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DIY Guides

Paving  |  Retaining Walls  |  Installing a Post Using Rapid Set Concrete  |  Installing a Post Using Post Mix Concrete  |  Laying a Concrete Path  |  Building a Brick or Besser Block Wall



Paving



Step 1 - Prepare The Site


Excavate the area to be paved to allow for the base layer (generally 100 - 150mm thick of road base), bedding sand (generally 30mm medium river sand) and the paver thickness. Establish falls and level using a spirit level on the screed board. Spread the road base to an even thickness and compact using a mechanical plate compactor.



Step 2 - Add The Bedding Sand


Place screed rails on road base and spread bedding sand roughly between and over the rails - keep the rails. The easiest way to screed sand is to use two guides (screed rails) and a screeding board (eg. a flat piece of timber). Establish bedding tracks with the screeding board.



Step 3 - Level The Surface


Bed the screed rails into the bedding sand. Drag the screeding board in a sawing motion from side to side acoss the rails to create a firm, flat laying surface. Remove the rails, fill in the voids with bedding sand and trowel smooth.



Step 4 - Set The Lines


Set string line at right angles to establish paving lines. These will help keep the joints straight for that truly professional look.



Step 5 - Begin The Laying


Start laying along the longest straight edge of the designated area and lay whole pavers first. Leave 3 - 5mm between pavers to allow for jointing sand (unless the pavers have nibs).



Step 6 - Cut Pavers


Cut and position part-pavers if the job requires them. Edge restraints prevent the pavers from moving.



Step 7 - Fill The Joints


Sweep joint filling sand or gap sand over the finished dry paving, ensuring that all joints are full.



Step 8 - Finishing Touches


For pavers 50mm thick or greater - Surface to be plate compacted. Always remember to use a rubber mat or carpet beneath the plate compactor to prevent damage to the pavers.


For pavers 40mm thick or less - Surface to be hand compacted with a rubber mallet.


Caring for your pavers


Prevention is better than cure!

  • Sweep regularly with a stiff bristled broom to keep pavers free from debris.
  • For maximum protection we suggest pavers are sealed after installation with a penetrating sealer. Check with a reputable sealing company for advice.
  • Seal pavers with a penetrating sealer before grouting to avoid grout smears.
  • Re-seal pavers as required paying extra attention to heavy wear areas and salt-water locations.
  • During construction, cover the paved areas to protect against damage and staining from clam, mortar, oxides, cement, rust and leaves.
  • Do not use acid to clean pavers.
  • Do not use high pressure cleaning apparatus to clean pavers.
  • In all cases, attempt to clean a stain before it hardens or dries.

If a stain occurs, follow some simple steps:

  • Assess type of stain carefully before taking action (incorrect assessment of stain can cause the stain to be more difficult to remove).
  • If stain cannot be accurately assessed, conduct a trial process on a small portion of stained area to determine most appropriate action.
  • Do not use acid to remove stains under any circumstances.

Refer to the following guide for some stain removal solutions:

  • Efflorescence (White powdery deposit) - Brush first with a stiff bristled broom. Then hose with clean water. Weathering will eventually stop this process from occurring.
  • Leaves, bark, algae, food and wine stains - Use 5 part water to 1 part pool chlorine, then wash down.
  • Chewing gum - Freeze with dry ice and remove with a spatula.
  • Ivy suckers - Apply a heat gun to the suckers until they go hard. Allow them to cool and dry, then scrub them off with a stiff bristled broom.

 


Retaining Walls



Step 1 - Locate Your Wall


Mark out the ground where your wall will be located (either by marking with stakes and a string line or by marking a line on the ground with spray paint). Excavate trench then compact road base into trench to form a levelling pad.



Step 2 - Prepare The Site


Place blocks side by side on the levelling pad using a string line along the back of the units for alignment. Level each unit side to side and front to back using your spirit level. Spend time making sure the first course of units is level, otherwise all ensuing courses and ultimately the entire wall will not be level.



Step 3 - Backfill and Compact


Install an agricultural drain 150mm diameter behind your first course and surround with gravel (12-20mm sized, crushed concrete or blue metal). Shovel and compact your backfill (existing site soil) behind the drainage material. (Backfill consisting of heavy clays is not recommended due to water holding properties).



Step 4 - Additional Courses


Sweep the top of the previous course clean. Place the next course of units in a running bond pattern (ie. with the vertical joints from the first course units halfways across the second course units). Pull each unit forward until it locks with the nib on the unit below. Place the drainage material behind the second course of units. Stack units, placing drainage material and compact backfill for each block height layer until your wall is complete.



Step 5 - Fixing Capping Units


Place capping units, if required, on the top course. It is recommended that caps be secured using a construction adhesive such as liquid nails. Some capping may require the removal of nibs from the top course of blocks.




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Paving & Retaining Wall Guides provided by Boral Masonry.