Man removing snow from pavers with a large plastic shovel

How to Maintain Hardscapes When the Winter Weather is Bad

We’re still in the grasp of winter here in mid-Missouri, and we know that winter can be hard on landscaping. When it comes to maintaining hardscapes, the formation of significant cracks or chips in all types of paving stones can be really bad. 

Still, when you are careful to do proper hardscape maintenance in the wintertime, it will pay dividends when warmer weather returns. Rather than doing all kinds of springtime repairs, you’ll be able to get right to the important business of enjoying your outdoor living spaces and your backyard. 

The following tips will help you do the right things to maintain your hardscapes during the winter.

1. Shovel it off

During strong winter storm patterns, it can seem as though shoveling your driveway is a daunting task. Here at Lake of the Ozarks, lots of our homes are built on hills, so we’ve got to clean off the drive in order to get out.

Nonetheless, if you stay ahead of the snow piling up it will actually be easier to maintain your hardscapes throughout the rest of the year. This is because when the pavers in your driveway and backyard hardscapes are clear of snow and ice, they less likely to incur damage from freeze-thaw cycles.

This is particularly true when you have more porous landscape stone because it’s easier for water to seep into them. Then when the water freezes and expands it will cause cracks. So, whether you choose a broom, shovel, or snow-blower as your weapon of choice, removing the snow from your patio, walkways, and driveway is very important. 

Just remember that if you use a shovel, make sure it’s a plastic snow shovel or one that’s rubber-tipped. We strongly recommend that you not use a metal shovel, as it can easily mar and cause chips in bricks, pavers, and stone.

2. Remove Ice from Hardscapes

As you are working on your snow removal you may discover some areas covered in ice. Icy areas beneath the snow create a hazard, especially on concrete sidewalks or stone walkways. You don’t want visitors or family members slipping and falling. Chipping the ice away can be difficult so many people turn to salt or sand to de-ice frozen patches.

However, we encourage you to check with a professional or research the product you’re using and its effects on hardscapes. Some de-icers can harm pavers, concrete, or stone. While you’re dealing with ice you should seek to discover how the excess water ended up on your patio or walk. Is there a leaking gutter or downspout draining where it shouldn’t? 

These are common culprits, allowing the water runoff from your roof to go where you don’t want it. Make mental note so you can repair your gutters or downspouts in the spring, or have a contractor check it for you.

3. Repair any Cracks

After you have cleared your driveway, patio, and walkways of all the snow and ice it’s time to check for cracks. Contrary to what you may expect, the winter months are actually the optimum time to deal with those cracks.

If you fill the crack with paver sand, it will defend against more snow and ice from seeping into the paving stones. And this prevents those small fissures from becoming larger.

If you will do this simple fix all winter long when spring arrives your bricks and landscaping pavers will look excellent!

Broom sweeping polymeric sand into cracks between hardscape pavers

Call Heartland Landscape Group for your hardscape needs!

Heartland Landscape Group is a full-service landscape design-and-build firm that provides top-quality services to Lake of the Ozarks and surrounding areas. 

We’re proud of the exceptional work we perform every day for our customers. This is a great time to plan and schedule your spring landscaping projects, so give us a call!

Our services include custom hardscaping and landscaping services, creative stonework, patios, walkways, water features, and more. You can also count on us for the lake’s top-quality landscape and hardscape construction for residential and commercial properties. 

Visit our website, give us a call, and follow us on Facebook for more information.

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