Fix-It Chick: Filling gaps in your patios and walkways

Repairing joints and cracks in an existing stone patio or walkway is easy with a good quality polymeric jointing sand. Polymeric sand is made from sand particles and adhesive binders to create a uniform and structurally sound product that adheres well to stone and masonry surfaces.

Step 1: Remove all loose material in the joints to be repaired. Dig out existing sand to expose the sides of the stones. Polymeric jointing sand can be used to repair joints that are 1/4-inch to 2 inches wide. Do not use polymeric jointing sand for interlocking pavers.

Step 2: Re-level or repair any loose stones.

Step 3: Once the area to be repaired is clean, completely dry and free of debris, pour the polymeric jointing sand into the joints.

Step 4: Use a stiff bristle broom to brush the sand into the joints. The more sand in the joints, the harder and more impermeable the joint will be.

Step 5: Fill the joints level with the stone, then use a plate compactor or hand tamper to compact the sand and the stones.

Step 6: Pour additional jointing sand onto the surface, sweep it into the joints and compact or tamp again. Once properly compacted, the jointing sand should be about 1/8-inch lower than the top edge of the stone. If the stones have beveled edges, the sand should be level with the bevel edge.

Step 7: Once the joints are properly filled and compacted, sweep away all remaining sand. Use a leaf blower to blow away residual sand from the surface of the stones.

Step 8: Use a standard garden hose with a fine mist spray nozzle to water in the sand. Hold the hose end about 4 feet above the surface of the joints and mist the joints until the water begins to pool on top of the sand.

Step 9: Turn the water off and allow the standing water to soak in. This should take about five or 10 minutes.

Step 10: Water the joints again, holding the hose end 2 feet above the sand. When the water begins to pool again, stop and allow the water to soak in once more.

Step 11: Repeat the spraying and soaking process four or five times to assure the polymers are properly activated.

Step 12: Allow the joints to dry completely before resuming normal use.

— Have a question? Email Linda Cottin at