The winter cold is here, but you still have time to bring in your outdoor furniture and displays! You also have time to consider how you’re going to take care of the beautiful hardscaping you have installed outside of your home while you deal with the elements for the next few frigid months.
Hardscaping is any of the man-made features used in your landscaping architecture, such as rocks, bricks, pavement or concrete. Whether you had a project completed in the summer or have the same design for years, there are a few things you can do to keep these hardscape elements looking as beautiful as the day you had them installed.
Things you can do ahead of time
The first thing to consider is your outside decor. Take any outdoor items and place them in a dry and warm area. Things you can’t move, such as fountains or statues, should be emptied, cleaned and securely covered. If you spot any pre-existing cracks or holes, you should fill them with a rubber based sealant. Doing this will repel water and keep cracks and holes from filling up, freezing and possibly expanding.
Also, consider using a sealant on your walkways or stonework before the snow falls. This can help in preventing any cracks from happening over the winter. Lastly, divert any water run-off away from your hardscaping. You don’t want water pooling and freezing where people may walk.
Picking the proper tools
Prevent hardscaping damage by picking the right tools to deal with the elements. Shovels get a lot of use during our winters, so you need to make sure you get one that won’t damage your walkways or driveway. Metal shovels can scratch, gouge or scrape your concrete work. We recommend using a plastic shovel with a rubberized blade edge. And if you’re looking to move up to a snow blower this winter, make sure you grab a model with rubber blades as well.
Another integral part of winter maintenance is the de-icer or salt. A lot of products on the market contain sodium chloride and calcium chloride, which are corrosive to concrete. Instead, try and use sodium-free ice melt or a mixture of plain sand and salt instead.
Other solutions to protect your hardscaping
Clear off your hardscaping surfaces before the snow falls. This will ensure no dirt or debris will get stuck under the first big blanket of snow that falls. Why not let the sun help you out? On warmer days, clear any snow away and let the sun melt the ice. Allowing the sun to melt any ice or snow on your hardscaping is better than chipping away at it. Try and do a walk around your property whenever a nice day happens. It will give you a chance inspect your hardscaping for damage during intense winters.
Winters in Canada can be rough. But by taking these simple steps, your hardscaping will be protected and will be ready to enjoy come spring. Not a DIY person? Looking for hardscaping maintenance or repair? Contact Cedar Grounds Maintenance for a free estimate on your hardscaping needs fit for your home!