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PRODUCT GUIDE MANUFACTURED AND NATURAL STONE PAVING


Choosing to have a new patio or paved area installed is a long term investment and needs careful planning.  All Castacrete paving products need correct installation, protection & maintenance to help retain their natural character & beauty and the long term integrity of the area.  


The following is a guide only which is applicable to both manufactured and natural stone paving.  We would recommend you seek advice from a professional contractor.


CHOOSING YOUR PAVING


Be sure that the product you have chosen is suitable for the project you are planning before ordering and definitely before starting to lay the paving.


ORDERING YOUR PAVING


Check quantities required and then check again.  Order all materials to complete your project at the same time.  To avoid delays to your project once it is underway do not start work until you are sure all materials you require are with your supplier.  NB All sizing is nominal (imperial sizes where quoted are approx.).


LAYING THE PAVING


TIPS AND SUGGESTIONS FOR LAYING BOTH MANUFACTURED CONCRETE AND NATURAL STONE PAVING PRODUCTS.  This is not a comprehensive step by step guide, we recommend you always seek professional advice.


The paving you have chosen should be seen as the ‘top dressing’ to your patio, but the key to achieving the visual result that enhances your garden is to get the preparation, installation and finishing correct.  This will ensure that your new paved area will give you many years of use and pleasure.

Choose products and methods suitable for your project, non-professionals should take advice.


Preparation and Drainage:  Always allow sufficient drainage when siting the patio and in preparation of the base.  Poor drainage may lead to water retention which could affect the weathering and performance of the paved area.

• Drain away from the house, whenever possible.  If the design of the area does not allow this then drainage channels along the length of the property must be               installed 

• Paving should be laid with a fall of 1:80

  1. Surface level of the paving should be 2 courses below Damp Proof Course.


Laying:


• All flags need to be laid on a full mortar bed, with no gaps or voids beneath.

• Do not ‘dot & dab’ any stone or concrete product.

• Mortar to be 5:1 ratio sharp sand & cement. Light coloured pavings could suffer from discolouration, so we would recommend silver sand and white cement. 

• Full mortar bed to be 35-55mm. 

• Check levels constantly while you work.

• BEWARE Natural stone is laid with the narrowest surface facing the ground, making an inverted V joint.

• When laying natural stone, the jointing gap will typically be 10mm measured at the upper face, depending on the laying pattern selected & the finish on the flags edge.

• On concrete paving the gap between slabs should be sufficient to allow a key for the jointing mix.  NB some manufactured paving has a sloping side, making a V joint. The base of these slabs must not be touching.

• There are many different ways to joint you’re paving. Using a 3:1 ratio building sand & cement mortar is the traditional way. There are many resin /polymeric based brush in products on the market that are very good. Castacrete recommends Azpects Easy-Joint all weather jointing compound.


Cutting: Avoid cutting concrete paving if at all possible.  If absolutely necessary it is advised that the slab is cut with an angle grinder and diamond cutting blade.  Always try to cut in a straight line and avoid cutting on angles.


CHARACTERISTICS OF MANUFACTURED PAVING


Our Concrete paving products are designed for decorative use and enjoyed in a domestic garden situation, they are out in the open and subject to weathering and the wear and tear of general use.  Concrete is a natural material and it will react with its environment. The reactions seen, particularly on a newly laid concrete patio area, will not be detrimental to the long term use if the paving has been used in an appropriate manner.  The following are some points to be aware of:


DARK PATCHES


Darker or lighter areas, often appearing in the centre of the paving slab but can also be seen as uneven patches over the whole surface.  The occurrence of this chemical reaction is determined by environmental conditions, such as the amount of shade or sunlight the area receives, or dampness from surrounding areas, rainfall frequency, etc.  Their appearance is therefore spasmodic, unpredictable and unavoidable.  They will weather out as the slab dries naturally and incidences will reduce as the paving matures in its environment.  If a blemish free area is required alternative materials should be considered.


SURFACE MARKS


Scratches or scuff marks on the surface caused in storage and in transit.  Surface blemishes caused in transit cannot be avoided and do not affect the long term performance of the concrete.  These will fade and weather through normal use.


STAINS


Clean accidental stains immediately with a proprietary cleaner specially formulated for the job, following the manufacturers instructions for use.  Very rarely some Natural Stones and the natural aggregates used in concrete manufacture contain small particles of iron or lignite.  When exposed the iron oxidises and the lignite may cause a reddish brown stain.  Clean with a product specially formulated for rust or lignite removal.  Some weed killers and grass treatments contain chemicals that stain concrete and stone, if they come into contact with paving clean immediately (see below MAINTENANCE).  A choice of specialist concrete cleaners is available through builders merchants and good DIY outlets. 


DE-ICING


Do not use any form of salt, especially rock salt, to de-ice paving.  This may cause immediate damage and regular application of salts will certainly cause long term breakdown of the concrete.  NB Castacrete wet-cast concrete paving products are designed for domestic use only and whilst they are fit for purpose under normal weather conditions they cannot be guaranteed for use in areas which regularly experience prolonged dampness or occasional temperatures below -15˚C.


