As the colder months are upon us, it’s important to prepare all areas of your home and garden for the weather the winter months bring. Home owners are often concerned about their patios and stone in their gardens as it can become dangerous when wet and frozen, as well as the impact the extra cold weather can have on it so it’s important to plan ahead and get it ready for winter! The following article was published a couple of years ago on infinitepaving.com with a couple of handy tips for getting your garden paving winter ready…
There are many ways that water can damage your paving in winter. Firstly, a build-up of water can cause algae to grow and this makes the surface of the stone slippery to walk upon. Of course, there’s also a threat to paving from cold weather. Water is more likely to freeze on top of stone during the Winter which is also a hazard for anyone to walk on. If there are any holes in your paving stone, water can also seep through and freeze. This can potentially expand the stone enough to create cracks immediately or over a period of time. On top of that, simply having water on materials like slate can make them extremely slippery all year around. However, walking on your patio while it’s raining is sometimes unavoidable. So, how do you keep your patio intact and yourself out of danger?
One of the best solutions to these problems is to keep your patio as dry as possible. A patio awning can protect your paving stone from rain and snow and ensure it isn’t slippery when you need to walk across it. A patio awning is a protective sheet of fabric that you can purchase in a range of sizes. You can even have an awning specially designed to fit your patio’s size and shape. An awning can also provide shade during the Summer months and it can be retracted on days when the patio is in use. Naturally, the cost of an awning varies, depending on the type and size.
SEAL YOUR PAVING IN WINTER
It’s a good idea to place sealant on your paving in Winter months. Sealant is fairly easy to apply so you won’t require a professional to do the job. However, if you’re having a new patio installed, you can ask for sealant to be applied as part of the installation. Sealing your patio will make sure the stone is protected from developing stains from rainwater. It can also prevent water penetration which stops water from freezing and cracking your paving in cold weather. Sealant can even protect against erosion, making your slabs more durable throughout harsher weather.
FILL IN CRACKS IN YOUR PAVING
Even tiny cracks can become a big problem over time and Winter weather can make them worse quicker than you might think. You can purchase paving filler to fix small cracks and protect your stone from rainfall. However, bigger cracks will need to be dealt with in a different way. You may need to seek the advice of a professional before making a decision about repairing cracks. Some stones may need to be removed and replaced. Without doing this, you run the risk of further cracks in your patio or too much water pooling underneath the slabs. Cracking, uneven ground and unsightly damage are all signs that your stones or slabs need replacing. Stone like Indian Limestone is often easy to replace when there’s a crack. A professional will be able to take the cracked stone and replace it with a new one. However, replacing concrete is far more complicated. Concrete stones may need to be smashed apart before they can be removed, which usually means the entire patio has to be replaced.
MAINTAIN YOUR PAVING BEFORE COLD WEATHER
Every patio requires some kind of maintenance. Keeping your patio clean throughout the rest of the year will go a long way towards keeping it strong throughout the Winter. You may need to scrub your slabs every three months to deter stains or algae. You can also sweep away leaves or debris so there’s nothing that can help water to pool in one place. During the Winter months, you may need to work to maintain your patio more often than you would at other times of the year. Clearing snow away from your paving in Winter can help to make sure water doesn’t penetrate any small cracks. You can also grit your patio to keep ice from freezing or clear the ice when you have a particularly cold spell.
You can read the full article on infinitepaving.com.
Could you do with help getting your paving winter ready? Or perhaps you’re looking out thinking your patio area could do with a total revamp? Either way, the team at Bernie’s Gardening Services can help. Contact us today for a free paving quote!