How can I redo my stone patio as simply a possible?

by Jennifer

Should I remove grout? A way to put polymeric sand on top? I’m a novice (obviously) and I just want to try to repair without starting over!Jennifer

  13 answers
  • Lifestyles Homes Lifestyles Homes on Aug 25, 2019

    There appears to be some sort of glaze or coating on the stone. What is it that is failing, in your opinion, on this patio stone?

    What is your biggest complaint with it?

  • 17335038 17335038 on Aug 25, 2019

    What do you want to 'redo' about it?

    What would you like it to look like?

    • Jennifer Jennifer on Aug 25, 2019

      if I were to power wash or even clean it, lots of the grout would come out while some will not.

  • Jennifer Jennifer on Aug 25, 2019

    some of the cement grout did not “stick. Also, (I can live with this) I did not slope down so that rain water will not flow away from the stones. If I can just repair the cement, I would put a good sealer on for now..

  • William William on Aug 26, 2019

    Power wash it using low pressure. Replace any cement that comes out with mortar mix. Polymeric sand needs to go in between the stones and bonds the stones together. Then apply a concrete sealer to the joints.

    • Jennifer Jennifer on Aug 26, 2019

      im not sure I understand how to use the mortar mix and then the polymeric sand?


  • 17335038 17335038 on Aug 26, 2019

    Polymeric sand is a unique mixture of fine sands combined with other additives (polymers), that, when mixed with water, forms a surprisingly strong binding agent that locks the sand particles together. This helps secure the paving stones or paving bricks in place, creating a uniform, durable surface. (example shown in first picture below)

    Polymeric sand is not used together with mortar.

    Polymeric sand is commonly used to help keep tight rows of paving stones in place. Because your patio is made from incomplete and broken pieces of what appears to be rocks or flat tiles, mortar has been used to 'glue' the individual pieces in place. It does not look to me like any polymeric sand has been used.

    Start with going ahead and pressure washing the patio to see first if that removes the green mold. If any of the mortar come out in the process, this would indicate that either the correct type was not used, and/or it is unstable.

    comment photo
  • 17335038 17335038 on Aug 26, 2019

    Regarding what you have said about 1) some of the mortar not sticking, and, 2) parts of the patio not sloping down properly to allow adequate drainage:

    As there are several different kinds of unintegrated ground coverings shown in the picture, IM0, I would say that either different people tried to do a quick cover to different parts of the yard, or they were carried out various projects at different times.

    If there isn't drainage in the right direction, this is a red flag up that the job was not completed correctly. The durability, longevity, and functionality of any patio covering depends only partly on the top portions that you see. Following all the requisite steps to prepare all the 'hidden' bottom layers are just as important.

    Removing mortar generally is not an easy job. It requires tools and effort. Attempting to right an improperly finished job by quick fixes is, in the long run, a waste of time and money, as you will always be chasing the real problem.

    • See 2 previous
    • 17335038 17335038 on Aug 27, 2019

      No, polymeric sand will not adhere to the old mortar. It is not the same type of material, and is not designed to function in the same way.

      How was the ground area prepared before the stones and mortar were installed? What is underneath the stones and mortar to support it and the repeated weight when walking on the patio? Did you use crush? If not, then having omitted this important step could be one of the reasons why the mortar is cracking and not holding.

      Going back to the drainage problem: Was the ground sloped to allow for drainage after the crush was put into place?

      Regarding the unevenness: It is very difficult to achieve a level and all around even surface with irregular shaped pieces that are not uniform thickness.

      If you would really like to have a surface that it smoother to walk on, then I would suggest you plan to completely remove what is here, then start over, using patio pavers, also called patio paving slabs.

  • William William on Aug 26, 2019

    Do not use polymeric sand. Just use mortar mix to fill in gaps. I was just explaining polymeric sand is used to fill the small tight gaps between paver blocks. When dampened with water it expands to fill and bond the pavers. It would not work in your situation since the gaps are irregular, different widths and not deep enough.

    • Jennifer Jennifer on Aug 26, 2019

      Thank you William. If I mix up new mortar, do you think it will adhere to any of the firm mortar that does not come out? In other words, if I dig part out and then get to a place where the mortar stays firm, do you think the new mortar placed on top will adhere?

  • William William on Aug 26, 2019

    Two ways to do it. If you get a latex modified mortar mix it will adhere to old mortar. You can also use a latex bonding liquid to coat the old mortar so regular mortar will adhere.

  • Carol Jean Ferguson Carol Jean Ferguson on Aug 29, 2019

    Hire a professional handyman. Worth the money.

  • Janice Janice on Nov 07, 2023

    I'd follow William's advice.

  • Mogie Mogie on Nov 07, 2023

    We added polymeric sand to our pavers using a push broom and a lot of time. Just sweep the sand into the gaps between the pavers and water down after you are done to help set the sand in place.

  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Nov 08, 2023

    This looks like a job for a professional.

  • Deb K Deb K on Nov 10, 2023

    Hi Jennifer, hope this helps. You can power wash it then regrout areas that do come apart! Easy peasy.