MAINTENANCE


To keep your patio in its best condition regularly sweep and clean normal garden detritus immediately to prevent staining.  Do not use harsh acid based chemical cleaners or power washers to clean decorative paving.  Sufficient cleaning can be achieved by the occasional wash with mild soapy water and thorough rinsing.

CHARACTERISTICS OF NATURAL STONE PAVING


FINISH AND SIZING


As a part of the production process, natural stone will contain blemishes, veining, small chipping & small holes, all of which are natural characteristics of the stone.  Most chips will not be visible once installed & pointed.

Order extra 10% for wastage, cuts & pieces that you may not like the look of.

All natural stone varies in colour, texture, markings & feel. These variations are what give natural stone its uniqueness and add to its appeal.  Small samples will not always give an accurate reflection of how the patio will look once finished therefore we recommend you visit one of our stockists who will be happy to advise you. These variations are  accepted as unavoidable within the landscaping industry.

Natural stone will have a dimension tolerance of +/- 5mm. 


COLOUR VARIATIONS


All natural stone contains a variation in colour, veining, shading, blemishes & other natural characteristics. These are all perfectly normal and not a sign of any fault in the product.

Natural shade variations need to be evenly distributed across the paved area.  If multi packs are ordered, open & sort all crates so a good colour mix can be achieved.

Grey Sandstone contains natural iron & this may oxidise & show as brown markings. This is inherent in the stone & should not been seen as a fault.

Castacrete cannot be held responsible or accept liability  for natural characteristics within the stones.


SEALING AND AFTER CARE


Not all natural stone needs sealing.  Sealants will often change the look of the paved area and it is the owner’s choice whether to do this.  We suggest you take the advice of your installer.   If the decision is taken to seal we advise that the area should be clean and perfectly dry before sealing.

Use an impregnator that will penetrate deep into the stone, this will inhibit water & oil passing through the surface and help prevent staining.

Always follow the manufacturer’s installations advice on any product applied to our products.

Regularly clean with a light jet wash each season & use a market leading brand of chemical stone cleaner once a year to keep your stone looking brand new.  Do not use acid based cleaners.


6 TOP TIPS


• Prepare and plan

• Always use a full mortar bed when laying the flags.   Point all choices of paving.

• When using multiple packs open all the packs and randomly select flags from each pack to blend colour variance.

• Do not use acid based cleaners on any of our products, these will severely damages your paving. Use a mild detergent instead.

• Visit your local stockist to view the paving. Brochure prints will not always give accurate colour variation.

• Do not use rock salt to de-ice paving.  Even short term use can breakdown the surface causing chipping and flaking.



POINTS TO BE AWARE OF BEFORE USING OUR PAVING PRODUCTS


• Please check suitability of product before laying

• Order all materials to complete your project at one time

• If using more than one pack please ensure that you lay the  product at random from all packs to minimize any unavoidable shade variations.

• No claims can be entertained once the product is laid.

• BLOCK PAVING Castacrete recommend that in the case of driveways this product is laid by either a professional contractor or those experienced in DIY.


HEALTH AND SAFETY


• Store packs on level/even ground.

• Open packs at ground level.

• Stand to one side when removing wrapping and strapping.

• Support leaning slabs as necessary.


DISCLAIMERS


Castacrete Ltd concrete products are made from high quality aggregates, cement and inorganic pigments and specifically designed for domestic use. We are continually improving the quality and service we provide therefore information may be subject to change without notice. Although we take every care that the information given in our brochures or on our website is accurate and up to date no liability of any kind (including liability for negligence) will attach to the company or their representatives. Colours and finish of products shown in this brochure are as accurate as the printing process will allow but we strongly recommend that you view the actual product before purchase.  All sizing is nominal (imperial sizes where quoted are approximate).  No responsibility is accepted for use of the product other than that intended by the manufacturer.


Please note that products shown in this brochure does not guarantee availability.


Although not affecting your statutory rights, please note that the company cannot accept liability in respect of costs such as uplifting and relaying defective product if, upon inspection, it transpires that the defect ought to have been evident before laying.


Products, sizes and quantities are correct at time of printing.


EFFLORESCENCE


The Castacrete Group of Companies cannot accept any liability for the temporary effects of the natural phenomenon of efflorescence, which can appear in both concrete products with a high cement content and some types of natural stone.  This white powdery like substance extremely common on both un-laid and laid concrete products. It ranges from a mild bloom which gives the appearance of colour loss to large white blotches on the surface.  It’s appearance can be very spasmodic and unpredictable but it is not detrimental to the performance of the concrete.  It can also show itself as streaks or a mottled or spotted effect. Although  most commonly associated with concrete paving products efflorescence can also affect natural stone when it is laid on a full mortar bed.   Limestone products can be particularly susceptible.  This is a temporary phenomenon caused by the chemical reaction between water and cement which will weather out naturally and does not damage the paving.  There are many efflorescence removers on the market, but we recommend it is left to weather out naturally to avoid any damage to the surface of the paving.

Efflorescence is not a fault of manufactured or natural stone.


NB Castacrete Ltd does not offer a garden design or advisory service for laying paving.