After an unusually warm December, the weather outside has officially become frightful. While the fires inside are indeed delightful, your outdoor fire pit and other hardscaping features are left out to brave the elements. Hardscaping care is generally limited to clearing debris and giving it the occasional cleaning, but when winter rolls around, there’s a lot more to keep in mind. Here are some things to take action on and be aware of as the snow falls on your hardscaping.
Snow and Ice Damage
Often overlooked, snow and ice hold the potential to be quite destructive to hardscaping features. Landscaping experts often warn of the dangers of the freeze/thaw cycle. During the daytime, when temperatures rise, accumulated snow or ice will melt. Then at night, temperatures drop, and the water re-freezes. You might remember from chemistry class that water expands when it freezes. So when that melted water seeps into pores and cracks in your hardscaping and then freezes and expands, it’s likely to create cracks or worsen existing ones. It’s important to shovel thoroughly to avoid these freeze/thaw problems.
You’ll notice that we said to shovel thoroughly, not just remove ice thoroughly. De-icing salts and chemicals are certainly convenient and effective, but at what cost? Many salts and chemicals used to remove ice are actually quite corrosive to hardscaping materials like concrete and natural stone. Not to mention that, in addition to this, the melted results are full of chemicals that are harmful to the environment and potentially other features of your landscaping. We recommend consulting with the manufacturer or a landscaping expert before using de-icing agents.
Treat Your Hardscaping Gently
Along with each of the above, it’s important to give your hardscaping some wintertime lovin’ to make sure it stays in optimal shape. Fill in any cracks before the snow hits to prevent freeze/thaw damage. Shovel thoroughly but carefully, avoiding nicking raised edges with the sharp tip of a metal shovel. Give it a seal coat if you haven’t in a while. Treat your landscaping features well and they’ll treat you well in return.
Get Started With Evergreen Gene’s!
Want to learn more about the benefits of landscaping? Visit Evergreen Gene’s at our location on Crain Highway. Can’t make it out but still have a question? Not to worry; call us at 410.766.6877 or click here today.