Hardscapes endure wear and tear throughout the year. It’s easy to think of maintaining them during the spring storms or the heavy summer traffic. In the winter, we are content to stay in our homes’ warmth and think little of outdoor spaces. This time of year, Nature’s beastly weather takes its toll on our natural stones. Here are three tips for natural stone care and maintenance through the winter months.
Remove ice from deck pavers before it has a chance to melt. As the ice melts, water seeps into the cracks and pores of the stone. When the temperature drops below freezing again, the water expands as it turns back to ice. This cycle can occur daily, widening gaps in pavers and cracking the stones.
Even though some surfaces are more vulnerable than others, the truth is that natural stones are somewhat porous; therefore, they are vulnerable to damage from ice during winter. Fortunately, there is a great solution to prevent this problem: stone sealing. Sealing is the best way to protect your stone. With a quality sealer, you can keep water from seeping into the surface and cause long-term damage.
When a layer of ice builds up on your deck pavers, many homeowners immediately go for the chemical solution. This can be detrimental to the sealant and stone beneath. Many chemicals are corrosive to natural stone. Check the manufacturer’s label to see if it is recommended for use on the type of stone in your outdoor living space. When in doubt, check with the supplier of your hardscaping materials for the best solution. If you cannot determine a safe way to de-ice your walkway, use sand for better traction over the ice.
Winter means cold temperatures and ice. While your home may feel like the frigid arctic, below the surface, it’s preparing to wage an all-out war against your hardscape floor. Follow these tips and prolong the life of your investment and outdoor living space.