When winter rolls in, it brings with it severe conditions that can be harsh on your hardscape. To protect your outdoor living area from damage, it’s important to take steps to winterize your patio. Use the following tips to preserve your patio through the winter and keep it ready for use next spring.
- Clean it: Leaves and other debris that are left behind after the fall can remain on the surface all winter long. This provides an opportunity for mold and mildew to grow. Be sure to clean the entire outdoor area to prep for the winter months. This will keep the surface fresh and inviting season after season.
- Choose the right deicer: Before snow and ice hit, stock up on deicer to keep your pathways clear and safe. But be careful about which deicer you use to winterize your patio. Keep in mind that rock salt and calcium chloride are harsh on concrete. Over time, they can eat away at the surface. Choose sand or a deicer that contains potassium chloride.
- Use a patio-friendly shovel: Metal snow shovels are popular, but they’re not a good choice to winterize your outdoor patio. They can scratch, dent and crack the surface. If you need to clear away powder from the patio, use a plastic shovel or one that features rubberized edges.
- Make repairs: Before the cold weather arrives, inspect your patio for any cracks or holes. Repair these before winter starts. Leaving these open to the harsh winter allows moisture to enter the cracks, which will make them grow.
- Level it: To avoid tripping hazards and damage caused by snow shovels, level any uneven areas of your patio before winter. An uneven surface is likely to worsen over time, so make this repair before the cold season arrives.
- Seal it: If you’d like to create an anti-skid surface, consider using a sealant to winterize your patio. Choose something with grit mixed in to provide traction for the winter season. This is especially helpful for high-traffic areas.
- Store accessories indoors: If you have items on your hardscape that you can move indoors for the winter, consider doing so. Statues or other moveable items that might be damaged by freezing temperatures or excessive moisture might last longer if they don’t have to spend the winter on your patio.
- Light it up: One of the best ways to winterize your patio is to provide sufficient lighting for the darker season. You may want to add motion-sensitive lights or timed lights to ensure your patio and walkways are well-lit for safe traversing in the dark. Accent lights can also add nice ambiance to your outdoor space.
For more information, or for professional assistance winterizing your outdoor patio, contact MSE Hardscape Design and Installation. We specialize in the design, installation, and maintenance of retaining walls, pavers, outdoor kitchens and more. Our experts can help you keep your outdoor oasis looking great year after year. Call today for a consultation: 816-318-8599.