Winter is the time of year that does the most damage to your hardscaping features.
Many de-icing chemicals can cause corrosion and chipping on hardscaping surfaces and the freeze/thaw cycle can cause cracking. The freeze/thaw cycle refers to when water gets into the pores and cracks in hardscaping material, then freezes which causes the pores in increase in size and new cracks to form. This lets even more water in during the next thaw cycle. In order to prevent these kinds of damages from happening, it’s important to maintain your hardscaping in the winter.
Here are three tips on how.
1. Divert water run-off
Sitting water is bad for hardscaping materials year round. However, in winter, it can freeze and turn to ice. This is not only dangerous, it also increases the likelihood that you will need to use damaging de-icing chemicals. Make sure that your gutters are clean and that the downspout is facing away from any hardscaping structures.
2. Shovel frequently
We’ve already written a blog post about the benefits of shoveling your walkways and driveways frequently in the winter, but it’s a fact that bears repeating. Shoveling frequently can help prevent damage from the freeze/thaw cycle. Make sure to use a plastic shovel or a rubber headed shovel as metal shovels are damaging to hardscaping materials.
3. Repair any existing damage
Fixing any small problems now will prevent them from becoming big problems over the course of winter. Make sure all your concrete is properly sealed. This is important year-round, but it’s especially important around wintertime. Replace any pavers that are damaged beyond repair to prevent possible damage to the surrounding pavers and fill any cracks to prevent ice and snow from getting in.