When using small profile pavers, many landscapers and contractors tend to go for a blue metal and sand base to lay the pavers on.
This differs considerably to the technique for laying a larger profile paver (600mm), which would be laid on a cement screed base and finished with grout. Trends are now starting to go back to smaller paver size products like Cement Australia’s Gap Sand. The main reason for using a product like Gap Sand is to fill the small (up to 3mm max) gaps in between the pavers and to stop both weeds from growing and ants borrowing in under the pavers, which will in time impact on the paver’s stability and position.
Cement Australia always seems to be right on trend with styles, products and the techniques being used by the Australian market. The Gap Sand product is another excellent example – it’s ease of use and the application is a great feature with no mixing required. The product is broomed into position using a diagonal approach where possible to ensure you are not brooming the product out of the gaps.
Test #1. Application Of Gap Sand (Brooming Into Gaps)
The site we used was an existing paving job where Gap Sand hadn’t been initially used. Ants and weeds had been growing up through the gaps, so before we started we had to remove these weeds as well as cleaning out the gaps to ensure they were big enough for the sand to drop down into. So, after spending a little prep time on this area we were ready to get started.
First we spread the sand out across the pavers. We did accidentally use a little too much sand, which just meant we had to shovel a bit back up at the end and put it back into the bag for the next job. The brooming process was pretty straightforward and by using the diagonal approach as mentioned earlier, the product quickly and naturally fell into the gaps, which did vary from basically 0mm-3mm.
Test #2. Cleaning The Surface
Cleaning the surface before spraying water is very important. You need to make sure you leave as little Gap Sand on the face of the paver as possible. You don’t want any product overflowing from the gap into the paver because once it sets you will be stuck with the excess on your paver. This is where proper brooming of the job is key. Once the entire product is broomed off the face of the paver –I actually used a blower on a low setting – the last step will ensure the cleanest finish possible.
Test #3. Light Water Spray Down
This step is important. You need to use a hose with a proper mist setting so you don’t hose the product out of the gap. You are looking to spray a mist onto the pavers that sufficiently wets the Gap Sand in between the pavers allowing it to set. Use a light mist and go over the job until you can see you have the right amount (water pools on the surface) of water onto the area and product.
You may get a small amount of bubbling or residue on the face of the paver, but this will wear off quite quickly once traffic hits the area. Your completed job will require 3 days (depending on the season) to dry and set, and then you are good to go. In the past I have used this product for anything from small residential jobs through to schools and shopping centres.
You would typically use this product on new paving work, but you can see from what we have done today, you can also use it on existing paving jobs where weeds have been growing through Cement Australia products are well worth checking out if you haven’t already given them a go. In my experience, they have been consistently great products that stand up to the Australian environment.