For the past six months you’ve enjoyed summer nights and sunny afternoons on your patio pavers. But just because your patio time decreases in winter doesn’t mean your pavers can rest easy until spring. Winter maintenance for patio pavers includes regular shoveling, cleaning and protection to keep them ready for this year’s summer days.
Winter Maintenance for Patio Pavers: How to Preserve and Protect in the Off-Season
We’ll review some seasonal steps to take to help prevent patio damage during winter. But first, here’s a review of how winter precipitation can damage your pavers when they’re left unprotected.
What Causes Damage to Patio Pavers?
Water is typically the source of most damage to patio pavers, whether it’s in the form of rain, ice, or snow. Liquid water creates a hospitable environment for moss and algae, both of which destroy the look of pavers and are hard to remove. In cold weather freezing water expands and contracts, leading to cracks and damaged pavers that will need to be replaced.
While ongoing winter maintenance for patio pavers is essential, sealing your pavers is one way to prevent damage before the cold weather hits.
Start by Sealing Your Patio
Outdoor surface sealing involves applying a clear water or solvent-based coating to pavers for long-term protection. Sealing will protect your patio not only from staining but also from water damage and erosion that often occurs in winter. The sealant essentially creates a barrier between the paver and water to keep it from seeping in, freezing and causing cracks.
Shovel Frequently and Safely
If you experience cold, snowy winters then shoveling should be a part of your winter patio care. Water’s process of expanding and contracting as it melts and freezes is what typically leads to paver cracks. Here are some shoveling tips to avoid damaging your pavers while trying to protect them:
- Shovel frequently to avoid an accumulation of snow
- Use a plastic shovel, as metal can cause chipping or scraping
- Snow blowing is a safe method to remove large amounts of snow
Don’t Use Salt on Patio Surfaces
Salting is a common practice on winter roadways because it rapidly melts ice that could cause slippery conditions for pedestrians and drivers. However, salting is not recommended for pavers in the winter. Salt contains moisture that can be absorbed by pavers and refreeze. If this process continues all winter, it could lead to cracking. Salt is also abrasive, which can further damage your patio.
To increase traction on your pavers and avoid damage we recommend a salt-free de-icing substance or sand.
Clean Your Patio Whenever Possible
Winter maintenance for patio pavers shouldn’t end once you clear the snow. If you have a precipitation-free winter day that’s above freezing, we recommend cleaning your patio. This can involve sweeping away sand and de-icing particles and wiping away grease or rubber stains from snow blowing and shoveling. One of the benefits of sealing your pavers is that stains should come out with ease.
Use Patio Awnings to Protect Surfaces
Winter paver care can be easier if you choose to invest in a patio awning. This protective sheet of fabric can be extended to cover a patio from harmful rain and snowfall, as well as harsh summer sun. It can also be retracted in more temperate weather.
Your patio pavers are an investment to enjoy in warm sunny weather and protect when it’s cold and snowy. However, winter maintenance for patio pavers can be easy once you know the right methods to avoid damage. Seal Team One is happy to offer the highest quality patio sealing service and be your paver authority for answers to every question!