Patios are an important addition to any property. In the UK where we get enough sunlight during summers, patios are the where you can spend quality time with your loved ones. Paving slabs in the patio area is an important part of maintenance but it is not easy. If you are rebuilding your patio on your own it is important to take care that there’s no gap left between the slabs. Not only the gap will cause water logging and weed growth that will look messy, but it will also loosen the slabs. Paving grout mix properly is the best way of pointing paving slabs.
There are mainly three types of point paving slabs-
- Mortar Pointing-the most common used method of sealing the joints of slabs, mortar pointing is the easiest way to repoint your patio.
- Wet Grouting-also known as slurry grouting, this method is used for large scale projects where weather conditions favour its use. For residential projects, wet grouting is rarely used.
- Dry Grouting-a dry variation of wet grouting, this method can only be used in perfectly dry weather. It is mostly used for jointing decorative patio flags.
Whether you are planning to sell your property or just want to smarten up the patio, follow this step-by-step guide to easily point the paving slabs.
Start with saturating the patio area
Contrary to the common belief, grouting a patio need not be a difficult or time-consuming job. You just need to be aware of the method to perfectly point the paving slabs. The process begins by completely saturating the area that needs to be repointed. You have to ensure that every inch of the patio is entirely soaked. If you are using watering cans ensure that you evenly spread the water. Otherwise, a hosepipe is the best tool to thoroughly soak the patio to be repointed. Use a yard stick to distribute the water between the slabs.
Pour the paving grout mix over the patio
The grout mix is the ingredient that is going to seal paving slabs into their place and fill the gaps. It is mandatory that you use a quality jointing compound to fill the gaps. If you are using simple mortar then you need to be careful to work fast or else it will set on the paving slabs ruining their look. We recommend you use some other jointing compound as mortar won’t work during wet weather. Plus, premium filling compounds do not stain the patio flagstones and give them a fine finish. All you have to do is to pour a generous amount of paving grout mix on the paving slabs.
Use a broom to fill the gaps
After pouring the grout mix, you need to fill it into the joints. This task requires perfection and you need to take your time and patiently fill every joint. It is important to fill the gaps to avoid premature cracks in the coming years.
Strike it into the joint
After filling the gaps with the grout mix, sweep aside the excess product. Now use a metal tool to strike in the excess mix to make sure that it is firmly pressed into the gaps and no space is left. After the process, just clean away the extra grout. If you are using reusable premium compounds for filling the gap, you can keep the excess in a tub to be used in future.
Let it set
Depending on the weather conditions it can take anywhere between 72 hours to 28 days for the grout mix or compound to cure and set hard. In summers you can expect the compound to set within 72 hours and the patio to be ready for use. However, during winters and wet seasons, it can take up to 28 days for the material to set depending on the product you have used.
Learning how to point paving slabs is a valuable skill that will help you smarten up the outdoor space. This will pay you a huge dividend when you try to sell your property later on. Well kept patios are one of the best ways to increase the sale value of your house. Pointing paving slabs is no rocket science. This DIY guide is all you need to fix your patio.