.
- Open Graded Base or Permeable Projects
- Synthetic Base Projects
- Early or Late in the Season
In these applications you are installing a clean stone that has no fines in it. This allows water to permeate through the base material and out of the system whether into the subgrade or through perforated drainage pipes. This free-draining material along with the semi-permeable EASYJoint creates a system that does not hold onto water reducing freeze-thaw cycles.
Similar to the above systems, paver base panels have drainage holes in them and when installed with High Performance Bedding below, this system allows water to flow through it and into the subgrade following a slope out of the system.
Polymeric sand cannot be installed in the rain. This is where this product shines. Early or late in the season, we see a lot of rain and colder temperatures making it extremely difficult to wrap up projects and get paid. However, this can be installed in these conditions allowing you to wrap projects up for your clients and get paid.
At approximately three times the price of polymeric sand, this is not a product that you decide to use after pricing a project. It is not a spontaneous alternative to polymeric sand if on the day of the project it is raining and you then decide to use this as an alternative. It is definitely something you would want to price into the job to ensure that you are not eating into your profits. It also takes about twice the amount of time to install when compared to polymeric sand and is more difficult to install without more than one person.
That being said, there is no haze issue that you may get with polymeric sand and it is a much easier product to install in terms of the potential for failure. It is most definitely the perfect product for the applications listed above and in some cases can be superior to polymeric sand as long as the base is free-draining.
EASYJoint is also available in a two part resin that can be mixed and installed for vehicular and heavier traffic applications.