How To Safely Remove Ice & Snow From Your Pavers


Pavers are a beautiful upgrade to patios, walkways, and driveways, and part of their appeal is low maintenance. But what happens when it snows? We’ve already had a decent snowstorm here on the valley floor that left well over half a foot of snow in some areas, and even without snow, there are freeze-thaw cycles to consider. Here, the experts at Harris Landscape Construction in Reno break down exactly how to safely remove ice and snow from your pavers so you can keep them looking their best.

Be Very Careful With De-Icing Agents

If you’re the type to liberally sprinkle salts or ice-melting products, proceed with caution. Most of the salt and de-icing agents you can buy at local hardware store shouldn’t be used on your pavers. They’re corrosive to the ice, but to your pavers as well, and there’s an environmental consideration that’s difficult to overlook. These products can do more than just surface damage too, since salt in the melting ice could seep into your pavers and freeze again when temperatures drop. That leads to issues like flaking or discoloration. If you insist on using a de-icing agents, stay away from rock salt and products made with magnesium. Some manufacturers suggest using calcium magnesium acetate (CMA) but are careful to advise doing so sparingly and removing the excess once the ice and snow have melted. Keep in mind that surrounding turf, plants and any aquatic features are susceptible to the use of de-icers as well.

Clear Them Off

If possible, clear off your pavers after it snows. That will help minimize the risk of stains. Avoid the shovel if you can. A big broom is the better option, but if there’s too much snow for that, use a shovel with a plastic head. If you’re using a plow or snow blower, make sure they have a rubber and polyurethane cutting edge or plastic shoes to minimize the risk of damage.

Make Sure They’re Properly Sealed

If you haven’t had your pavers sealed yet, make a plan to do so when the weather warms up. Sealants are designed to add a protective layer between pavers and the elements, including, yes, the cold (and the heat), that protects against weather-related chips, scrapes, and erosion. Sealants also repel water. That’s particularly important during the winter, when thawing ice means water can seep into the pavers, freeze when the temperature drops again, and then expand, which can cause damage. If you’ve used any kind of de-icing agent, this is exactly how it can make its way into your pavers and lead to the flaking and discoloration we discussed above.

The Bottom Line

For advice and recommendations on which sealant is right for your pavers, contact the team at Harris Landscape Construction. We can offer our suggestions and even prepare an estimate to complete the work for you. Sealing pavers isn’t overly difficult project, but there are a few steps involved in sealing pavers and it can take time. If you have specific questions about keeping your pavers in shape this winter, or you’re already thinking about landscaping projects for 2024, we’re happy to help. Contact Harris Landscape Construction today!

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