Monday, 22 December 2014

Protecting your paving investment: Sealers and Protectors

Now that you have successfully laid your patio you may want to think about protecting it from every day wear and tear.

Azpects have a range of excellent sealers called EASYSeal. These water based sealers will protect against BBQ spills, wine, oil and dirt. They will not make the surface impregnable but they do offer a bit of time to enable a more efficient clean up. Sealers also offer some protection from environmental soiling such as algae and moss. Most sealers will not protect against Bird dropping stains as the acid present in the droppings can penetrate the sealed surface.

If you need to clean your patio at a later date I can suggest EASYCare Patio & Deck cleaner. It cleans away dirt and algae without the need to pressure wash.

Depending on your laying pattern you may have to cut some slabs. You may have a drain to sort out. You may come up against hidden problems which will need dealing with so unless you are 100% confident that you can handle the job I would suggest that you get a professional in.

All the information written here is purely my opinion and professional advice should be sought if you are in any doubt of what you are doing. You are fully responsible for your own actions and I accept no responsibility due to accident or damage caused.

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Written by Jeff Carter; employee Of Azpects Ltd (plus ex Landscape Gardener and Paving Centre Manager) 

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Laying the sub-base, base and what to point your paving with

Standing there, looking at your new hole in the garden with a fresh cup of tea and feeling proud of your achievement so far-what’s next?

Get yourself some wooden pegs. You can use any bit of stick but I prefer to use ground pegs from my local builder’s merchant as they do a better job in my opinion. You need to knock the pegs in so that the tops are at the finished height of the patio and using the long level  adjust the heights to give you a sufficient fall (slope) away from the house or other building. Ideally the fall will be onto a lawn or border or into a gulley if needed.

Add sufficient sub-base material and ideally use a whacker plate (Hire one) and compact the aggregate to about 100mm finish. You will probably start with 5 or 6 inches to end up with 4 at the finish. Don’t skimp on this bit as a patio is only as good as the base it’s laid on. Some contractors prefer a sub-base of 150mm (6”) and as I say, more is better.
Next is the fun bit, the topping can go on!

Making some assumptions you will have already taken delivery of your slabs. You should also have sufficient sharp sand and cement to meet your needs. Your slab supplier should be able to advise on quantities or use an online calculator to get an idea.

Use any supplied laying pattern or one from a paving brochure if you have chosen different sizes of slabs. Set up a string-line down to the required height from the house as you will find getting your levels much harder without. (The wooden pegs can be removed as you come to them).

Mix your sand and cement using 7 parts sand to 1 part cement and make the mix more wet than dry. This will be a bit trial and error and all will make sense when laying the slabs. Start at the house and lay away back towards the garden following your string-line. Use your two levels to get accuracy across the slabs. A long level will show up any dips or highs better than a short one.

Let’s say all has gone to plan, your slabs are laid and it’s looking good.  The finishing touch is the pointing. Many professionals are using ‘sweep-in’ compounds these days as not only are they faster to use but many can be laid in any weather conditions. EASYJoint is one of the market leaders and offers many benefits over traditional pointing methods.

Look at the EASYJoint website for an excellent demonstration video on how to apply.

Work has begun on a new video as we speak so watch this space, we hope you will like it!

See Part 4

Written by Jeff Carter; employee Of Azpects Ltd (plus ex Landscape Gardener and Paving Centre Manager) 

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Surveying and preparing the area for your job

So now you have chosen what paving is to be laid you can get to work on the tools.

A really important first job is to survey the site to check for possible problems like drains and cables.
Look at the ground for manhole covers and also check the house and any close out-buildings for drainpipes and cables as there is a good chance some pipes or cables may run under the ground you will be digging out. It may sound like trying to teach your Granny how to suck eggs but it is easy to charge in with spade or mini digger and before you know it you have more expense.

Once you are happy that the area is workable you need to mark out where you need to dig. Clear the existing surface to a depth of about 200mm or 8 inches in old money.  You will probably need a skip at this point if you haven’t already got one as the amount of dirt removed can add up to a big heap. EG: an area of 6m wide by 4m deep dug out to 200mm will produce a bit more than will fit level in a six yard skip!

Now whilst digging out to 200mm may sound extreme, let’s look at how that’s going to be filled.
For a domestic patio you really need a sub-base of compacted material such as crushed concrete or MOT Type1 to a finished depth of 100mm. You will be laying a slab between 20mm-35mm  depending on what you choose (some natural stone can be thicker, thinner or a combination of both so keep this in mind).

The bedding mortar should be about 50mm to allow for adjustment in levels and to provide a decent base for the slabs.

