The cold season is upon us, and it’s time to winterize your brick porch or patio. If you don’t, your porch or patio might transform into an icy rink of doom, and you certainly don’t want anyone to slip and get hurt! We understand you can’t control the weather, especially during a long, harsh Michigan winter. But you can get your porch or patio ready for that weather.
Check out these four patio and porch winterization tips to protect your paved surfaces and keep everyone on your property safe this winter.
1. Minimize Snow & Ice Accumulation
You should always promptly remove snow and ice from brick paver porches and patios. Allowing snow and ice to accumulate on bricks increases moisture buildup and accelerates deterioration. And when removing snow, avoid metal shovels; use a plastic snow shovel or a metal snow shovel with a plastic blade cover to minimize paver damage.
It’s also smart to inspect your gutter system and see if any downspouts are directing water onto your paved areas. If so, consider redirecting those downspouts with extensions to kick the water farther away from the surface and prevent ice formation.
Lastly, avoid store-bought de-icers, which often contain harsh chemicals that can seep into porous brick pavers and degrade them. And if you use salt to keep ice from accumulating, look for a chloride-free, pet-friendly option.
2. Increase Traction With Sand
As we mentioned in the section above, salt and chemicals in other de-icers can harm your landscaping (even if it’s dormant). Sand is a better alternative for brick paver patios, walkways, and porches—it’s all-natural, chemical-free, and cheaper than dirt! Although sand won’t melt ice, it can help increase traction and reduce slip and falls. Simply shovel and sweep snow off your paved areas regularly, and then spread sand.
3. Place Rugs on Brick Steps & Walkways
If you’re expecting a snow or ice storm, pick up some cheap rugs at the dollar store and spread them out in key locations on your patio or porch. Then, after the storm passes, pick up the rugs, knock off the snow and ice, stack them up, and have them ready for another usage. This will go a long way toward keeping your pavers looking great and keeping them free of slippery snow and ice.
4. Sweep Sand in Joints
Brick pavers and mortar are porous materials that absorb moisture. During the cold season, when these substances absorb water from melting snow and ice, and the temperatures drop below freezing, cracking, spalling, and other damage is likely to occur.
It’s always a good idea to spread polymeric sand in all the joints between your brick pavers. That sand will help to absorb moisture that would otherwise soak into the pavers, possibly leading to premature deterioration.
Please note that before you apply polymeric sand, you must remove any old sand, moss, or weeds growing in the joints.
Let All Brick Help You Protect Your Brick Patio
Maintaining the safety and integrity of brick-paved surfaces is important for every home and business owner. It’s also imperative to establish a working relationship with trustworthy professionals to handle routine maintenance work that’s needed, whether it’s repairing your bricks, power washing your patio, or applying polymeric sand on a walkway.
If you need advice or help winterizing your brick patio, call All Brick today. We’re always happy to help our friends and neighbors in the metro Detroit, MI, area. Contact us today to schedule a service.