Winter can be hard on all parts of your home and landscape, but many forget how hard winter can be on their hardscaping. There are a variety of threats that winter weather can create. Snow and ice have the potential to cause cracks, soil compaction, and erosion that results in severe damage to infrastructure. De-icer can also cause corrosion of your hardscaping, and it damages your plant life. Last but not least, shoveling and plowing create damage as well. But don’t start panicking just yet, there are several ways to prevent and minimize all of the problems winter throws at you!
Learn About Deicer
When it comes to a deicing solution, most homeowners have a lot to learn. Some ingredients like calcium chloride and sodium chloride cause corrosion in concrete. Other options like plain sand, cat litter, or anything with potassium chloride are just as effective without the damage.
Choose The Right Shovel
Many opt for metal tipped shovels, which can be great for helping to get up as much of the snow and ice as possible, but they can be incredibly damaging to hardscaping. When metal edges catch in untreated cracks (of any size), they can cause the cracks to widen and worsen. Sometimes, metal-tipped shovels can even scratch and cause cracks in concrete. Switching to a rubber tipped or softer option is a much safer choice.
Repair Cracks Early
As snow and ice melt and then re-freeze, existing cracks can be made significantly worse. Additionally, these previous cracks can be caught by shovels, become tripping hazards, and cause other damage. Ensure that repairs are done early so that you head into winter without needing to worry about existing damage.
Keep It Level
Having an uneven pathway is a danger no matter the season, but when you add in ice and snow, the risk of injury gets even higher. If your landscaping needs to be re-leveled, make sure the job is complete before the first snowfall.
Seal It Up
Some hardscaping features such as patios and walkways need to be sealed regularly to prevent damage and increase the lifespan. If you have a feature that requires a sealant, make sure that it is taken care of before winter gets far underway. Each sealant has a different lifespan, so make sure to check in with the sealer you used and your landscaper to ensure that your features are ready for the season.
Some sealants have the option of a gritty finish that can be a significant benefit to high traffic areas when winter strikes. For front walkways and any oft traversed sections, using a high grit sealer can help improve the lifespan and the safety of your hardscaping.
For hardscaping features that are movable and delicate, like statues or fountains, having a storage plan may be best. Being put away from the snow and ice may help to ensure that the lifespan is longer and help keep you on top of other maintenance–such as any winter outdoor water supply care.
CALL IN THE PROFESSIONALS FOR YOUR LANDSCAPING NEEDS
Evergreen Gene’s offers professional landscaping and maintenance services through the state of Maryland. We are here to make sure your gardens and grounds look as beautiful as possible year-round. Interested in how we can help your garden look its best? Give us a call at (410) 766-6877 or visit us online. To see examples of our work and get more helpful gardening tips, follow us on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Houzz, and Twitter.