In the hardscape business, few things beat the popularity and aesthetic appeal of pavers. But they do come with their fair share of natural enemies, weeds being maybe the most famous ones. So, is there a natural way to kill weeds between pavers?
A beautiful paver patio or driveway is often the hardscape dream of many homeowners, and for good reason. Pavers are reliable, versatile and resistant, adding instant value in any home they are installed in. They can last for years if installed correctly and properly maintained.
That is why weeds are such a big problem. Not only they are the sign of an installation that could have some improvements, they can damage the structure of the whole installation if not quickly dealt with.
The aim of this article is to help you get rid of weeds in the most natural way possible, without the use of specific chemicals or pesticides. Later on, we will expand a bit on how you can prevent weeds from growing in the future.
So let’s get right into it.
Natural Products to Kill Weeds
Yes. A simple kettle full of boiling water can be the answer to weed problems in the less extreme cases. You can use only water or add some spoons of salt to give it a boost.
A somewhat riskier way to get rid of weeds is to use white vinegar. We say riskier because vinegar can potentially damage pavers, but there are some techniques you can use to take less risk.
First, when we say white vinegar, we actually do mean only white vinegar. The other forms of vinegar are too acidic and can be more harmful to your pavers. Make sure you’re working with white vinegar, for starters.
Second, you’re never going to apply pure white vinegar directly on the pavers. Mix a solution of equal parts water and white vinegar in a kettle or any other container with a small “tip”.
The idea is that, with a controllable and small flow of liquid, you can pour the solution only on the grout lines of the pavers. That will lessen the chance of a reaction by the vinegar.
Well, pressure washing uses only water, so we consider it to be natural. Not much secret here, there are only some things you have to be mindful off, you have never worked with pressure washer on pavers before.
Start with the lowest possible psi and slowly increasing it until you can see it affecting the weeds. And also, and this is very important, do not use a jet nozzle. A jet nozzle can damage the paver and wash away the sand between them. Instead, use a rotating surface cleaner attachment.
Baking soda is another excellent natural option, and one that has no chance of damaging your pavers. Simply wet the weeds and then pour the baking soda on top of it. A small spoiler, you can also use baking soda to prevent weeds from growing. We will talk about that later.
Isn’t it Pulling Weeds a Natural Way to Kill Them?
Yes, it is. Arguable the most natural one there is. However, we do not recommend pulling weeds.
You can never know how deep its roots go, and sometimes pulling them can cause real damage to your installation as a whole, as it can shift the base beneath the pavers or even lift the pavers themselves.
A less aggressive alternative to pull it is to use tolls designed specifically for pulling up weeds. They are usually very narrow L-shaped metal pieces that cut the weeds next to their base rather than pulling them up.
Even so, it is still not recommended, as the metal can scrape the sides of the pavers and, if the weeds are deeply rooted, the effect won’t be as effective. And, since there’s no way to know that beforehand, it is better not to risk it.
How to Prevent Weed From Growing Between Pavers?
Preventing weeds from growing starts at the moment of the installation of the pavers. Ensure you have a proper installation set in place, with correct slope and a geotextile fabric set in place beneath the base are a good start.
The slope will ensure you have proper drainage, and without water, there’s no way for weeds to grow. As for the geotextile fabric, it will offer resistance for the weeds to grow and develop roots.
At the finishing side of the installation, using the correct amount of polymeric sand mixed with baking soda can completely prevent weeds from growing, as well as sealing your installation afterwards. That way, you’re creating an airtight tight locked space with no way for weeds to grow.
Professional Help Dealing With Weeds Between Pavers
These tips we gave you on how to get rid of weeds only work for the simple to moderate cases. A paver installation that has gone a long time without maintenance and is completely overrun by weeds needs much more attention, and sometimes a compeltely redo.
Either way, a way to make sure your pavers will be free of weeds for a long time, maybe forever, is to hire a professional in the hardscape business to help you. They can identify the problem and help you find the best ways to solve it and prevent it in the future.
If you happen to be around the Sarasota and Manatee Counties, in FL, we here at S&S Pavers offer that service amongst many other when it comes to paver installation and maintenance.