When it’s done properly, driveway or patio pointing can last up to a decade. But then comes the day that you need to repoint your patio or driveway and you’re asking yourself which method you should use.
While traditional mortar pointing is something that a lot of homeowners do as a DIY project, if you hire a professional, they’ll probably opt for an epoxy resin. But is there a difference and which is the better option?
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What Is Traditional Mortar Pointing?
Traditional mortar pointing is a method which uses a mix of cement and sand. The mix is applied using a tool called a pointing trowel and everything is done by hand. The great thing about this method is that it can be used for both non-permeable and permeable driveway surfaces.
You’d probably opt for traditional mortar if you have a more traditional looking paving style such as hand cut stone. There are not as many colour choices as other methods but it is possible to use it for a variety of different pointing styles which does make it somewhat more versatile.
One of the biggest advantages of traditional mortar pointing is the cost; it’s a lot more affordable than resin and other options. However, it can be a lot more difficult to apply and will unusually take longer. Plus, the conditions need to be just right as you cannot apply traditional mortar if it’s wet or the temperature is too extreme.
What Is Epoxy Resin Pointing?
Epoxy resin comes as a two part product and one of the greatest things about it is that it comes in a wide range of colours so you can really find something that’ll suit the look you’re going for.
Before using epoxy resin, it is vital that you seal your paving stone otherwise there is a risk of the resin permeating them as well as leaving a film over the top of the paver.
These resins are sand-based products and, as such, do look a little more granular. That said, there are some out there that are much finer and you’d probably use these where you want to achieve a more contemporary look.
One of the things to keep in mind when using a two part epoxy resin is that you have to work quickly. For this reason, it’s best to enlist the help of someone else
What Are The Key Differences Between Epoxy Resin And Mortar Pointing?
Knowing which is the best product to use for your outdoor surface will ensure that you get the best final result. It’ll be more long lasting and your driveway or patio will look so much better. Let’s take a look at what the differences between mortar pointing and epoxy resin are and which is the best choice.
Ease Of Use
Traditional mortar needs to be applied directly to each gap with a pointing trowel whereas an epoxy resin can be applied using a squeegee. This means that the entire process is a lot easier and less physically demanding. Plus, the squeegee does most of the work for you and there’s no need for precision or skill; at least to a degree. But this means that even those who have never repointed a driveway in their lives will find it easy.
As I mentioned, epoxy resin pointing sets more quickly so you will need two people to get the job done. However, this also means that you won’t have to give up an entire weekend just to tend to driveway maintenance and that’s always a plus!
Applying The Pointing
Traditional mortar requires perfect conditions for its application. If the weather is too hot, mortar can dry too quickly and this will cause it to crack. You also cannot install traditional mortar in too cold conditions or in the rain.
On the other hand, you have a lot more freedom as to when you can apply epoxy resin. Pretty much all products can be applied in light rain and since it sets so quickly, you won’t need to worry about allowing plenty of time for it to dry.
One of the things that sets epoxy resin apart is how strong it is. If your driveway or patio will experience high traffic then I’d seriously consider this an option. Even where heavy weight is applied, the epoxy is not likely to crack, especially when compared with traditional mortar.
On top of this, epoxy resin is more resistant to things like frost, pressure cleaning and other stressors that would cause traditional mortar to buckle after a few years. Epoxy resin pointing can last a serious length of time so it’s better if you want something low maintenance.
Get A More Professional Finish With Epoxy Resin Pointing
Hiring a professional to tend to your driveway is a wonderful idea but it’s a lot more expensive than doing it yourself as you have to pay for labour costs. Of course, you may be worried that getting stuck into a DIY project isn’t going to give you the same results.
But that isn’t necessarily true. Epoxy resin pointing is a great way to get a professional finish without actually having to hire an expert. You see, this is a product that’s used by the pros and is incredibly consistent and even.
What’s more, it’s so easy to apply that anyone can achieve a decent result without the risk of damaging the rest of the paved area.
When it comes to driveway or patio maintenance, one of the things you’ll need to do from time to time is repointing. This prevents weeds and makes the area look a lot nicer and well kept.
However, there are lots of different products you can use for this job including traditional mortar and epoxy resin. There are differences between them with epoxy resin pointing generally being the better choice owing to ease of use, better durability and a nicer final appearance.