What is Poly Sand Haze?

This post was most recently updated on May 10th, 2024

I am Scott Paul, a leading exterior paver restoration contractor and business owner with over 30 years of experience in sealing and protecting. For info about who I am, please read my full bio here.

What is Poly Sand Haze and How to Remove

I am dedicated to being your source for the latest tips and trends for your concrete and brick paver sealers through 2024 and beyond. Poly sand haze is a common occurrence with brick pavers. In this updated article, we explain how to avoid it. Please comment below if you have encountered poly sand haze and have any suggestions or questions.


Poly Sand White Haze

Poly Sand White Haze

How I Fix Poly Sand Haze

To understand poly sand haze, let’s first look at how pavers are installed. Most pavers, whether for a driveway, sidewalk, patio, or pool deck area, are laid on a compacted bed of sand. The bricks are laid out in whatever pattern you desire and leveled to create an entire paver structure. Sand is poured onto the paver surface and swept into the gaps between the pavers. This is typically fine polymeric sand, specially designed for paver construction.

The polymeric sand joints are then misted with water. The water reacts with the poly sand and creates a binding agent that helps bind the sand particles together. However, before water is misted onto the surface, the poly sand dust left over must be removed entirely. If the poly sand dust is not removed, it will create a white haze on top of the pavers. This is called poly sand haze.

My Poly Sand Haze Tips

The binding agent generated by mixing water and poly sand is left behind on the bricks, causing the poly sand haze phenomenon. If poly sand haze has transpired on the surface, it must be cleaned with an acid-based cleaner. Sometimes, vinegar can be used unless the poly sand haze is severe.

Many times, homeowners and even contractors are unaware of poly sand haze. The joints are watered without first removing the poly dust from the surface, which in turn creates a haze. Worse yet, a sealer may be applied to the pavers and will actually lock in the poly sand haze. After sealing the pavers, the poly sand haze is still visible, and often, the sealer innocently gets blamed for its unsightly, hazy appearance.

It is common to think the sealer is at fault, but typically, the sealer is not to blame; it is simply a case of poly sand haze. If paver sealer has been applied over pavers with poly sand haze, the sealer must be stripped off, the poly haze removed with a cleaner, and the pavers resealed.

Now that you know the answer to “what is poly sand haze?” you can avoid this issue. Remove the leftover poly dust prior to misting water on the joints to completely avoid the poly sand haze problem.

Poly Sand Haze Questions? Please Ask Below.


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Scott Paul ~ Restoring Concrete Since 1993 Owner
As an article and comment contributor to the site, Scott has been around the pressure washing industry since attending college. In 1993 he started his first company called Oakland Pressure Wash specializing in exterior pressure washing and deck staining. That company evolved into OPW L.L.C. shortly thereafter concentrating more on exterior wood and deck restoration. Scott and his Deck Cleaning Michigan company have restored over 10,000 decks in the Metro Detroit area since the early years. He has become an authority in the deck restoration industry and has contributed to numerous wood restoration forums and informative sites. All the products he suggests through this site are sold through online sites and in retail stores, allowing the consumer to choose their own means of purchase. Scott’s eCommerce sites do sell many top brands he endorses and if you appreciate any of the help he has offered then feel free to purchase from one of them.

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Lynn
Lynn
9 months ago

Were you ever able to answer the question about the staining of the concrete coping from paver installation? Here are a couple pics. If you can give me any idea how to clean. Polymeric sand in joints now spread to cement coping????

Tracy
Tracy
1 year ago

Hi! I have an existing brick red patio I would like to stabilize lose brick with polysand but have heard mixed things about polysand and red brick staining or hazing. What do you recommend?

Ben
Ben
1 year ago

I have some minor hazing on a large bluestone patio that was just installed. No sealer. Will the acid wash damage the bluestone and/or the polymeric joints themselves?

Laura
Laura
1 year ago

My pool concrete coping has dark line in some areas I believe because it was not covered when pavers were installed and sand was put in. Any tips to remove it’s been at least one month and those spots drive me crazy especially knowing how much the whole project was.

Doug
Doug
1 year ago

Used gator max gator. Followed directions exactly. 3 brooms and once with blower, lightly. Every depression in patio stone has a white spot. Some I can scratch with my thumb nail…like thin rubber. This stuff says no hazing or staining..guaranteed…not!

