Patios are a fantastic place to enjoy the outdoors and warm weather in the summer. But, when the cold weather rolls around, you need to be aware that snow, ice, and freezing temperatures can break down your patio and garden pavers and even cause them to be replaced once spring returns.
The good news is, there are some tips and tricks to help preserve your patio. So throughout this brief guide, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about keeping your patio in good condition even after a long winter.
The first thing you can do to keep your patio in top shape during the cold season is to seal it ahead of time. This will require you to do some prep before the first big storm rolls in. However, this can be a crucial step to keep your patio looking like new.
In order to do this, you’ll want to apply an outdoor surface sealant, which is a clear water or solvent-based coating that is meant for long-term protection. Basically, this will make a strong barrier between the paver materials and the freezing precipitation that falls in the winter and causes cracks to your patio.
Though it’s tempting to use in the winter to cut away the ice with ease and make the area less slippery, using harmful salt directly on the pavers can actually erode them. If you want a better alternative, consider adding sand to the area instead for better traction and grip.
As much as you can, you should try to keep the patio clear from snow and ice. After a storm, shovel off the snow so it’s not sitting on the patio for months and months and slowly building up until it’s impossible to remove.
Plus, frequent freezing and expanding when the temperatures fluctuate can cause cracks. If you scrape away most of the snow and leave just a thin layer, it should melt off once the sun shines again even if the temperatures are cold.
Make sure to use a plastic shovel, not a metal one, in order to cause the least damage to your patio. A plastic shovel with a substantial edge will help to remove enough snow for the remaining layer to melt away relatively quickly. Again, this is best to do as soon as possible after a large amount of snowfall.
Lastly, a clear way that you can prevent your patio from being damaged by the elements in the winter is to keep snow, rain, and ice from falling on the area in the first place.
By installing an awning above your patio, you can keep some of the harmful precipitation and freezing moisture from falling on the pavers and eroding them away. Plus, an added bonus is that it can also protect the area from the sun’s harsh rays in the summer months, too.
Winter patio maintenance doesn’t have to be overwhelming when you follow the above tips. Come spring time, you’ll be happy that you took these preventative measures.
Written by Bailey Schramm in partnership with outdoor kitchen cabinet manufacturer, Werever.