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Alongside the strength, choice of grout colours and ease of application, one of the great bonuses of using Fuga Pave slurry grout is that it doesn’t cause efflorescence. We explore the manufacturer’s claims and see what landscapers say about the product.
Fuga Pave Flex CH slurry grout is a strong and flexible hybrid cementitious paving grout.
Although a cement-based grout, the robust fine-grain formula actually has the characteristics of a resin grout. The resin-like formula is achieved by using a fine aggregate base, rather than a powdered base that is usually found in other cementitious grouting products.
Mixed with specially chosen polymers and additives, the grout is less liable to deteriorate from weathering while the flexible polymers keep your patio movement free.
An excellent choice for many patios and garden installations, Flex CH comes backed by a lifetime guarantee. It can be used with many paving materials including natural stone, concrete products, ceramic tiles, porcelain tiles and even mosaics.
We’ll cover more about Flex CH a little later. First, let’s look at this little thing called efflorescence.
Generally speaking, efflorescence is a naturally occurring phenomenon that can develop and appear on any surface of natural stone or concrete paving.
Efflorescence can be a common byproduct of ordinary Portland cement, which is found in the majority of modern rapid-setting paving grouts. It can emerge on slab surfaces when the cement and warmer weather chemically react together, producing calcium hydroxide.
Then, as the grouting dries, the calcium hydroxide reacts with the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to produce calcium carbonate. This appears as a white powdery solid on the surface of the slabs.
Staining, which can often resemble efflorescence, can also occur if minerals and salts are drawn up from the sub-base of the patio to the surface of the slab.
These types of stains can be caused by a few factors, including overwatering during mixing, applying too much water during clean-off, or hotter weather pulling the salts through to the surface too quickly.
What’s important to note is that efflorescence and staining can often be mistaken for the grout failing or an overall problem with the performance of the product. But it isn’t.
Efflorescence is a natural occurrence. It’s purely aesthetic, and it will not alter the strength or durability of the grout, and it will naturally fade over time.
However, when you or your customer has spent a fortune having a patio laid, it is understandable that the appearance of the ‘white powdery efflorescence’ may cause a little annoyance.
If you want to completely avoid issues with potential efflorescence, using Fuga-Pave – which does not contain Portland cement – could be the answer!
Before we move onto application instructions, let’s take a look at picture-framing and whether this slurry grout causes these types of stains.
Scott shared that as with other slurry grouts, picture framing can still occur on very porous paving materials.
“We would always recommend sealing the porous paving slabs before grouting to prevent this from occurring.”
Seal-It Universal Water Based Sealer works a treat in sealing pavers to prevent picture framing from occurring later down the track.
Another top tip is to prime the entire back of the paving slabs with Fuga Pave Hybrid Slurry Primer or another quality primer.
As Gareth Wilson, landscaping lecturer, expert witness and recent Pro Landscaper award winner, says, “Nine times out of 10, picture framing occurs when you haven’t fully primed the entire back of a slab.”
The manufacturer of Fuga-Pave grout states that the grout does not cause efflorescence.
After using the grout himself, we asked John Shepherd from Shepherds Landscaping & Building in Dundee what he thought about the ‘no efflorescence’ claim.
“I’d definitely say that the finish doesn’t create the additional problems seen with some other grouts.
“Staining has been a particular issue with some other brands, and this creates extra and unnecessary work for you. Worse than that, it can knock your confidence and that of the customer’s too.”
John shares that while using Fuga-Pave himself, he hasn’t had a problem with efflorescence, staining or low spots.
“I’ve found that when applying Fuga Pave grout strictly to the instructions, we haven’t had those problems.
“Sometimes you get the fear when going to do the joints because you just don’t know what will happen. So far we’ve not had this with Fuga Pave and feel confident we know how to make sure it wouldn’t be a problem.”
As with any product, issues can occur when you deviate from the application instructions or add too much water to the formula.
Scott McDonald from Aquacut shares the reason why efflorescence might ever occur with Fuga Pave: “It will only happen if the bedding material is not cured, allowing moisture to work its way up through the grout.”
Read on to find out more about Fuga Pave slurry grout, the product’s application instructions and why it’s so easy to apply and clean-off.
Ask a landscaper who has used Fuga Pave before and they’ll agree that the major benefits are the slurry grout’s price, ease of application and the zero efflorescence.
But there are many other benefits to this cement-based grout.
Fuga Pave grout comes in five colours that are resistant to UV rays and naturally antibacterial.
Another reassurance is that Flex CH has the strength to withstand heavy traffic. In fact, its flexural strength meets the European standards (EN 12808-3) and international standards (ISO 13007-4.1.4).
What’s more, it contains a water-repellent compound that means the grout passes the drop water test with flying colours.
John says that Fuga Pave has become a ‘firm favourite’ for him and his team.
“Fuga Pave certainly offers a high-end finish without a huge price tag,” he shares.
“With the right sized joints, a little goes a long way. I am really impressed with how far it goes, how well it fills the joints and in the overall finish.”
“There are other products out there four times the price which don’t feel as easy to use.”
Read on to discover three fantastic patio pack deals when you buy Fuga Pave, only with The Paving Experts.
Fuga Pave grout is available in either a 20kg reinforced bag (each bag covers 15–20m2) or a 5kg plastic bucket (each bucket covers approximately 5m2).
In terms of equipment, you’ll need a clean bucket, 4.5 litres of water, a low-rev paddle mixer, a Neoprene squeegee and a Pedalo Washboy.
Once the paving is laid and the bedding mortar has fully set, follow these instructions on how to apply Fuga Pave slurry grout:
Note: Pavers and joints must be clean and free from any residues, dirt or debris. Ensure the bedding mortar has fully set and avoid causing ponded water when dampening the area.
Read the complete guide covering how to apply Fuga Pave grout.
John advises to work in smaller batches with Fuga Pave.
“Mix a quarter of a bag at a time so you can use the product without rushing and worrying about it going off too quickly,” he shares. “It also helps you to keep consistent coverage.”
Only with The Paving Experts, you can now buy Fuga Pave ABC kit as part of a fantastic bundle deal which includes hybrid bedding mortar cement, slurry primer and the Flex CH hybrid paving grout.
New & Case Studies contain heaps of advice and insights on how to avoid efflorescence with slurry grouts, the best landscaping gadgets to use and product reviews from professional landscapers.
If you have a burning question about paving stains or any other paving-related query, please do drop us a line or share your question in the comments box below.
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