Winter is fast approaching and for many that means cold, icy and gray days. This kind of weather can wreak havoc on paved surfaces if not cared for properly. While pavers are naturally heartier than other surfaces like stamped concrete, taking time to prepare for winter weather can save your hardscape from unnecessary wear and tear and help to prolong the life of your pavers.
One of the easiest ways to maintain your pavers during Winter is to simply sweep them whenever possible. When you get a break from stacking wood, head out with a broom and sweep off as much snow as you can. Sweeping off your pavers reduces excess pressure on the pavers, especially if you have a hardscaped driveway that you’ll be parking on regularly. As well, it’s common for snow to melt during the day and refreeze at night. Sweeping your hardscape helps to break this cycle and keep the pavers drier, preventing wear and the damaging effects of the freeze/thaw cycle.
Seal Ahead of Time
Before Winter sets in, you may want to consider sealing your pavers with hardscape sealants by Techniseal. Sealants are designed to protect concrete pavers with oil and water repellent agents. Techniseal Sealants create an active bond with the paver that prevents contaminants and other damaging products like acids, alkalis and deicing salts from penetrating your pavers and damaging them. When choosing a sealant, make sure to take note of the finish that the sealant offers. Some will give your pavers a natural look, others a wet look and some can even boost their existing colors. Choose the formula you want and spot test it before applying to the rest of your patio.
De-Ice With Care
When the ice finally hits, make sure to use a de-icer like Enviro-Thaw that is approved for concrete on your patio. Most salt-based de-icers will do more harm than good if spread over your hardscape. Sodium based ice products will cause your hardscape to degrade more quickly and can be incredibly damaging to the overall look and longevity of your pavers. Instead, use sodium-free ice-melt products like magnesium chloride. Everything About Concrete goes into depth on what de-icers are best for what areas. They compare de-icers with three main categories: environment, temperature and corrosive properties. Take a look and find the best product for your needs.
Shovels and Plows
It’s crucial when shoveling your patio or driveway that you use a plastic shovel whenever possible. Metal shovels can cause a significant amount of damage to your pavers, scratching and even cracking them.
Your best option is to avoid the shovel all together and use a snow blower. However, even in that case, set the depth gauge to at least 1/8” above and use a plastic edged shoe if possible. Matt Kwarta, Manager of Marketing and Customer Relations says, “Pavers with dimpled or textured surfaces have high and low points, which lend a more natural aesthetic appeal. Therefore, it is important for snow removal equipment to have the proper spacing, bumpers and rubber blade guards to protect the surface of the driveway.”
Overall, caring for your hardscape during the winter is pretty simple. The trick is to prepare ahead of time and make sure that you have the right equipment in place to get the job done.
If you have any questions, contact the Eagle Bay Customer Care Team.