Of all the options available for hard surface paving of driveways, walkways and patios, I like brick pavers the best. The only hitch is the space between bricks. Ordinary sand that’s typically used to fill these gaps is prone to washing out, and that’s why something called EnviroSAND (866-636-8476) was invented by a guy named Mike Reihm. He’s a graduate of the University of Guelph, and I first discovered his product last spring. Even though I haven’t yet had the luxury of seeing it perform over 10 years of real-world use, what I’ve seen so far convinces me the long-term performance will probably be better than what I’m used to. The ability to re-soften in the presence of water and re-harden again into a new shape is the reason why.
If you take a small pile of EnviroSAND and wet it, the dry granules turn into a dough-like mixture that holds together without being sticky. This is what happens as the product is activated with mist from a garden hose after it’s worked into cracks between pavers. Let this mixture dry and it hardens enough to stay put firmly. Moisture from regular rains are enough to reactivate EnviroSAND and make it flexible again, though during my tests it held together and resisted washing out, even while soft. This is a powerful combination of qualities, and I know from experience that it can make all the difference.
As far as installation goes, EnviroSAND flows very well out of the bag and is easier than regular sand to work into gaps between pavers. Make sure your installation is bone-dry before applying the sand, with no chance of rain for the day. Sweep it into the cracks, work it down as far as it will go with a gas-powered compactor, then sweep the surface completely clean. When the only remaining sand is in the gaps, gently water the surface to activate it. For flagstone installations with larger gaps between 10mm and 25mm, EnviroSTONE is a companion product made with bits of crushed stone in the mix for added strength over wider spaces.