Patio maintenance is essential during Canada’s harsh winters. Whether your patio is made of stone, wood, or another material, it will benefit greatly from some TLC before old man winter blows in. By following our advice you’ll ensure that your patio remains free of stains, mildew, rot, or damage for years to come. Even better: when warm weather returns you’ll be able to start enjoying your pristine patio right away. Take these 8 steps for winter patio maintenance and thank yourself this spring.
Sweep Away Debris to Prevent Staining on Your Deck
When leaves are allowed to sit for too long they can cause unsightly stains on your deck. Other debris can also cause staining or surface damage. Use an outdoor broom to sweep away this threat.
As patio season winds down, clear as much furniture and clutter as possible from your deck. This way you’ll have a much easier time clearing debris throughout the winter.
Wash Your Patio…Carefully
Mild soap and water can be used to wash your patio before and after winter. Patio cleaning products can also be purchased to remove stains and algae buildup.
Some people use pressure washers to clear debris from their patio but beware: too much pressure can damage your patio.
Use a Suitable Shovel to Clear Snow
You’re going to want to keep your patio free of snow during the winter months, but clearing it with a metal shovel can cause chips or cracks. Use a rubber or plastic shovel head instead and get the job done without damaging your deck.
Use an Awning or Downspouts to Minimize Water Accumulation on Your Patio
Your patio should not resemble a pool. Keep it dry by covering it with an awning. Not only will this keep snow and drizzle away in wintertime, but it will also keep you dry on rainy afternoons this spring.
Downspouts can also be used to send water elsewhere. Ensure that gutters are free from debris and that downspouts are pointed away from your patio.
Take your pooling prevention protocol one step further by levelling the surrounding lawn and garden areas. This will prevent pooling which can spill onto the patio.
Trim Overhanging Branches to Prevent a Hazard
Heavy branches can break under the weight of snow and ice. The ensuing crash landing can cause damage to your patio (or whoever happens to be standing on it at the time). Best to trim these branches instead.
If climbing a ladder in the dead of winter is not your idea of a good time, be proactive and clear overhanging branches during the warmer months.
Replace Stone Sealant Every Three Years or So
Recall your grade school science class: what happens to water when it freezes? If you said that it expands, move to the front of the class. When that expansion occurs in the nooks and crannies of your patio the result will be widening gaps and cracks. (For proof of concept, see: Canadian highways).
It’s a good idea to apply stone sealant to your patio every three years or so. Not only will this prevent cracks from forming or expanding, but it will also bring out the colours in your stone.
Go Easy on the Salt
Patios aren’t potato chips, so they don’t pair especially well with salt. While it’s an effective way of melting ice, salt can also corrode stone or even damage mortar. This can create an eyesore as well as a tripping hazard. If the salt water reaches your garden it can cause even more damage.
Rubber anti-slip mats are a good alternative, provided that you periodically clean the mats and the surfaces that they cover. Sand can also be a great anti-slip substance for your patio.
Store Patio Furniture Elsewhere If Possible
Those with garages, sheds or other storage spaces would do well to move their barbecues, chairs, and tables out of harm’s way for the winter. If that’s not possible consider tarping your metal furniture and using a wire brush to remove rust. Think twice, however, before covering wood furniture, as moisture can lead to cracks or mould.
Winter patio maintenance means spring patio relaxation. After these eight pieces of advice have been heeded, the only thing left to do is to wait for warmer weather. You’ll be enjoying your outdoor living space with friends and family without having to leave your own address.
Davel’s interlocking stone patios, walkways, and driveways are both durable and beautiful. We also provide pergolas, pavilions, outdoor kitchens, and other quality exterior renovations. Our innovative 3D design process allows you to experience your new and improved yard before we even begin!
Whether you’re entertaining loved ones or enjoying the solace of solitude, there’s no better place to enjoy the sun than in your own backyard! Not only will you enjoy your new renovations, but you’ll also add value to your home.
Contact Davel Construction for a free consultation today!