As the days get shorter and the temperature starts to drop, it’s important to take steps to protect your hardscapes from harsh winter weather. Snow and ice can damage sidewalks, driveways and other paved surfaces, so it’s important to take precautions before the cold weather hits.
There are many things you can do to protect your hardscapes from winter weather, and this article will provide some timely ideas to help you.
What is a Hardscape?
A hardscape is an outdoor feature made from man-made materials, such as concrete, stone, asphalt or brick. Hardscapes can include sidewalks, driveways, patios and other features. They are often used to improve the appearance and functionality of a property.
What Kind of Damage Can Winter Inflict Upon Hardscapes?
Moisture can adversely affect hardscapes in many ways. It can cause the materials to expand and contract, which can lead to cracking and other damage. Moisture can also cause surfaces to become slippery and create a safety hazard. In addition, moisture can cause mold and mildew to grow, which can damage the surface of the hardscape and create an unhealthy environment.
Freezing can cause hardscape materials to break and crumble. It can also cause water to freeze in small cracks and gaps, which can expand and cause even more damage. In addition, ice can create a weight load that is too much for hardscape materials to bear, leading to collapse.
How to Best Protect Hardscapes Before Winter
1. Check Water Runoff Situation
Water runoff is a common problem during winter weather when snow and ice can quickly melt and create large puddles of water. This can be a serious problem for hardscapes, as the water can seep into cracks and damage the material. In addition, the weight of the water can cause stones to become dislodged and sidewalks to buckle.
Therefore, it is important to take steps to protect hardscapes from water runoff. One way to do this is to ensure that gutters and drainage systems are clear of debris. In addition, sloping hardscapes away from buildings can help to reduce the amount of runoff.
2. Store Statues and Fountains
Yard ornaments are easier to protect by storing them in a location that won’t be exposed to the harsh extremes of winter weather rather than leaving them in place. This will save you time and money by removing the need for additional heat and covering to prevent damage.
3. Fill in Cracks in Concrete and Masonry Components
Concrete and masonry components are particularly vulnerable to damage from freezing and thawing cycles. When water seeps into cracks and then freezes, it expands and causes the cracks to widen, which can lead to structural damage.
Regular inspection of sidewalks, driveways, patios and other hardscape items will reveal maintenance issues that can be repaired when the weather is favorable. It’s important to fill in any cracks in concrete or masonry components before the cold weather sets in.
This will help seal out moisture and prevent the cracks from widening. In addition, it’s a good idea to apply a protective sealant to hardscape surfaces. It will provide an extra layer of protection against the elements and help extend the life of your hardscapes.
Make Sure Masonry and Concrete Cracks are Repaired and Sealed with DRYLOK®
Fixing Cracks in Hardscape Masonry and Concrete
Before using DRYLOK Extreme, it is necessary to repair any cracks in your masonry.
For cracks up to ¼ inches wide and deep, DRYLOK Masonry Crack Filler provides an excellent fix. The product sets quickly, is ready to use out of the container, contains silicone caulk for additional strength and durability and can be painted to match concrete colors if desired once dry.
In addition, it resists bleeding and cleans up easily with soap and water. If you prefer a liquid product, try DRYLOK Pourable Masonry Crack Filler.
Waterproofing Hardscape Masonry and Concrete
DRYLOK Extreme Concrete and Masonry Waterproofer is a multipurpose waterproofing solution that can be used inside or outside, on grade or above/below ground. It’s guaranteed to withstand water pressures of up to 15 psi and hurricane winds in excess of 140 mph. In addition, it is also resistant to mildew on the dry paint surface. It works on the following surfaces:
Cinder and concrete blocks
Guaranteed to stop water leakage, our proprietary formula also comes with a fully-transferable 15-year warranty. Not only does it prevent damage caused by water infiltration, but it’s also easy to clean up with soap and water!
Ways to Lessen the Effects of Winter
Though nature may seem unyielding at times, there are things you can do to reduce the potential damage from harsh winter weather:
1. Use a Snowblower or Shovel to Keep Hardscapes Clear
Winter weather can be tough on hardscapes like driveways, sidewalks and patios. To protect your hardscapes, it’s important to clear them regularly of snow and ice. This can be done with a snowblower or shovel.
Snowblowers are a quick and easy way to remove snow, but they can be expensive and require gasoline or electricity. Shovels are less expensive and don’t require any special fuel, but are more labor-intensive.
2. Avoid Using Salts
When it comes to protecting hardscapes in harsh winter weather, one of the worst things you can do is use salt to melt snow and ice. Salt may seem like an easy and effective solution, but it can actually cause a lot of damage to concrete, asphalt and other types of hardscaping.
Salt can cause pitting and etching, as well as corrosion and staining. In addition, it can also track into your home or business, causing damage to carpets and floors. There are a number of alternative products, like heating mats or sand, that are just as effective at melting snow and ice without the risks associated with salt.
Find the Best Protection for Hardscapes with DRYLOK
Plus, our products are backed by solid warranties, so you can rest assured your investment is protected. Contact us today to learn more about our products and find a retail location near you.