One of the most important parts of patio construction is the pointing. Lets just think for a minute or two about how much time, effort and money goes into building a natural stone patio.
1. First of all is the time and research that goes into the planning of the patio
2. You then need to find a reliable contractor
3. The are then needs to be excavated and a sub base must be installed
4. The are then needs to be paved
5. Finally the patio then needs to be pointed
Point 5 seems like such a small component in comparison but I have seen so many stone patios ruined by bad quality pointing. I have been contributing to a thread on the paving expert website over the last few day. A client in Devon purchased some harvest sawn sandstone paving from London Stone and the builder did a great job of the paving but then made a complete mess of the pointing. The builder made 2 fundamental errors. The first was that he tried to install a gun pointed mortar product with a trowel. This is a complete no no because gun mortar products are designed to be installed, well, with a gun. The result was that the edges of the stone paving got covered in wet mortar. This is bad enough itself but then the builder did not clean the mortar of properly. Mortar spills are inevitable during any type of paving installation but they are easily solved by keeping a bucket of water and a sponge to hand and wiping off any spillages as you go. See the pictures below of how to ruin a perfectly good patio
Its so frustrating because clearly a lot of thought had gone in to this patio and the fact that its been ruined because someone could not be bothered to use a sponge and a bucket of water is such a waste. Luckily the problem is solvable but obviously at a cost and with lots of stress to the client