How to Care for Your Hardscape in the Harsh Winter Weather
- Posted by livewell in Landscaping Tips, Winter, Hardscaping
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Snow, ice, and the freeze-thaw cycle don’t have to be damaging to your hardscape elements such as your patio, driveway, walkways, and deck. It just takes some TLC and knowing how to care for your hardscape elements in the wintertime properly. We’ve pulled together some tips to help you protect your investment.
Tip #1: Seal It
Ideally, you had your patio or deck (or both) sealed before the winter weather hit. A sealer should be reapplied every 2-5 years, depending on the type you use, and the weather conditions. A sealer can help protect your pavers, whether on your patio, driveway, or walkways. Your deck may not need a sealant if it’s made of composite decking.
Tip #2: Sweep It
Get in the habit of sweeping your patio and walkways where leaves and other debris have a chance to collect. If the wind blows piles of leaves up next to your home’s foundation where the patio or deck meets the house, remove those piles. Otherwise, they will get wet and leave unsightly stains. Most debris will blow over your driveway or walkways.
Tip #3: Remove Light Snow the Right Way
Even if it’s just a dusting of snow, you’ll want to remove snow from your patio and deck. Otherwise, it will start to melt as temperatures rise but then freeze overnight. The freeze-thaw cycle can cause pavers to crack. And who wants an icy patio or deck anyway? We recommend using a soft bristle brush broom to sweep light snow.
Tip #4 Remove Heavier Snow the Right Way
If we get more snow than you can easily sweep away, clear it the right way. This means no metal shovels. Metal can scratch your pavers or deck. Use a plastic shovel and shovel with the boards in your deck. For your patio and walkways, use a plastic shovel for hard-to-reach areas, but use your snowblower for the larger areas. Just be sure to set it to at least 1/8” above the ground and use a plastic blade guard.
Tip #5: Skip the Salt
If you clear the snow regularly, you may not need to worry about ice. But if we have an ice storm or wintry mix that leaves your patio, walkways, and deck slippery, don’t use rock salt as a deicer. It can damage your pavers and your deck. Instead, opt for ice melt products that use magnesium chloride, which is safe for your pavers. Once the ice melts, be sure to sweep the slush off of the patio or deck to prevent it from refreezing.
Remember that Spring Is Just Around the Corner
If we get a big snowstorm in late February or March, remember that spring is just around the corner. By taking care of your patio and deck now, it will be in top condition once the weather warms up.
Dream It. Build It. Live It.
If you’re dreaming of warmer weather and dreaming about a new patio, inground pool, or outdoor kitchen, we can help. We are now setting design consultation appointments for 2023. By setting up your consultation now, your project will get started as soon as the weather and ground conditions allow. We turn your outdoor living dreams into reality.
Check out our Portfolio for examples of our work, and to gain inspiration. We work with homeowners throughout the Capital Region, including Northern Virginia, Maryland, and Washington D.C.