In my quest to find outdoor products that help alleviate rainwater run-off problems, I asked landscaper Connie Cadotte of Garden Retreats to recommend some products for eco-friendly landscaping. Her preferred for a joint compound is Envirobond.
Envirobond makes two types of permeable organic joint compounds (for putting between paving stones) and one permeable pavement. EnviroSand and EnviroStone are used just as any sand or polymeric joint compound would be between paver blocks or stones. (The difference between EnviroSand and EnviroStone is in the aggregate. EnviroSand is finer than EnviroStone and is specifically developed for putting between pavers.)
When regular sand is used as a joint compound it will erode with one or two heavy downpours. Sand also promotes weed growth as organic matter settles and rests in between the stones. It requires a fair amount of maintenance in order to keep the paver/stone area clean and looking good.
EnviroSand and EnviroStone are blends of sand or stone with an organic plant product similar to psyllium fiber. As water meets the material, the EnviroSand or Stone absorbs the water and swells, not only reducing the amount of erosion but also preventing weed growth. Further, because the product is completely organic, it is also permeable, meaning that rainwater is absorbed back into the ground reducing run-off.
EnviroSand is used for setting between pavers (such as Interlock products)
EnviroStone is used for setting between stone such as flagstone
EnviroPave is used for trails and walkways.
A few things to keep in mind regarding EnviroBond:
- It’s best used in sunny areas where the area is able to dry out on a regular basis. Staying in water for too long will affect the compound’s stability.
- It cannot be used over top of a non-porous surface such as cement as it would prevent proper drainage.
- It needs a certain amount of maintenance and care after 2-3 years (touch-ups and some minor refilling in spots)
- While it can be used with sealers, sealing it will block its permeability (however, sealing around a pool area will help the product last longer).
Dealers: There are several landscaping companies in the GTA that carry Envirobond products. Go to the dealer page on their website to find the one nearest you.