So, what have we reached in height with all these measurements? 100+50+25=175mm which leaves about an inch for any variances in the paving. Obviously if you are using regulated paving with uniform dimensions you can fine tune the digging out to suit.

Treat yourself to a couple of decent spirit levels. A long one (6’) and a short one (3’) as these are invaluable for decent slab laying.
Have a cup of tea.

Click here to read Part 3

Written by Jeff Carter; employee Of Azpects Ltd (plus ex Landscape Gardener and Paving Centre Manager) 

For more information on our range of products go to:

Friday, 5 December 2014

Choosing your paving and pointing products

... with a bit of know-how and careful planning the hardest part is likely to be choosing what paving you want.

Having spent 7 years as the Manager of a large paving display and landscaping centre I know all too well that deciding what you want is the hardest job of all!

You may come in with an idea in mind then you see the variety of Natural and man-made paving that’s available and ‘POW!’ you are stumped.

I always used the 3-visit rule. The first visit is just mind boggling, the second visit is one of definite separation of likes and dislikes and the third visit is the day you choose and order.

Taking the time to choose the right paving certainly has its benefits long term and choosing the right pointing product is the next decision to make.

If you are laying the patio yourself the last thing you want is to spoil the whole look by getting cement stains on the paving by using traditional mortar joints badly.

There are various methods used by professional Landscapers to apply traditional mortar joints and as they are professionals with years of experience they make it look easy.

If you are a DIYer or a seasoned professional you could do a lot worse than using the new types of compounds that are widely available such as Azpects EASYJoint.

The benefits of using EASYJoint over traditional methods of using mortar are loosely speed and durability. Using EASYJoint is at least 10 times faster than using traditional mortar.

Traditional mortar will also crack in time and allow weed growth and frost damage to occur whereas EASYJoint is a flexible compound which can resist freezing conditions and so far tests show that joints pointed with compounds such as EASYJoint can last more than 15 years.

Did you know that using a sweep in compound is virtually fool proof? -  In fact, if all the preparations are correct and specifications met you will end up with a lovely job, with just the possibility of a slight sheen left on the surface, which should weather off over time.

Written by Jeff Carter; employee Of Azpects Ltd (plus ex Landscape Gardener and Paving Centre Manager) 

Click here for Part 2

For more information on our range of products go to:

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Thought we just did EASYJoint? Think again!

Thought we just did EASYJoint?  Think again!

We now offer a range of products to make your life that little easier!   

EASYCare is a range of high grade cleaners and treatments that pack a powerful punch to treat common yet difficult problems; Algae Remover, Efflorescence Destroyer, Grime Buster, Mortar Stain Remover and Patio & Deck Cleaner all come in 1 litre concentrate bottles, Grease & Oil Away comes in a 1 litre non-concentrate bottle and Lacquer Remover and Black Spot Remover in 5 litre bottles.

You can also follow EASYCare's very own blog here: 

EASYSeal is a technically advanced range of Eco friendly sealants and protectors.SSP, BCS, Contract, Ultimate and Colour Enhancer. These are 100% water based and containing no toxic substances.

Plus don’t forget the ORIGINAL All Weather Paving Joint Compound EASYJoint; continuous developments and improvements still make it the best all year round jointing solution for natural stone & concrete paving.

EASYJoint is available in 12kg tubs - 5 great colours Mushroom, Buff Sand, Stone Grey, Basalt and Black.

All products are manufactured to a professional grade to do the job with the least effort but with an emphasis on being user friendly and safe to use by professional and DIY users alike.
For more information go to 
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Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Azpects EASYJoint

Azpects EASYJoint 

Rain or Shine it goes in fine! 

EASYJoint is a well-proven premium product that’s been refined over many years to make it the brilliant ‘all weather paving jointing compound’ that it is today. 

So what are the benefits of EASYJoint:

• Available in a great colour range: Mushroom, Buff, Stone Grey, Basalt and Jet Black
• Aesthetically pleasing finish
• Available to buy in either 12.5kg tubs or a NEW 7kg ‘grab and go’ handy pack
• Easy and fast to use for both DIY and Professional use
• Uses a brush & wash-in system
• No kneeling required to apply – so kinder to your back and knees
• Can be used in gaps from 3mm wide and 25mm deep
• Can be used in all weathers and cures to create a very strong joint
• Good adhesion to all surfaces
• Water permeable for good drainage
• Good compressive and flexural properties
• Can take vehicle loads of up to 3 tonnes so is great for Driveways as well as Patio and Paving areas
• No waste as any unused product can be saved for future use
• An environmentally friendly product; cement and resin-free
• Made in the UK

For more information on EJ and our full range of easy-to-use products including paving sealants go to our main website: