15 QUESTIONS WE GET ASKED ALL THE TIME
Each week our technical experts receive hundreds of calls and emails. From simple product questions to more complex installation inquiries, the team provides a full spectrum of answers, tips, and solutions to Gator users on a regular basis. We recently reviewed our list of hot topics and decided to put together this resourceful blog post. So here it is … the 15 questions we get asked all the time by contractors and do-it-yourselfers!
1. Where can I buy your product?
Alliance Gator products are distributed through landscape/hardscape suppliers all across the country. While our dealer network is vast, not all stores carry all our products. The best way to find specific products in your area is to contact us (click here for our info)!
2. Which polymeric sand would you recommend for my project?
Well, this is a loaded question! We currently offer four different types of polymeric sand. Each one offers a unique set of features and benefits. Here’s a simple breakdown of each to help you decide which one might be right for your particular application:
Gator Super Sand Bond (a.k.a. The Yellow Bag)
Our original! Super Sand Bond is a unique mixture of polymer binders and calibrated sand. It features New Advanced Haze Free Technology and is available in four different colors: Beige, Slate Grey, Ivory, and Black Diamond. The installation of Gator Super Sand Bond is almost identical to using regular paver joint sand except for the application of water. Once this product sets, it becomes very firm and locks between the paver joints while still retaining flexibility and providing a long-lasting, durable jointing material. We recommend Gator Super Sand Bond for a variety of residential projects including pool decks, patios, footpaths, driveways, etc. Check out more specs here.
Gator Maxx Bond (a.k.a. The Orange Bag)
The next level up from Super Sand is our Gator Maxx Bond. This product features all of the same amazing colors and benefits as Super Sand plus more. Gator Maxx is formulated to repel water, and not absorb much water. This makes it the ideal product for overlays. It’s recommended for both commercial and residential projects and can be safely used for paving stone joints of up to 2.″ And just like Super Sand Bond, this product is formulated with our New Advanced Haze Free Technology and comes backed by our 15 year limited warranty. Get more specs here.
Gator Tile Sand (a.k.a. The Grey Bag)
Gator Tile Sand, as its name implies, is specially formulated for porcelain tile. And, just like Super Sand and Maxx, Gator Tile Sand is offered in four beautiful colors and backed by our 15 year limited warranty when used in the Gator Tile System. It’s designed to work in porcelain tile joints of up to 1” and can be used for both residential and commercial purposes. Gator Tile Sand serves as one of the six components in our Gator Tile System. Click here for more features and details.
Eurostone Bond (a.k.a. The White Bag)
Eurostone Bond was the first polymeric sand specifically designed for natural stone and cobble stone paver joints of up to 1.5." It can be used in applications with either drainage or non-drainage base systems. Eurostone Bond is available in four rich colors and is perfect for stone roads, piazzas, driveways, pathways, and stone apron driveways. Learn more here.
3. Which sealer would you recommend for my project?
Wow! You’re really putting our knowledge to the test now. So this question is even more complex than the sand question. However, because we get asked A LOT of sealer questions, we’ve put together a nifty chart to help simplify the decision-making process. It’s a PDF which can be downloaded by clicking here.
We also recommend these blog posts for more information on sealers:
- Sealing Natural Stone
- Steps For Sealing An Outdoor Concrete Patio
- 4 Things To Do Before Sealing Your Pavers
- Solvent-Based vs. Water-Based Sealers
4. How many coats of sealer should I apply?
We typically recommend only applying a single coat of sealer. Over application may result in unattractive milky-white spots on the paver or stone surface or a surface that is too slippery underfoot.
5. The sealer I used turned my pavers white. What do I do?
As we mentioned above, over application of the sealer may cause this. White spots may also form if there was trapped moisture, if the surface was too hot when the sealer was applied, or if the surface was not clean at the time of sealing. But if you’re in this predicament, you’re clearly not looking for an “I told you so” … you’re looking for a fix! Depending on the type of sealer you used, the remedy will differ. So here’s what we would typically recommend…
- If you used a solvent-based sealer, use xylene to clean up the spots. Important: Always do a small test area first!
- Water-based sealers do not respond well to cleaning with a solvent and will require a number of applications along with vigorous scrubbing with a stiff nylon brush or a soft brass brush. Again, always test your procedure in a small inconspicuous spot. Bad areas may unfortunately require stripping the sealer off completely.
