We haven’t had tremendous amounts of snow here on the valley floor in Reno, but we are heading into the coldest months of the year. And while patio maintenance may be the last thing on your mind with just a few weeks to Christmas, it’s information worth having. Pavers are a beautiful upgrade to patios, walkways, and driveways. If you’re fortunate enough to have pavers, keep in mind that freeze-thaw cycles in our area can be hard on these and other outdoor landscaping features. Fortunately, a little TLC goes a long way. Harris Landcape Construction in Reno shares these three tips for maintaining pavers in cold Reno weather.
Make Sure They’re Properly Sealed
A good paver sealant is designed to add a protective layer between pavers and the elements – and that includes the cold and the heat. This layer protects against weather-related chips, scrapes, and erosion. An added bonus of sealers is water repellency, which keeps the stones from seeping moisture. In the winter especially this is important, since water and ice can do major damage inside the individual pavers.
There are many sealer options out there, including penetrating formulas for better absorption or those made with grit to create a non-slip benefit. For advice and recommendations on which sealant is right for your paver features, contact Harris Landscape Construction. We can offer our suggestions and even prepare an estimate to complete the work for you if that’s your preference. While it’s not an overly difficult project, there are a few steps involved in sealing pavers and it can be time consuming. Keep in mind, however, that the weather needs to be amenable as well.
Avoid Products Designed to Melt Ice
Salting surfaces isn’t unusual, and it certainly has its place, as it can hasten the melting process while also providing traction. But it’s bad news for your pavers. Specifically, any salt or ice-melting products you can buy at local hardware store shouldn’t be used on your pavers. These products are corrosive, and not just to the ice! Use these products, and you’ll see the damage that’s been done once the weather warms up in the spring. And it’s not just surface damage. Salt in the melting ice can seep into the pavers and freeze again when temperatures drop. That can create unfortunate effects like flaking or discoloration. If you still decide to use a de-icer, make sure to scan the ingredients carefully, and pick another product if salt has been added. A better option is plain old kitty litter.
Clear Them Off
It’s not always possible, but try to clear off your pavers after it snows. Keeping them clear of debris minimizes the risk of stains, so use a big broom to brush away what you can. If there’s too much snow to use a broom, make sure to be careful with the shovel to avoid dinging or scratching your pavers.