While it may seem like a chore, keeping on top of your paving over the winter months is hugely important. Winter can bring in treacherous weather conditions like rain, snow, wind and storms that can bring all kinds of dirt and debris onto your paving.
Frequent maintenance of your paving will ensure that the beautiful natural stones make it through the winter period without any damage or too much to clean come spring/summer 2023. There are numerous jobs that you must consistently complete to make sure that your paving stones stay in the best possible condition, no matter the weather.
1 - Sweep the patio
As you would imagine, over the colder months of the year it is extremely common to come across the extreme wind. The wind is well and truly kryptonite when it comes to trying to keep your paving clean as it continuously blows dirt, debris, leaves and more onto the paving stones. With the unpredictability of the British winter, it is impossible to keep on top of the mess caused by the wind, but regularly sweeping and particularly after big episodes of wind can help to keep it tidy.
In the early winter and late autumn time, leaves will fall extremely often. If allowed to sit on your paving too long then they could start to decay. When leaves decay they release a substance called tannin which is an extremely strong dye. This dye if left on your paving stones can stain the stone. This would be disastrous as it can prove extremely tough to get off.
Constantly staying on top of sweeping your paving will also help to ensure that no mould, bacteria or fungus is formed over the winter months.
2 - Wash paving now and again
If you follow all of the advice that we give you in this article then this tip may not be all that important. However, it is always a good idea to give your paving a clean down now and again.
Cleaning most paving stones is very simple, all that you need is a bucket of soapy water and a brush so that you can work the soapy water into the stone to get rid of all the dirt. Remember to always rinse off the soapy water after use for the best cleaning.
Pressure washing your patio is also another extremely effective way to get rid of any dirt or loose debris extremely effectively. However, you should always keep the nozzle over 1 foot away from the paving stone to avoid damage.
3 - Never use salt on the patio surfaces
During the colder months and early frosts, some paving stones can become very slippery. So it could be a good idea to use grit or grit alternatives. One that is commonly used to help counteract slippery surfaces is salt.
However, you should never use salt on your natural stone paving. It is typically used on slippery surfaces as it can rapidly melt ice and therefore stop slippery surfaces. However, when used on natural stone surfaces the salt can be very abrasive and can often cause damage such as cracks to the natural stone's surface.
As an alternative to salt, you could try using a thin layer of sand to help melt the ice and provide some under-the-foot grip. Another option is to use a salt-free deicing substance.
4 - Move around plant pots
Plant pots are a beautiful addition to any patio area, however, they can become a huge problem when it comes to cleaning your paved area. More often than not people miss small spots such as under or behind pots. If constantly missed then the dirt and bacteria would build up and become an even bigger problem.
When you give your paving patio a clean, you must move around small objects like plant pots and even patio furniture as there can often be dirt and debris being hidden. This kind of detail is often neglected. If neglected for too long then you can suffer from a huge build-up of plant matter and dirt behind the pots which can both stain your paving stone and also be a breeding ground for bacteria and mould.
To clean these areas you should simply do exactly what you would with any other area of your patio. Either use a soapy water solution and a brush or use a pressure washer, both will have phenomenal results.
Remove weeds & moss
Weeds are only typically a problem in the spring and summer months. However, what you were probably not aware of is that they tend to start their life cycle in late summer so that they can germinate over the winter before reaching their full growth again in the spring. This is why it is hugely important to stay on top of weed prevention over the winter.
You should look to remove any weeds that are left over from the summer months and also keep an eye out for any new weed growth so that you can eradicate them quickly in the hopes that they will not come back.
Winter is also traditionally when you start to see moss growth. This is because they often build up over wet periods, this moisture also helps moss to grow and reproduce causing an even bigger problem. This is why it is vital to get rid of this moss as soon as you can.