Wednesday, 17 March 2021

Top Tip: herringbone block paving

 Top Tips: a series of short, very short, articles featuring Things Which You Might Not Already Know.

Herringbone block paving - love it or hate it (type "block paving" into the search box, top left of the page, to draw your own conclusions about my feelings on the matter...) - it's here to stay. 


 

Good points: it's stylish, it's elegant, and it allows rainwater to dissipate gently, without flooding your house, your garage, or your beds, depending on what is downhill of your drive. 

Downsides: if you use a pressure washer on it, the blocks all come loose and jiggle about, which is annoying, and expensive to fix.

It also needs an annual scrub, which has to be done by hand. The least back-breaking way to do this is with a long-handled wire brush.

Now, here's the tip: don't buy one whose bristles are in a rectangular block:

...like this one, left.

Can you see how the bristles all stick up vertically, like soldiers on parade?

A brush like this will not clean your block paving for you!

Instead, look for ones whose outer rows of bristles have been set at an angle, so that they meet in more of a point, along the centre of the bristle block.


Like this one - right.

This one will slide quickly and neatly into the cracks,  rather than gliding annoyingly over them, as the one above does.

Ask me how I know: a Client's neighbour bought one for her drive, having watched me zipping around on the one next door.

She then stopped me, one day, to ask how I did it so quickly. ("Quickly" being a comparative term, it used to take me a good 2 hours.) She said that her beautiful new brush was really hard work and didn't make a neat job of it at all.

She showed me hers. I gave it a go. I handed it back. I went and fetched "our" one, and showed her the difference. She took hers back to the shop.

End of Top Tip. Although I do rather like the concept of the little metal scraper on the one in the picture - I've never had one of those, I wonder if it works? Or just sets your teeth on edge?


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