How to prevent weeds from growing on brick patios

Written by rachel turner
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How to prevent weeds from growing on brick patios
Prevent weeds from growing on brick patios with polymeric sand. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Brick patios offer a rustic charm to a homeowner's outdoor living space. Since it is nearly impossible to prevent weeds from growing, over time these invasive nuisances will begin growing between the joints of the patio bricks. If weeds are left to grow, they may shift or crack the brick pavers, causing an unsightly surface. Kill the weeds with a few simple steps, then perform regular maintenance to restore that brick patio to an attractive, weed-free focal point.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Oven gloves
  • Long trousers
  • Teakettle
  • Vinegar, 10-percent strength
  • Watering can with narrow spout
  • Paver edge restraints
  • 10-inch steel spikes
  • Polymeric sand
  • Push broom
  • Small broom
  • Garden hose

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  1. 1

    Put on long trousers and thick oven gloves.

  2. 2

    Fill a teakettle with water and place the kettle on a stove burner. Turn the stove burner on high heat and allow the water inside to come to a boil.

  3. 3

    Take the teakettle to the brick patio. Pour the boiling water slowly over any weeds growing in the brick paver joints, being careful not to splash the water on surrounding plants or flowers. Thoroughly soak each weed.

  4. 4

    Repeat Steps 2 and 3 as many times as it takes to saturate each weed growing on the brick patio. The boiling water will kill the weeds within 24 to 48 hours.

  5. 5

    Pour the vinegar into the watering can. Saturate the weeds growing on the brick patio with the vinegar. Pour slowly, as you did with the boiling water, to avoid splashing nearby plants and flowers. The vinegar will begin killing the weeds, down to their root systems, in 24 hours.

  6. 6

    Check the progress of the dying weeds after 24 hours. Wait up to 48 hours for them to die completely. Pull the dead and withered weeds from the brick patio, using your hands.

  7. 7

    Position paver edge restraints against the sides of the brick patio. Secure the edge restraints tightly against the patio edges by hammering 10-inch steel spikes into the ground behind each restraint.

  8. 8

    Spread polymeric sand over the brick patio with a push broom. Polymeric sand has an added binder substance that will create a hardened surface, making it difficult for weeds to grow and survive. Push the polymeric sand into the brick paver joints until they are full and level with the top of the bricks.

  9. 9

    Sweep excess sand off the surface of the brick pavers. Wash the surface of the patio with water to activate the polymeric sand's binding agent and remove any remaining surface sand. Follow the instructions on the polymeric sand for complete watering instructions.

Tips and warnings

  • Saturate the weeds with vinegar only if rain is not expected within the next 48 hours.
  • You can purchase 10-percent vinegar from retail stores that sell pickling or canning supplies.

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