Beneath the cover of snow winter can be wreaking havoc on your patio. You might not realize it, but winter is the season that does the most damage to your pavers. And Maryland’s climate is the worst; the variations in temperature and moisture make for bad conditions for your pavers and can cause lots of damage. Fortunately, with the proper winter maintenance for your patio, much of the damaged done by winter can be prevented, or fixed before it gets to be too bad.
Clear Snow and ice from your patio
The first and most important task in maintaining your patio during the winter is clearing it of snow and ice. Snow and ice might not seem like too big of a deal. The pavers are stone, concrete, or brick, what can snow and ice do? Snow and ice can crack boulders, cause landslides, and grind a mountain to dust.
The problems caused by snow and ice don’t come from them staying in their respective form, but from the cycle of freezing and thawing. When temperatures rise above the freezing point snow or ice thaw and become liquid water, the liquid water seeps into cracks and pores in your patio pavers. When the temperatures drop below the freezing point, the water refreezes turning into ice, and when it freezes it expands. The expansion of ice causes the cracks and pores in patio pavers to get larger. Thus, with the next thaw, more water can fill the cracks, and when it refreezes, make the crack even worst. And with Maryland’s temperate climate, and inconsistent winter temperatures, we get thawing and refreezing fairly often. But by simply clearing off your patio after every snow, you can prevent the cycle from ever starting.
When you’re clearing off your patio, you shouldn’t use shovels with metal edged blades. Shovels with metal edged blades can scrape, or chip, your patio pavers. Use a plastic snow shovel, or rubber edged metal shovel instead.
For taking care of ice, check with the provider of your patio pavers before you use salt or de-icing chemicals. Salt and other de-icing chemicals can damage concrete, and certain kinds of natural stone. If you can’t use salt and de-icing chemicals, you can put down sand or cat litter, to give your more traction and make it safer to walk on.
Patio Paver Checkup
Besides preventing damage to your patio, clearing snow and ice allows you to keep an eye on the condition of your patio. With the snow cleared, you can check to make sure your patio is level, and not cracked or broken.
The freezing and thawing processes doesn’t only affect your patio pavers, it also affects the ground around and beneath the pavers. The freezing and thawing can cause shifts in the earth your pavers sit on causing them to shift in position to response. It tends to be a slow and gradual process, but by staying on top of it and fixing small shifts, you save yourself from more work in the future.
Finally, checking for cracks and breaks can stop a small problem from becoming a bigger one. If you find cracks with a product called Sandlock, or other masonry repair products. Broken pavers should be replaced to prevent damage from being done to the pavers around them.
Lehnhoff’s Landscaping can Help With Winter Maintenance for Your Patio
If your patio or other hardscaping is too large and the strain too much, or if you don’t have the time, Lehnhoff’s Landscaping is here to help. We provide professional snow removal and landscaping services for all of Maryland. Our teams of snow removal experts manage everything from plowing, to shoveling, to ice scraping. We have years and years of experience in removing snow from parking lots, roads, sidewalks, as well as salting and ice melting.
Our snow removal plans and planting services will ensure that no matter what time of year it is, your property will be stunning and safe. If you have any more questions about snow removal in Baltimore, contact Lehnhoff’s Landscaping by Calling 443.921.5789 or visit LehnoffsLandscaping.com today!