A professionally installed hardscape can be enjoyed in every season. Perhaps it’s a large patio where friends and family can gather around a burning firepit when it’s cold. Or maybe you recently installed a walkway winding from the driveway to the side door of the home. Hardscaped structures like patios and walkways are great because when the snow piles up, they serve as a beacon for a safe path and solid ground. When everything is concealed in white powder, being confident that you have a safe place to step in your yard relieves concern. So, you may be eager to clear off these areas to keep access and travel open.
Hardscaping projects are typically built using bricks, pavers, and natural stone, which are durable through the weather and therefore maintain their beauty. But they do require some care and maintenance. Before you pick up the metal shovel that you use on the front concrete sidewalk to clear the way, here are a few things to know about caring for your hardscaping in winter.
Before the snow arrives, make some pre-season tasks regular items on your winter preparation list. After Autumn has finished shedding leaves and branches into your yard, clean your hardscape surfaces. Use dish soap with water and gently scrub it clean. Leaves and other debris left on the surface all winter provide an opportunity for mold and mildew to grow. A clean surface will keep your hardscaping looking fresh and inviting in every season.
Next, inspect your patio and walkways for cracks, holes, or other damage. Repair and close these cracks and holes. If damaged spots are left open, moisture can enter and cause the cracks to enlarge. Level out any uneven areas of the patio or walkway. The cycle of freezing and melting water can cause uneven areas to worsen over the winter months, which can make your outside journey difficult or even dangerous in the snow.
Snow-clearing equipment can damage stones and pavers with scrapes, chips, and even breakage. So, use care when clearing snow and ice from your hardscape surfaces. If your tool of choice is a shovel, use a plastic or rubber-edged shovel to avoid leaving scratch marks on your walk or patio. If you prefer a snowblower, prevent damage to your hardscaping by fitting it with a plastic shoe on the adjustable gliders and the scoop edge. Do not use sharp objects or hammers to chop ice, as you will likely damage the hardscaping surface or even break the stones and pavers.
A good deicer used properly can assist you in the battle with snow and ice. Avoid using rock salt products or any deicer containing sodium chloride or calcium chloride. These products can eat away at the surface, damaging the pavers and the surrounding landscape. Instead, choose sand or a chemical deicer that contains potassium chloride.
Use the minimum amount of product needed to loosen the snow and ice. Do not cover the entire surface with a deicer and then wait for it to completely melt the snow or ice. It is important to remove the deicer and not let it sit on the stone. Once the snow has turned to slush, use your plastic shovel to clear it away.
Durable and Beautiful Hardscapes
At Createscape Landscaping Service, we design and install a wide range of hardscaping. We add beautiful, functional structures that increase the value and enjoyment of your home such as patios, walkways, stairways, retaining walls, firepits, and more. Whether you just need a simple feature added to your home or desire to create an extensive outdoor entertainment space, our experts are prepared for the task. We can construct hardscaping during winter, so any season is a good time to build. Call Createscape Landscaping Service at (262) 662-0201 or visit us online at createscapelandscaping.com to learn more and get started on your project.