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Brush-up on the essential tips for grouting in warm weather and make the most of your paving operations during this week’s coming heatwave.
Temperatures are due to soar this week with Met Office extreme heatwave warnings already in force.
During warm temperatures there is a risk of cement-based slurry grouts flash-setting.
As an absolute rule of thumb, you should never use these grouts if the temperature is 30ºC or over.
Most products are tested at 20ºC, which means that estimated workability and setting times in the datasheets are for that temperature.
Even at temperatures of 25ºC and above, you will find the grout will cure much more quickly than you’re used to.
Luckily, there are plenty of tricks to help slow-down curing times during warm weather. So no need to down your tools just yet!
Landscaping trainer and expert witness, Graham Wilson, explains, “Although grouts like Flowpoint are rapid-setting, they don’t ‘set in a flash’.
“All you need to do is keep the area damp and plan your operations to avoid hot outdoor temperatures.”
As Gareth mentioned, one essential tip to help you deal with the impacts of hot weather is to move your grouting operations to a cooler part of the day.
First-thing in the morning is especially recommended.
Late afternoon is also an option. However, be aware that if it has been a hot day, the paving slabs will have absorbed a certain amount of heat from the sun. So during this time there is still a risk of the grout curing more quickly than usual.
Along with shorter curing times, warm weather will also cause some water to evaporate from your slurry grout formula.
It’s essential to keep the area you’re grouting constantly damp with a light misting of water. Never saturate the pavers – avoid pooled water at all costs (there’s a tip in the infographic below on how to deal with standing water if it arises).
Use the spray nozzle of a hosepipe to apply the right consistency. A plant mister will also work but can be more awkward to use.
Before applying grout, we also recommend pre-soaking the paving slabs. If the paving slabs are dry, they’ll absorb a certain amount of water from the cement-based formula; even more so when the weather is warm.
Pre-soaking paving slabs is especially important for porous materials like sandstone.
Speed and precision should always be the aim, and especially when it comes to grouting on a warm day.
And the Berta ADV Sponge Machine certainly has speed and precision covered. With it, you can clean grout off an area of 100m2 in just an hour.
Jon Gerrish from Paved in Stone says, “I recently did a job that was 130m2. The Berta was ideal as we had all of the paving laid and cleaned in a day!”
Also, by using this compact and easy-to-use sponge machine you can start the clean-off process much sooner than when you’re cleaning up by hand. The Berta ensures the right amount of water is added during operation, and so reduces the need for constant misting.
Jon bought his Berta last year and says it has already paid for itself. “I guess after using it for paving around 300m2 it’s well worth the money and gives a return on investment.”
The Berta ADV is also available to hire.
Without further ado, see our detailed infographic below for our top 10 tips for grouting during warm temperatures of 20ºC and over.
If you have any questions about these tips, or want to know the best tools and equipment to use during warm weather – especially if you’re using Flowpoint, Fuga-Pave or Larsen FJM – get in touch with our team for some extra advice. Call us on 0845 862 1099.
Read more detailed advice on using cement-based grouts during warm weather.
Do you have any of your own temperature-specific tips that you’d like to share with fellow landscapers? Add them to the comments box below.
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Answered by our experts
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