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How to Care for Your Hardscape During Winter

It’s Simple: Follow Our Professional Advice!

Not only are winters in northern New Jersey bitterly cold, but they also have a tendency to dump piles of snow on us. And while the first snowfall of the year tends to look quite beautiful, the effect it has on our outdoor hardscaping year after year can truly take its toll. Our experts at Tribeca Masonry have seen the damage Mother Nature unleashes on homes with walkway pavers in Bergen County. We’ve seen pavement cracks and nature’s stains leave their marks—and those marks aren’t pretty! But fear not! Our team is here to offer tips to care for your hardscaping, patios and walkway pavers this winter.

Ready, Set, GO…Safeguard Your Patios & Pavers Now

While we can’t control the weather and how it affects our homes and outdoor living spaces, we can take certain measures that will protect our patios and other outdoor spaces. Here are some answers to our clients’ most asked questions regarding winter care for patios and pavers.

Will rock salt damage my walkway?

When it comes to concrete pavers, most rock salt is somewhat safe to use. However, keep in mind that years of continued rock salt application will eventually take its toll and can produce stains to the concrete. Tips for overcoming this damage include putting the rock salt or calcium chloride down in layers. Place it down in light layers before the storm and then again during the storm. As soon as possible post-storm, rinse the pavers of any salt that has accumulated.

Stone pavers also do fairly well with rock salt, but can develop the same white residue after years of salt application. One tip for stone pavers is to switch to calcium magnesium acetate for your ice melting needs. It is a more earth-friendly, less abrasive option for your stone hardscape. However, just be a tad cautious as it can become slippery. You also may consider sealing your pavers or simply upgrading to Unilock pavers (which come with built-in protection against rock salt and slippery surfaces). Again, it’s always a good idea to rinse salt off pavers with water as soon as you can.

How do I prevent cracks in my patio?

If you’re starting to see cracks in your outdoor hardscape, you might consider sealing your patio to prevent further erosion. Sealing offers long-term protection for your pavers and walkways. Clear, solvent-based sealants help protect your patio from water damage and erosion that happens each and every winter. The team at Tribeca is well educated in sealants and patio protection and can help you with any questions you might have in this area. Just call us!

How do I clean my stone pavers?

While natural stone is quite durable, there comes a time when cleaning your pavers is necessary. Cleaning your stone pavers will depend on the type of stain you are trying to clean. For example, grease stains left by a grill normally clean up well when scrubbed with dish soap and water. You can clean oil stains with a similar method. Just remember to let the solution sit for a good 20 minutes before scrubbing and then rinse often with warm water.

For stubborn grease stains, try a half-cup of ammonia mixed with one gallon of warm water. Rinse often after cleaning.

Stains such as animal droppings, leaf marks and food stains can be handled with a half-cup of bleach mixed with one gallon of water. Wear protective eye gear and scrub well until the stain dissipates. As with all paver cleanings, always rinse the entire area thoroughly once you are done cleaning.

Follow These Snow Tips, Too

As you take care to safeguard your hardscaping this season, don’t forget that proper snow shoveling is also important! Melting snow leads to pavers expanding and contracting, which is what creates paver cracks. Remember to shovel walkways and patios frequently; use plastic shovels on pavers to avoid scraping; and utilize a snowblower when possible to protect surfaces!

As always, Tribeca Masonry, your area’s leading retaining wall builder in Bergen County, is always available to offer tips and help you boost your curb appeal! Happy winter, friends!