Brewery Lane, Gateshead, Tyne and Wear

North East Paving And Gardens is community supported. We may earn a small commission through links on this page - Read More

How Long Should Patio Pointing Last?

Pointing your patio is crucial if you want it to last and protect it from the elements; it also gives the area a finished look. A well-laid patio should last for years, but how long should patio pointing last? That’s a question which is often overlooked. 

This article will look at why your grouting might not last and how to repair hairline cracks should they occur.

In theory, patio pointing should last around a decade whether with a sand cement mortar mix or when using the best patio jointing compound. However, as one of the North East’s leading paving installers, we’ve seen many cases over the years where patio grout starts cracking quicker than expected. 

There are many reasons for this, as we’ll examine later but for now, let’s crack on! 

How Long Should Patio Grouting Last?

So, for those wanting to know how long patio grout lasts? The answer is ten years, which applies to DIY sand, cement mixtures and ready-mixed options.

That’s not to say that you won’t notice issues before then, but hopefully, it will be a minor problem that needs a quick fix. 

Why is My Patio Pointing Crumbling?

If the pointing between your patio’s joints is worn away, it can make the whole area look shabby, won’t support the flagstones and may even cause accidents.

There can be many reasons your patio pointing is crumbling; let’s examine some of the most common ones:

  • It dried too fast  –  On a hot day, the pointing mixture may dry too fast, which can weaken it, causing subsequent cracks
  • Foot traffic  –  Walking on a newly grouted patio too soon may cause the slabs to move slightly, but this is enough to create cracks between the joints.
  • Ground heave – If your garden has clay soil, it won’t drain well and will expand during particularly wet weather. This may push the patio slabs causing them to shift and resulting in, yes, you’ve guessed it, cracks.  
  • The elements – If water can get between your flagstones or underneath them, it will cause movement, and the pointing will crumble when it freezes. 
  • The installation – If the base wasn’t compacted adequately before laying the patio or the wrong mortar mixture was used, the lack of stability may cause the grout to fall apart. 

Remember, if your grout is disintegrating because of slab movement, repointing won’t solve the issue, and you may need to consider relaying the patio. 

How to Deal with Hairline Cracks in Patio Pointing

Repairing patio pointing isn’t difficult and is something anyone can do. Still, you do need to work quickly to avoid the pointing drying out and if you are using a contrasting grout, it’s essential to workly neatly to avoid staining. Below are some tips we’ve picked up over the years

Wet, wet, wet

Moistening the old pointing is essential before adding the new patio grout. This will prevent it from soaking up the water from the mixture, which will dry it out. You may be wondering how long does patio pointing take to dry, take a look at this detailed guide to find out.

Cram it in

Once the crack is sufficiently wet, and any loose debris removed, apply the new grout forcing it as deep as possible into the gap to prevent air pockets which may cause problems down the line. Then use your finger to smooth it to level.

Cover it

Allow the repair to dry for approximately two hours, then cover it with a board or plastic sheet. Leave this for five days lifting the cover daily to apply a soft misting of water with the garden hose.

Last Word

How long should patio grout last? Traditional sand, cement mortars, and ready-mixed patio grouts should last around a decade. However, in some cases, you may see your patio pointing starting to crumble and crack way before this. 

Whether it’s because of heavy furniture, the elements or the slabs moving and shifting, there are ways to repair your patio pointing quickly and efficiently, so don’t despair. It’s an easy job almost anyone can do. Good Luck!