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Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
These two books are the perfect starting place to help you get to grips with one of the most vitally important aspects of our society - our homes and living environment.

PLEASE NOTE: A download link for Volume 1 will be sent to you by email and Volume 2 will be sent to you by post as a book.

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    Hello all, we've laid some bricks for a small patio. Just wondering the best way to point them. Gaps are about 10mm. Was wondering about (1) mortar gun, or (2) dry mix and wet afterwards. At the moment I'm minded to do the dry mix and clean up afterwards, but never done this before so it might be a disaster. Any views?
    • CommentAuthortychwarel
    • CommentTimeSep 7th 2020
    Lime does not work well if it is not mixed with water. I would use a mortar gun with a sharp sand NHL 5 mix at 2:1
    • CommentAuthorjfb
    • CommentTimeSep 8th 2020
    I've found mortar guns clog up with any sort of sharp sand.
    Could just treat it as normal pointing and use a small tool (or whatever works) with dryish mix.
    Fill it up and then don't clean off straight away. Wait till it has dried a little then compact it and finally finish with a soft brush.
    Thanks both, that's really helpful.
    Watch the weather. I pointed some stone flags with 2.5:1 grit-sand/NHL5 a few Septembers ago. The weather was fine at the time and no hard frosts for some time. The next year parts were beginning to flake and now it's pretty well all ready to scrape out and start again. I am not sure that the steps of the local concert hall, done around the same time by lime-workers, fared too well either.

    I am afraid my repairs are being done with cement.
    • CommentTimeSep 8th 2020
    FWIW, our patio is grouted with EasyJoint. Very easy to use and seems to stand up so far. It's not a hard, solid material though, so plants and ants can come through it if that's important. I'd imagine lime or cement crack after time though so can suffer the same issue.
    @djh, is that the one that you brush in dry? I'd prefer to use lime if I can, though I do worry a little about how it will stand up to being vertically face up against the weather (as opposed to horizontal as on a wall). Maybe it will get discoloured with water sticking up on it? I'm planning on using NHL5, which is relatively impermeable, but a neighbour thinks I should seal it too.
    • CommentTimeSep 8th 2020
    Yes, that's right. You put it in dry - just brush it in - then add some water. I'd worry about getting lime or cement stains on the the flags/bricks if it was me, but I'm not careful/skilled.
    @djh, I've scrubbed and burnt off the old mortar using HCl, so I'm less worried about cleaning them later. I'm mainly worried about the mortar going off too slowly now the weather is getting colder.
    • CommentTimeSep 8th 2020
    Posted By: ComeOnPilgrimnow the weather is getting colder

    Supposed to be 26°C on Sunday! But I take your point; shouldn't be a problem for a hydraulic lime though.
    We used a mortar gun in the end. Had to clean it regularly as the line went off, but it worked well and almost no mess.
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