You would never venture out into the harsh winter weather without proper protection, and your outdoor living space needs the same attention. Winter temperatures can be harsh and not just on your plants, shrubs, trees, and lawn. Your winter hardscapes can also be marred when ice and snow arrive. A few common-sense tips can help protect your hardscapes from costly damages this year. This is our definitive guide to protect your outdoor living space against the harsh conditions that the winter weather brings.

Try to Stay Away from Harsh Chemicals and Rock Salt

The ice and snow of winter may cause cracking, separation, and buckling of bricks and pavers, but using chemical deicers can be just as bad. Keep to environmentally safe products. This will still provide you with deicing solutions but will also help protect your hardscape. For concrete deicing use sodium-free ice melt products. Sand is another great way to protect your hardscape this winter.

Make the Most of a Warm Day

Take advantage of a “warm” winter day to clean up your yard. That way you can remove debris and clean walkways and patios without putting yourself or your hardscape at risk. Letting the weather naturally melt snow and ice is better than chipping away at it. Warmer days are also a good time to apply a layer of sand or winter protection products. Remember to pull any weeds that have grew so that they don’t get bigger and cause cracks and separation in between pavers.

Shovel with Care

When shoveling is absolutely necessary on your hardscape, stick to a rubber-edged shovel. Shovels with metal blades can scratch or chip your hardscapes. Also, try to avoid plowing away snow on top of your pavers or patio to prevent damage to your investment.

Clear Out Your Drains

During the winter months, you’ll want to keep any and all outdoor drains clear and open to avoid letting snow and debris pile up on top of your hardscape.

Redirect Potential Water Runoff

Inspect your outdoor surfaces to make sure water won’t get trapped in areas, as the snow begins to melt. Not only can water runoff become a dangerous trip hazard once it refreezes, but it can also damage your pavers as previously mentioned.