Paving Tips and Info for Safety and Aftercare

Richard Partington

Published on: 01 June 2017

It's not just about choosing the right slabs or stones for your patio – here are some key tips to bear in mind for safety and maintenance of your beautiful new landscape project.

Bradstone Natural Sandstone Paving in Fossil Buff

It's all natural – colour variations in Bradstone Natural Sandstone Fossil Buff that make it so covetable.

 

Our website depicts product colourations and tones as accurately as possible. Tonal variations are evident in all manufactured and natural stone products however, so we recommend basing your paving decisions on materials in person.

When selecting a natural stone product, you can expect distinct contrasts from slab to slab. Make sure you've found the right material for you – we offer a range of samples to view, giving you a full scope of the authentic diversity in colours, texture and markings.

Manufactured products are designed to simulate natural stone and use naturally occurring aggregates to that end. As a result, these natural variations can be seen between batches. To produce a consistent natural appearance when using two or more packs of product, we suggest drawing and mixing individual products onsite before beginning your project.

Reconstructed stone products will weather in a similar way to natural stone, so some colour change is natural depending on the degree of exposure.

Bradstone Old Riven Paving in Autumn Silver

Manufactured paving is designed to reflect the tonal variations present in natural stone

After laying, some natural stone products may exhibit a natural brown colouration from oxidation of any inherent iron content.

Maintenance / Cleaning

Regular maintenance is essential to keep your paving pristine and attractive. For a baseline, we recommend thoroughly washing paved areas three or four times a year.

Cleaning couldn't be simpler – just use warm soapy water and brush off with a stiff broom.

If you've used porous slabs or stones, a good quality sealant can help protect your patio from dirt, oil and water-based staining, and even prevent the growth of moss and algae.

High pressure washers are NOT recommended for use on wet cast manufactured paving.

Be wary of using some weed killers and acid or alkaline based cleaners. Simply Paving cannot be held responsible for the possible effects or damage caused by the contamination or application of some chemically based products.

Do not use common salt to de-ice wet paving. To prevent possible surface damage, always use a proprietary brand of de-icing product expressly formulated for use on concrete.

Drainage

When laying a patio or path close to a house or dwelling, ensure that the finished paving surface level is at least 150mm below damp course level and slopes away from the building. A fall of 1:60 should be enough.

All paved areas should be laid on well drained ground and gently slope to direct excess water away. Any base preparation should also allow for drainage.

Poor drainage may result in water retention and negatively affect the weathering of your paving slabs.

Pointing

Use the right joint width for better paving

Be sure to check the recommended joint widths for your chosen product. Many product dimensions allow for a 10-15mm joint width.

For best results, we recommend a strong semi-dry mortar mix (with sufficient water content to bind but not so much as to stain the paving when introduced).

Pointing is best completed as laying work progresses and should be carried out during dry spells of weather.

Sufficient pointing mortar should be mixed to be used within 30-45 minutes (less in hot weather conditions). Any longer than this and it may become too dry to bond.

If spaces between paving are filled with sand, modified sand or decorative stone, moisture may be held in the joints and penetrate the sub-base. This can result in the dark staining on the top surface or around the edges of the paving.

Suitability

Our manufactured products use reconstructed stone and is primarily intended for domestic landscape use. Simply Paving cannot accept any liability in respect of products being used for an inappropriate purpose.

In the unlikely event of products reaching you in less than satisfactory condition, please contact us immediately. Simply Paving cannot accept responsibility once the product has been laid.

Efflorescence

Efflorescence emerges from pores through capillaries

Efflorescence is a naturally occurring phenomenon that can create a white "powdery" substance across laid paving. This is characteristic in quality concrete products that contain a high cement content.

You might notice an apparent loss of colour and bloom or stain appear in your patio's early life. This caused by an interaction between the cement in the paving slabs and natural weather conditions.

Natural stone flags can also exhibit the effects of efflorescence when laid on a mortar bed. When water is drawn up from the mortar bedding to the surface of the stone, "salts" are transported with it. Although the water will evaporate over time, the "salt" deposits will be left behind on the surface of the stone.

The effect disappears naturally over time – although on occasion this can last a few months – and is not detrimental to the performance of the material.

Efflorescence is a characteristic of good quality products with a high cement content

Health and Safety

Always wear suitable safety equipment when landscaping

Many of our landscaping products are heavy. For items over 25kg or those that are awkward in shape, please be sure to use more than one person to handle the materials or use suitable lifting equipment.
We recommend constant use of work gloves to prevent cutting your hands or receiving lime burns from wet mortar.

Please use proper eye protection (safety goggles) when cutting with either chisels or rotary disc cutters.

Please be sure to use proper respiratory protection (dust mask) to avoid dust inhalation with using high speed cutters.

Simply Paving is here to support every stage of your landscaping project. For advice, assistance, or inspiration, give us a call on 0800 032 6306. We would love to hear from you.