If you have been enjoying your paved patio area in the warm months of the year, you need to remember that it needs some attention in winter. Just because you are not using the area, doesn’t mean that the pavers there can be left on their own till spring. Winter maintenance in the garden is just as important in the winter as any other time. You will do well to understand that without investing in some care, your paved patio area might not be in good shape past winter.
Here are a Few Winter Maintenance tips for a Paved Patio:
- Know what causes damage to the patio – the number one source of damage to a paved patio is water. It comes in many forms – snow, ice, rain. The cold temperatures can cause water to freeze, which makes it expand and contract in the process. This could lead to cracks in the pavers and the need to replace them.
- Seal the patio – if you want to protect the area from water, you should start by sealing it. This means applying a special coating, that provides pavers with long-term protection. The sealant can be a water or solvent-based one. Its job is to create a barrier between the pavers and the water, preventing it from seeping in and causing any damage as it freezes. It will further protect the material against erosion.
- Shovel snow, if there is a lot – if the winter is a snowy one, you want to get shovelling. Make this a part of your patio maintenance efforts. The idea is that the more snow you leave on the area, the more water will melt and freeze there. Frequent shovelling ensures that is not the case. If you can, find a plastic shovel, because a metal one can damage the material. Another good way to remove snow is snow blowing.
- Forget about the salt – many people like to sprinkle salt on their pathway, because it is really effective at melting ice and snow accumulated there. However, you should know that salting is not a good practice for pavers in the winter. Salt comes full moisture, which can then absorb into the pavers and cause freezing. If that is what you are subjecting your pavers whole winter long, you will find them in a sorry shape in the spring. If you want a good alternative to salt, try and. It is abrasive and gets the job done without the side effects for your patio.
- Clean the patio whenever you can – winter maintenance for a paved patio doesn’t end with the clearance of snow. It is just not a one and done sort of thing. You need to be mindful of it all winter long. If the temperature is above zero and the day is mostly precipitation-free, then it is a good idea to do some patio cleaning. This means sweeping the sand away and de-icing the area. If the pavers are sealed, you get the benefit of not having to deal with stains, since sealants provide great protection against that.
- Patio awnings can protect surfaces as well – paver care is much easier when you invest in a patio awning. It is essentially a protective sheet of fabric, which you extend over the area to keep it safe from snowfall and rain. When the weather is more temperate, you can retract it.
Now that you know how to protect your paved patio in the winter, you better implement the tips right away. That is the best way to ensure your investment in the outdoor area is preserved.