If you dress for it, winter can be one of the best times to get outside. This means your patio, walkways & driveways can still be enjoyed. But, if you don't care for them properly, you might not get the most out of your pavers.
Interlocking pavers don't require much maintenance in general but over the winter, snow, ice, and salt, if not dealt with properly, can wreak havoc on your driveway and patio. Winter salt in excess can cause deterioration while wet snow can freeze between the gaps, causing issues down the road. Don’t let this happen to you! Follow these tips to get the most out of your interlocking pavement during the winter months:
It’s important to ensure that the products being installed on your property meet certain standards and will uphold the test of time in all weather conditions. That’s why we at Tree Amigo’s Landscaping use mainly Unilock® pavers. They are durable and designed with high compressive strength with some of the lowest water absorption levels in the industry. This ensures the pavers will not absorb and trap water, minimizing the risk of freezing and expanding.
Most good quality pavers do not require sealing, but some owners choose to apply a transparent sealer to enhance the colour, give them a glossier look and to prevent substances from penetrating the surface. Sealed pavers are easier to keep clean and only require re-applying every two or three years.
If you decide to seal your pavers, it’s a good idea to seal in the warmer, dryer months for maximum effectiveness. That way, the sealer will help protect the stone from the elements and keep it looking beautiful for years to come.
When the need to de-ice your driveway & walkways arise, use only what you need and don’t overdo it. An excessive amount of any ice melt product can cause discoloration and damage to your pavers, even if they are sealed. Avoid using magnesium-based products as they are very aggressive and may cause damage to the surface of your pavers. You can, however, use ordinary rock salt to melt away the ice and snow. It's just as effective without the risk of damage. Caution should still be used as sodium chloride can damage grass & plants so only use what you need in the areas you need it.
If you've got a lot of snow, don't try to remove it all at once. Instead, start by sweeping away the light stuff with your broom. If there's only a little bit of snow on your pavement, use a leaf blower instead—it'll save you time!
If you get out there early enough and sweep your pavement clean before it turns into ice, then in many cases you won't have to shovel or plow at all.
A plastic shovel is always the way to go when shovelling your pavers and will ensure they look as lovely in the spring as they did in the fall before the snow and ice got to them. Shovels with metal blades can scratch the surface of your pavers and may even cause chips & cracks. They can also leave behind fragments of metal that will create rust stains and streaks over time.
Cleaning your snowblower's skid shoes is an important part of winterizing your equipment so that it will last for years to come. Skids should be cleaned at least once per season—more often if you live in an area with lots of snow or if the weather has been particularly cold or wet. You can tell when they need cleaning because they'll become worn down and rough after repeated use over time and with each pass-through and can cause damage to your interlocking paving. Better yet, put plastic blade covers on your snowblower and you’ll never have to worry about damaging your pavers.
If all of this sounds like too much work, you can always incorporate a snow melt system like a heated driveway underneath your pavers. Heated driveways and walkways can save a lot of time consuming and sometimes back-breaking work to clear your pavers of ice and snow. They are an excellent way to help prolong the life of your pavers and protect you from slips and falls at the same time. Floor heating manufacturers in your area can help you find the right products for your particular project.
We hope that this blog has given you the information you need to keep your interlocking paving in great shape for years to come. If it’s time for a new installation, Tree Amigos can help with that too! Give us a call today at 905-468-9557, or head over to our website to request a quote.