Flagstone Patio -- Disaster or will it be OK?

laurafitzDecember 20, 2008


We just had a flagstone (Tennessee fieldstone patio "finished" yesterday... it was a joint effort between our landscaper, his help & my husband..so semi diy. They dug out the sod, laid it on that gray sand mix stuff (sorry not sure what it is), placed the stones, then the guys swept Quikrete Sand topping mix over the whole surface, into the gaps. Guess what?? Now they are not the nice variety of colors anymore, they are all GREY/BROWN. My husband did not see the end result on the day until too late but I was assured we should leave it and let it set between the stones and that it would just wash off the stone surface easily. I was skeptical and it turns out, is not really the case. I think after researching a bit, that they should have actually used Power-Loc jointing sand, as they seemed to be using it in the same way as that describes. Needless to say it has turned out to be the blind leading the blind here & trying to do it on the cheap...! (except for the stones...). Our Landscaper (who has not yet been paid!)is bringing back "concrete cleaner" Monday -- does anyone have suggestions? Can you speak from experience & did yours recover?

It did seem to scrub off on spot test with water & stiff brush but not sure it will be the same as it was. This is really annoying when we purposely went with stone to get a nice naturally-varied look! Help?

Thank you!

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I should also add, more to the point --- Is time of the essence?? The Quikrete stuff has been on since Friday afternoon - Will Monday be soon enough to get the stuff off & save the stones???
Thanks again!

    Bookmark   December 20, 2008 at 1:53PM
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madtripper(5/6 Guelph)

I am sure it is too late for advice, but it may help others. We'd also like to hear how things turned out.

I beleive the quickrite sand is a mortor mix. It should be mixed with water and put into the cracks. Any excess is washed off right away.

I'll bet it is hard to get off now that it is dry.

If it is a problem, you might consider turning the stones over and redoing the patio?

    Bookmark   January 1, 2009 at 6:33PM
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HI all.Just popped over from the conifer-forum and bumped into this story.You could try vinegar or another acid (hydrochloric acid comes to mind) to clean off the excess cement... either with a cloth (stone by stone)or with a small hand-sprayer.After doing this you should wash the whole area copiously with clean water to get rid of any remaining acid.
PS: Hydrochloric acid is pokey stuff,so,be careful! T.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2009 at 1:46PM
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Hi again
Belated Thanks for your replies. Our gardener tried very powerful pressure washing, alot of it did come off but there are bits left including some "very attactive" lines of it where the stream missed. A few softer stones also have lines etched in them. It also blasted out most of the Quikrete from between the stones, and generally made a huge mess of the whole surrounding area. In the meantime DH returned to Lowe's, and found that the stuff we should have used, JointLoc polymer sand was right beside the Sand topping mix & the assistant had recommended the wrong thing! He told them they could just sweep it over the top & it would wash off!! We added Joint loc sand on top of the reamaining base mixture and it is all settling in. We'll work on it more a bit later when weather improves. I considered whether we could turn stones over but they are all irregular shaped & with some it may work better than others. We didn't want to use strong acids if could avoid it, we may try with wire brushes and vinegar to get the remainder off. It mostly looks OK if you don't look too closely at it!! Anyway it was a mess & I hope others see this post, DO NOT use Sand Topping Mix with natural stone!, and just take your time & do some research before you dump something over your expensive stones!! Thank you all again!

    Bookmark   February 10, 2009 at 11:19AM
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I must say first you should have gone with Pavers. But, go to your local rent-all place and rent a power washer and at a 45 degree angle start going to town until it's gone! Peace love and paving

Here is a link that might be useful: Denver paver driveway

    Bookmark   February 10, 2009 at 1:31PM
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