When spring arrives, many of us inspect the paving on our property to find a few nasty surprises. Winter in the United Kingdom can be wet, dreary and mightily cold. With snow, ice, and plenty of rain punishing your property, there’s natural wear and tear to your paving. Surface water and ice make the ground move – unfortunately, that means your paving has probably moved too.
The grout solution between your paving slabs which looked good-as-new in autumn may now need to be re-pointed. Cracks could have appeared and weeds may be trying to reclaim territory. Or, perhaps you’re laying new paving slabs as part of a DIY project. In today’s article, we show you how to point those paving slabs. By following these simple 4 steps, you’ll create a safe, effective and attractive seal between your paving slabs.
What is Pointing?
If you’ve never had to work on a paving project at any property, then understandably, you’re probably not exactly sure what pointing even is.
In simple terms, pointing is the process of filling the gaps between different paving slabs. These gaps are filled to protect the ground and keep your paving looking neat and tidy. More importantly, they keep your paving in place and restrict natural movement as much as possible. It’s an important part of placing paving on any terrain.
The 4 Steps to Pointing Your Paving Slabs
So, now that you know what pointing is, you probably want to know how to do it. Perhaps you’re laying new paving. Or, instead, you could be re-pointing existing slabs that you laid some time ago. Whatever the reason, follow these steps to make sure it’s done correctly.
Mix Your Jointing Solution and Prepare the Area
There are several different jointing solutions on the market. At RF Paving, we use and sell jointing solutions from Nexus Pro Systems. Their high-quality solutions make a strong solution which is weatherproof and reliable. In particular, the unique resin jointing system creates a firm barrier once dry, and is particularly useful for expensive, sensitive stone.
But we would recommend doing your research. Different solutions are used for different types of paving projects. You might also consider applying some sort of sealant, or protective layer over the top of your paving slabs. This helps to protect your paving from any stains that come from the jointing solution. However, if you stick to our recommendations and the methodology we discuss, then staining shouldn’t be a problem.
Make sure that you don’t add too much water to your mix. If you do, that will significantly increase the chances of stains. Add small amounts using the tools you have. Once the solution is moist enough to stick together in your hand, then it’s ready to be applied. But be quick! It’s also a good idea not to make too much solution, otherwise it will start to dry in the bucket before you can apply it.
Clean the Gap Properly
Now that you’ve made your solution, don’t just go applying it to every gap and space you can see. This is a crucial step, and one you’ll be glad you did: thoroughly clean the gap that you’re pointing.
You may have to use specific tools to really reach into the space and prepare it. It goes without saying that any weeds should be removed. The residue should be brushed away.
Apply Your Jointing Solution
Apply the solution you’ve made along the length of the gap between the slabs. There will be some spillage onto the surface of the paving slabs but don’t worry – that can be brushed away later. Be careful not to apply any pressure to the excess solution, as that will only make it more difficult to remove.
Keep filling the gap until your jointing solution is in line with the lower slab of the two. Use your trowel tools to apply pressure to the solution and really bed it in place. Finally, use your jointing tool and pressing firmly, drag it along the line of the newly filled area. This creates an arc shape in the solution, and strengthens the bond. Think of it as a rain channel that makes your solution more resistant to water damage.
Leaving Your Jointing Solution to Dry
Hopefully you’ve planned your pointing project carefully! If it’s a dry, warm day, then your solution will be dry in no time at all. After 3 to 4 hours, your solution should be dry and hopefully you’ll be happy with your newly pointed paving slabs. Brush away any excess solution from the top so that it doesn’t stain the surface.
Pointing Your Paving Slabs with RF Landscape Products
At RF Landscape Products, you’ll discover every type of paving slab that your project could need. We stock a huge range of porcelain, limestone, and natural sandstone paving, and we also sell the accessories and aggregates you’re likely to need. Our products will ensure that you can design and install the attractive, reliable paving that you’re looking for.
Get in touch with our team today to find out where your nearest trade centre us. Our experienced team will also be happy to answer any questions you have about pointing your paving slabs if you’re taking on a DIY project.