How to Protect Your Pavers in the Winter

Written by Ashley Ryan
Updated October 12, 2015
paver patio with fire pit
Apply a sealer to your pavers to help them weather the winter. (Photo courtesy of Go Pavers)

Jack Frost nipping at your… pavers.

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While paver stones transform the aesthetics and atmosphere of outdoor areas, they also provide a strength and durability that is often tested during the winter months. Make sure you educate yourself on how best to protect your pavers so they aren’t damaged by snow, ice or even heavy rainfall. While it varies from stone to stone, follow these best practices to protect your pavers during winter.

Seal Pavers

One of the easiest ways to ensure that your paving stones will survive the winter is to use a sealer on them. This protective layer keeps the stones from getting scraped, chipped or eroded by extreme weather. Using a sealer will also help prevent water and ice from seeping into the pavers, which is especially important since water and ice can cause damage within the stones.

Using a sealer with grit in it can provide added benefits, like a non-slip surface. While there are two types – topical and penetrating – you will want the penetrating type, which absorbs into the pavers and provides the largest amount of protection.

Applying a sealer is easy. Just brush it on the top and visible sides of the stones and make sure to touch it up every once and a while, especially before winter approaches. Consult your pavers contractor to find out how often you need to touch up the sealer on your pavers.

Don’t Use Salt on Pavers

While many people use salt to de-ice the ground during snowy seasons, using it on pavers is a bad idea. Salt has a corrosive effect that can damage stones. On top of that, when mixed with water, salt can seep down into the pavers and refreeze. As temperatures continue to drop, the mixture will expand, causing flaking, discoloration and other problems. Be smart about what other products you use, as many de-icing agents have salt mixed in.

Keep Your Pavers Clean

One of the best ways to protect your paving stones is to keep them clean. The longer harmful substances sit on the pavers, the more damage they will accumulate. Using a sealer makes it easier to wipe off pesky things like grease and rubber stains.

When you clean, be sure to use a plastic shovel or a snow blower to avoid scraping the stones. Metal shovels and pavers don’t mix well.

If you take care of your pavers in the winter, they will continue to look as good as new.

As of Oct. 12, 2015, this service provider was highly rated on Angie's List. Ratings are subject to change based on consumer feedback, so check Angie's List for the most up-to-date reviews. The views expressed by this author do not necessarily reflect those of Angie's List.

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