Your Place: when your patio needs some attention

McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

Q: We recently had a new home built that includes a large screened-in patio with concrete pavers on the floor.

After almost four months, there are still a lot of areas where sand needs to be added between the pavers or where sand has risen and thus there is loose sand on the surface ó no matter how many times we sweep it.

Is this normal for these types of floors? How long should it take for all the sand to settle? Also, should pavers be sealed, and is there anything that can be done to keep the sand in place?

Answer: I think this is normal. My patio of interlocking pavers needs periodic maintenance, especially weeding between the pavers in the spring.

Sand has a tendency to wash out between the cracks, and you should see what the chipmunks have been doing to a small area with concrete pavers in another spot in my yard.

A few years back, when I had a couple of free days, I decided to remove all the growth and moss between the patio pavers and add more sand, which is done simply by sweeping it around until the cracks are filled.

At a hardware show that year, I came across a product that was being introduced by Quikrete called PowerLoc Jointing Sand.

The product is polymer-based, which Quikrete said prevents it from washing out or cracking.

Quikrete touted the product, which comes in 50-pound bags ranging in price from $14 to $18, depending on where you buy it, as resisting weed growth, insects and erosion, as well as stabilizing the pavers and not staining them.

I tried it on just a small part of my patio, and the product did what it was supposed to, but I didnít have time to use it on the rest of the patio.

I typically donít recommend products ó your situation and experience may be different from mine ó but the cost of experimenting with one bag isnít great.

The section of my patio that has PowerLoc is the only one where I never see any anthills between the cracks, and that may be an added benefit.

Information is available on the Quikrete website: www.quikrete.com .