Years ago, I returned some good quality shoes I had bought because they leaked profusely the first time I wore them out in the rain. The shop assistant looked shocked and seemed to be quite put out when I suggested that a pair of shoes in our climate ought to have some water resistant properties.
Judging from our increasingly wet weather we will have to start making the products we use more capable of dealing with the sorts of weather conditions we have on our Soggy Little Island.
EVERBUILD is a British based company and has taken up the British weather challenge with its new All Weather Geo-Fix jointing compound for patios and paving.
I have to say that to me this makes utter sense – to have to wait for dryish weather before applying a jointing compound outdoors in our climate is completely absurd. You might find yourself restricted to very few days in a year. More to the point, over the course of a small job, the contractor may find that no working day is dry enough to apply the jointing compound and may have to return to the job later – at his own expense of course.
Geo-Fix is already the market leading jointing compound available in the UK, and the introduction of the Geo-Fix All Weather compound is likely to extend the practicality of the product even further.
When I tried it out, I found that Geo-Fix is very easy to use. The joints between the paving stones should be at least 6mm wide and 25mm deep. This means that the compound can get enough strength, when set, to seal the gaps between the paving stones and retain some strength too.
Once all the joint gaps have been established and cleaned of all excess mud, moss and other stuff likely to interfere with a good joint, a simple wetting with a hosepipe or watering can will ensure that the whole area is wet enough for the compound to work, but all standing pools of excess water should be swept away.
It is only now that the vacuum-sealed bag should be opened and the contents spread over the area to be jointed. Once the bag is opened the curing process begins, so there is a limited window of about 45 minutes of curing time at normal temperatures. In hot weather the curing time is reduced to about twenty minutes so it might be a case of “all hands on deck” to get the work done in time.
Using a soft outdoor broom or brush, the compound needs to be swept into the joints. It helps if it is swept at a 45 degree angle because this helps the compound “catch” in the joints.
Now comes the intense bit. The compound needs to be compacted into the joints with a pointing tool. It may be necessary to top up the compound in the joints as it is compacted so that the joints are full and have the best appearance.
The joints should then be given a hard smooth finish with the pointing tool as it is the compacting process that is key to a good result.
Once the whole area is done the excess compound needs to be brushed away and collected before it starts setting hard. On a big area, it may be necessary to do the sweeping up section by section.
Geo-Fix all weather comes in three different finishes – Natural Stone, Slate Grey and Anthracite and is cleverly designed to be water permeable so that surface water on the paving can seep away between the joints. The hard-set surface will also resist the growth of weeds between the paving.
I followed all the instructions carefully when I tried out Geo-Fix All Weather on a small area of what I laughably call my patio. It really is as easy to use as the above instructions say, and I was very pleased with my efforts. In truth, the only thing that would completely improve my patio would be to dig it up and lay it again – but I do have to thank EVERBUILD for at least giving me a steer for future improvements.
The advantages of Geo-Fix All Weather should be obvious to all users, but EVERBUILD has also realized that retailers should gain significant benefits too. Effectively, the “patio season” has been extended to throughout the year (except maybe Christmas and New Year?) by the All Weather product.
It seems that decking is on the wane and hard surfaces are becoming increasingly popular, perhaps because they are easier to maintain, so the extended season and increased uptake of paving means that there are even more opportunities for retailers to stock and sell paving products.
Accordingly, EVERBUILD is now offering a range of incentives to help retailers take advantage of the extended season.
The press campaign has already begun in key trade journals aimed at the building and landscaping trades so that the trades are fully aware of the new Geo-Fix products. Experience has shown that once the trades know about a new product they like their stockist to have it on the shelves.
EVERBUILD has designed and distributed a whole new range of point-of-sale materials too. These include banners, posters, applied colour sample cards and leaflets so that customers will be made fully aware of the new Geo-Fix All Weather product and its advantages.
There are also some excellent introductory offers for retailers to consider. For example a half pallet of 24 tubs of Geo-Fix will earn the retailer one free tub of Natural Stone colour and four free heavy duty builders’ ponchos to give away.
A whole pallet of 48 tubs will get three extra tubs free and eight builders’ ponchos. Those ponchos will help those builders get patio laying in all weathers…!