Daniel
Daniel
1 year ago

How do you remove poly sand haze. Will it go away on irs own

Gary Tamburri
Gary Tamburri
2 years ago

It’s been a couple weeks, with some rain during that time. All of the granite pavers have dark “rings” around the edges. See Attached photo. Is this residue from the polymer sand? Can this be cleaned using muriatic acid, or just power washing?

IMG_0792.jpeg
Anna Washington
Anna Washington
2 years ago

I have haze on pavers from polymetric sand but I plan to stain my paver with a darker color. Is it necessary to remove the haze?

Marc Long
Marc Long
2 years ago

If I seal the pavers then apply poly sand would the sealer prevent the haze?

Disgruntled
Disgruntled
2 years ago

If the installer won’t tell you what brand of poly sand they used to be able to contact the manufacturer for guidance, what’s the best way to remove the haze? I’m running an experiment right now using 50/50 Vinegar/Dawn on one paver and Frosch Lemon shower cleaner on an adjacent paver.

Disgruntled
Disgruntled
2 years ago

How to do you mix/apply the vinegar to try and remove the poly sand haze? Just had my paver patio repaired after sewer line replacement and the “I’ve been doing this for 20 years” pro ignored my concern about having to blow off the excess sand before watering. Now I have haze and this is exactly why I don’t use poly sand!

Last edited 2 years ago by Disgruntled
Denise Fernandez
Denise Fernandez
2 years ago

What cleaner?

Alecia
Alecia
2 years ago

I read a tip that if the sand was washing away in the joints, to try mixing the sand with Portland cement applied in the joints and spray w/water. What’s you’re opinion on that vs the poly sand and would the cement/sand mixture leave the same haze? Thank you!

RUSSELL BALLOG
RUSSELL BALLOG
2 years ago

After using all types of poly sand haze cleaners and none worked I decide to p/w, now the stone pavers have power wash marks in some areas it restored most of the color back and the marks in some of the stones look like a zebra. Do I need to repower wash/\?

Kathy Elizeus
Kathy Elizeus
2 years ago

I understand the poly sand haze issue but to me it seems as though you can’t completely remove all the superficial sand without affecting the sand that is in the joint How can a person avoid that

RUSSELL BALLOG
RUSSELL BALLOG
2 years ago

Sand in uneven pavers such as slate just gets blown away. In order to get it off the stone just takes the sand out of the joint .try using a shop vac carefully taking the sand off the stone that’s only if the stones are large ones avoiding the sand joint then mist the sand when all clean……………. I learned this the hard way, Thought I got all the poly sand off because the blower no longer was puffing dust, but low and behold after watering there it was, the haze when it dried.

Last edited 2 years ago by RUSSELL BALLOG
Monica King
Monica King
2 years ago

Hi,
We had our pavers installed two days ago and after 24 hours the initial watering to activate the polymeric sand had dried and the patio looked perfect! We didn’t seal the pavers. Just following that, we had a torrential downpour and now we have poly sand haze on all the pavers and it looks awful. I have read that up to 80% of this haze will dissipate over the next 3 – 5 rainfalls. Is that true or is there anything i should be doing now to deal with the haze? Thanks.

Sarah
Sarah
3 years ago

Last fall, we installed a brick paver patio. After a week, it was obvious the pavers had significant poly sand haze. They weren’t close to the original color. However, when it rains, the pavers look the color they should look. Why is this? BTW, our contractor said the haze would simply wash off with rain. From reading these Q&A, we know that won’t happen.

Sarah
Sarah
3 years ago
Reply to  Sarah

Thanks for your reply. I thought just removing the poly sand haze would restore the paver color. Didn’t consider they would have to be sealed. Not to be a pest, but why is a sealant needed to get the prefered original color?

Gustavo Calcanas
Gustavo Calcanas
3 years ago

What can I use to remove haze on brick pavers that’s been sealed? Thanks..

Wallace Griddine
Wallace Griddine
3 years ago

Can you just paint over the haze?

Rick
Rick
3 years ago

I just sealed my newly made paver patio with polymeric sand and made a rookie mistake of not completely wiping out the polymeric sand from the pavers prior to watering it. As a result, I have haze on top of pavers. Please please help!

John Peck
John Peck
4 years ago

Hello,

I too locked my pavers with polymeric sand and I have a haze. Quite disappointing as I thought I was doing everything right. I cleaned the excess sand off before watering. I don’t want to go from bad to worse. Is it worth trying to remove the haze? Thank you.

