Another New England winter is on the horizon and the worry of snow removal after those beloved snow storms is beginning to creep into our thoughts. Something else to keep in the back of your mind is how to keep the hardscape on your property in good shape from the damage snow plows and shovels can do. Here are a few easy ways to get rid of that endless snow while ensuring that your patios, walkways, and driveways stay protected and ready for spring!
- If the snow isn’t too heavy or collecting slowly, use a broom to push the snow off of walkways and decks. The bristles are much easier on hardscape and wood than a shovel or plow. The metal bottoms of shovels, plows, and snow blowers can leave scratches, while the much softer bristles on a broom are harmless.
- Add a plastic blade protector to your snow plow or plastic or polyurethane shoe to a snow blower. Again, steel and other metals can scrape and chip pavers, leaving them prematurely worn and damaged. Plastic shovels are less damaging. Shoveling more frequently throughout a storm rather than waiting for all the snow to accumulate is better, as it lowers the chance of ice forming which can be more difficult and damaging to remove.
- Some snow removal and ice melting agents can have chemicals in them that are harmful to hardscaped surfaces. The constant freezing and thawing can create cracks in asphalt and concrete. One way to prevent new or spreading cracks is to fill them before the cold weather comes. When getting pavers or hardscape installed, make sure to ask the best way to remove ice, as certain brands suggest different methods and chemicals that are safer for their products. Salt tends to not be good when used on pavers because it can create cracks with the constant freezing and thawing over the course of a winter season.
- The best advice we have to give is… seal your pavers! Sealing pavers prevents water damage and erosion. Sealers create a barrier between the damaging weather and your precious pavers. This protective layer also stops pavers from cracking, a huge culprit in paver damage over the winter.
The winter season can be tough for many of us, especially in New England. Make sure the spring time is that much better when the snow melts to reveal undamaged, beautiful hardscape ready for use all summer long!