Your patio is an integral part of your home. Whether you use it to sunbathe in the Summer, host parties in the Spring or decorate it with ornaments for Christmas, it can be both practical and enjoyable. So, how do you make sure it stays strong and durable?
The Winter weather can be harsh on your patio and when it’s not cared for properly, damage can eventually occur. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to ensure your patio paving is protected. Take a look at some simple tips to protect your paving in winter below.
What damages paving stones?
Before you can adequately protect your paving in Winter, it’s important to understand the threats that can arise. One of the most common reasons that paving stone is damaged is due to rainfall. We tend to get more rain, hail and snow during the Winter months, and this can take its toll on paving stones.
There are many ways that water can damage your paving in winter. Firstly, a build-up of water can cause algae to grow and this makes the surface of the stone slippery to walk upon.
Of course, there’s also a threat to paving from cold weather. Water is more likely freeze on top of stone during the Winter which is also a hazard for anyone to walk on. If there are any holes in your paving stone, water can also seep through and freeze. This can potentially expand the stone enough to create cracks immediately or over a period of time.
On top of that, simply having water on materials like slate can make them extremely slippery all year around. However, walking on your patio while it’s raining is sometimes unavoidable. So, how do you keep your patio intact and yourself out of danger?
One of the best solutions to these problems is to keep your patio as dry as possible. A patio awning can protect your paving stone from rain and snow and ensure it isn’t slippery when you need to walk across it. A patio awning is a protective sheet of fabric that you can purchase in a range of sizes. You can even have an awning specially designed to fit your patio’s size and shape.
An awning can also provide shade during the Summer months and it can be retracted on days when the patio is in use. Naturally, the cost of an awning varies, depending on the type and size.
Seal your paving in winter
It’s a good idea to place sealant on your paving in Winter months. Sealant is fairly easy to apply so you won’t require a professional to do the job. However, if you’re having a new patio installed, you can ask for sealant to be applied as part of the installation. Sealing your patio will make sure the stone is protected from developing stains from rainwater.
It can also prevent water penetration which stops water from freezing and cracking your paving in cold weather. Sealant can even protect against erosion, making your slabs more durable throughout harsher weather.
Fill in cracks in your paving
Even tiny cracks can become a big problem over time and Winter weather can make them worse quicker than you might thing. You can purchase paving filler to fix small cracks and protect your stone from rainfall.
However, bigger cracks will need to be dealt with in a different way. You may need to seek the advice of a professional before making a decision about repairing cracks.
Some stones may need to be removed and replaced. Without doing this, you run the risk of further cracks in your patio or too much water pooling underneath the slabs. Cracking, uneven ground and unsightly damage are all signs that your stones or slabs need replacing.
Stone like Indian Limestone is often easy to replace when there’s a crack. A professional will be able to take the cracked stone and replace it with a new one. However, replacing concrete is far more complicated. Concrete stones may need to be smashed apart before they can be removed, which usually means the entire patio has to be replaced.
Maintain your paving before cold weather
Every patio requires some kind of maintenance. Keeping your patio clean throughout the rest of the year will go a long way towards keeping it strong throughout the Winter. You may need to scrub your slabs every three months to deter stains or algae. You can also sweep away leaves or debris so there’s nothing that can help water to pool in one place.
During the Winter months, you may need to work to maintain your patio more often than you would at other times of the year. Clearing snow away from your paving in Winter can help to make sure water doesn’t penetrate any small cracks. You can also grit your patio to keep ice from freezing or clear the ice when you have a particularly cold spell.
Choose the right paving for cold weather
There are some patio materials that are much better at enduring through the Winter than others. Choosing the right patio can be the difference between you having your patio for decades or having to replace your patio every decade.
If you’re worried about your patio surviving harsh weather, it’s a good idea to get some advice from a professional. There are many different materials to choose from, so knowing which ones are good at lasting through significant rainfall and freezing temperatures will help you narrow down your decision.
Let us help
At Infinite Paving, our team are experts in patio materials and maintenance. We can advise you on which paving stones will remain durable through the Winter and point you in the right direction.
Get in touch with us today and we’ll answer your questions as quickly as possible. You can call us on 0117 926 9020 or use our handy contact form and we’ll get back to you.