Yasmin Aslam
Yasmin Aslam
2 years ago

Can you not suggest anything? You are just ignoring the question and saying go back to the manufacturer. That isn’t helpful.

Carroll E.
Carroll E.
4 years ago

I recently had my driveway pavers power washed and sealed. A small area (4×5 ft) show white spots which may be poly haze or effervescence. Can I strip the sealer from just this area, clean the pavers, and then reseal?

Logan
Logan
4 years ago

What would you suggest for the attached picture that clearly has a white haze across it

IMG_5598.PNG
Logan
Logan
4 years ago
Reply to  Logan

Also for further information, these pavers are on a back porch surrounding a saltwater pool

Logan
Logan
4 years ago

Poly Sand was used. I just purchased the home so i can’t confirm whether a sealer was used or not.

Chuck
Chuck
4 years ago

I too had polymeric sand haze on my 10 x 10 brick patio. I tried the hot water and white vinegar to no avail, even tried a wire brush on my drill and that also didn’t work. Went to home Depot where they sold me some organic effloresce cleaner which also did not work. I didn’t want to go the high pressure water blasting treatment either so out of desperation I tried Pretty Potty which I had purchased to clean up my commodes under the rim and my bathtub. Poured it right out of the bottle onto each brick and… Read more »

Orlette Johnson
Orlette Johnson
2 years ago
Reply to  Chuck

Is the pretty potty product safe on grass

Damien
Damien
4 years ago

What do you recommend using to remove the ploy sand haze from pavers?

Christian
Christian
4 years ago

I just had our paver patio pressure washed and had the old poly sand grout (and dirt/moss) blasted out. I am ready to do the next 2 steps… which should I do first: apply a paver sealer OR spread the Poly Sand?

Also- which sealant is best? Patio is 10 yrs old and I want a natural look and color enhancement without risk of pealing or hazing.
Thank you!

358110BE-D0FB-4695-A12D-BF0F4D143A10.jpeg
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Dennis
Dennis
4 years ago

We just installed 600 sq ft of Calstone cobble pavers with super sand G2 poly sand. We were surprised to see a heavy poly haze. The contractor claimed this sand did not haze. We had another contractor clean it with citric acid and power wash. The haze was removed! We have delayed sealing since we have little trust in the “experts” that have been doing the work so far. We had some heavy rain and now it looks as if the haze has returned. Is this possible? It looks like I need to clean again and then seal. Can you… Read more »

Dennis
Dennis
4 years ago

Thanks for the quick response! I am sure all the haze was removed during the acid and power wash. All the loose poly sand was removed also. Could the rain have reactivated the poly sand binder in the hardened sand in between the pavers and then the water deposited it on the paver surface to create the haze?

Dennis
Dennis
4 years ago

Do you think a 3500 psi power wash will remove the haze or do I need a cleaner (acid) also to get it off. The first cleaning was done with citric acid but I am not sure it was needed.
Thanks so much for you quick response.

Vicki
Vicki
5 years ago

Hi! We are do-it-yourself-ers and watched many videos on how to apply polymeric sand. We have a great handle on it and know what to do to avoid a polyhaze. In preparation for everything we pressure washed our pavers this past weekend and realize there is a polyhaze on them. No wonder the pavers don’t look good. How do we remove the polyhaze so that we can re-sand the pavers. Thanks so much!

Vicki
Vicki
5 years ago
Reply to  Vicki

Additionally….I find all kinds of information on the internet how to avoid the haze, just not much information on how to remove it.

Ken
Ken
5 years ago

I have a customer asking to use poymeric sand to fill joints in concrete. What is the PSI of poymeric sand? Will it deteriorate faster that the surrounding concrete. It doesn’t sound like a good idea to me. What is your opinion?
Thanks Ken

MAG
MAG
7 years ago

My contractor left poly sand haze (Techniseal ProSries RG+) everywhere on the pavers (TechoBloc Blu) because he didn't blow away the sand before misting the pavers. I contacted a cleaning company. They said hot water pressure wash can remove the sand haze. Is that true? How well can the hot water pressure wash remove the sand haze on the pavers? Can I expect a 100% removal, or at least 90%?

OC2012
OC2012
9 years ago

Thank you for this information. How can you tell the difference between poly haze and efflorescence? Been looking at photos on the web, and they don't seem that different. Thanks.

RCH
RCH
9 years ago

what brand of acid based cleaner can you use on the poly sand haze? Where do we buy it?

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