6. How do I remove that white haze from my pavers?
That white haze you’re seeing is most likely efflorescence, which is a natural occurrence in any cement-based product. Efflorescence is the migration of salts to the surface of concrete pavers or retaining walls (where it later forms a white coating or haze). It will usually go away over time but if you wish to clean it, you can use a product like our Gator Efflorescence Cleaner. (Note: For a new installation, you should wait about 60 days before using an efflorescence cleaner). For more information on efflorescence, check out these two blog posts:
- 8 Facts About Efflorescence
- Top 5 Things You Need To Know About Getting Rid Of White Haze On Your Pavers
7. I installed polymeric sand and some of the joints still feel soft. What should I do?
The reason that some areas feel soft is most likely because they are not draining as fast as the dry areas (and therefore are still wet). Polymeric sand is not a mortar and is designed to transition from hard and dry to soft when wet; this is how it is able to be self-healing. You will simply need to give the product time to completely dry and set up.
If it rains within 24 hours after your installation, this could also prevent the joints from hardening properly. (We always recommend checking the forecast for rain before starting your project.) If your project does get rained on, you will have to be patient and allow it to dry. As long as the sand didn’t wash out of the joints and does begin to harden, you should be all right.
Be sure to check out our 10-Step Polymeric Sand Installation Guide before starting your project.
8. I’ve noticed some of the joints between my pavers look low. Can I add polymeric sand on top of what’s already there?
The joints between your pavers are probably the correct height. We recommend that the polymeric sand be installed at least 1/8” below the chamfer or rounded edge of the paver. As the joint width gets wider, that level should increase to 3/16" or even 1/4.” This allows the polymeric sand to perform properly over its intended lifespan.
It is not ideal to add a thin layer of polymeric sand on top of what's already there for many reasons: the original sand can be old, of unknown condition, and/or dirty. The best approach would be to remove at least 1" of the jointing material and follow the steps for a new polymeric sand installation. A pressure washer is the best way to remove the existing jointing material. As you pressure wash, any loose material will wash away, dirt and contamination will be removed, and some polymeric jointing material may remain. It is permissible in most cases to leave any jointing material left after pressure washing and fill in the areas that are washed out with new material. Be sure to use a 25 degree tip on a pressure washer with at least 3000psi to properly and safely remove the jointing material.
9. I have polymeric sand leftover from my project. How can I safely store it for future use?
If you have leftover polymeric sand from your project (and it’s still in the bags), the bags can stored in a dry location for future use.
Properly stored and kept in a low humidity environment in its original unopened bags, our polymeric sands should be usable for up to five years.
Please do not try to store and reuse any excess material that is cleaned up when completing a project. That material should be discarded.
10. I have a stain on my pavers. How do I remove it?
The way you treat stained pavers will really depend on the type of stain you have. Whether it’s an oil stain in your driveway or a wine stain on your patio, you’re going to need to use a cleaning product that’s designed to handle that particular situation. We have a number of cleaning videos on The Alliance Gator YouTube channel that should help guide you through a cleaning job.
11. Can Gator Base be used directly on top of a concrete pad?
We’re going to say, “Yes, BUT…”
The concrete must be sound … it can not be cracked or uneven. If it is, you’ll have to tear the existing concrete out before starting your Gator Base project.
The concrete pad must have pitch (ideally at least 1.5%) and have drainage holes (at least 2" core drilled holes on a 3x3 pattern filled with pea gravel and covered with filter fabric to allow drainage). The edge restraint chosen must also allow for the free evacuation of water from the concrete slab.
As with any Gator Base installation, Gator Maxx polymeric sand must be used.
12. Can Gator Base be used for a vertical application?
Gator Base is not intended for vertical applications. However, it is perfect for patios, walkways, pool decks, and especially areas that are difficult to access and/or can’t accommodate large pieces of equipment. For in-depth insights on Gator Base, be sure to read our recently published Case Study.
13. How much does Gator Base cost?
Like all of our products, Gator Base is sold through a network of different dealers. Please contact your local dealer for pricing and availability. Not sure who sells Gator Base in your area? Give us a call at 1-866-212-1611 and we can put you in touch with a store near you.
14. How do I properly install Gator Dust?
Gator Dust is a unique mixture of polymer binders and calibrated stone, specially formulated to bond and strengthen wetcast and natural stone joints. Our Step-By-Step Gator Dust Installation Guide is a great resource to review if you’re looking to install this product.
15. What’s your logo?
We are not Alliance Cobra or Alliance Croc. We are Alliance Gator. Our logo is the head of a gator.