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How to Prepare Your Concrete Pavers for Winter

By: Jen Kloter on November 9th, 2011

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How to Prepare Your Concrete Pavers for Winter


snowplow on concrete paversIf you have concrete pavers or are thinking about having some installed, you might be asking, "What do I need to do to them to get ready for winter?" Although concrete pavers are designed to hold up well through winter weather and the impact of frost, snow and ice, there are a few things you might consider taking before winter arrives.

  • Remove outdoor tables, heavy umbrella stands, grills and other weighty items from the patio. During the freeze-and-thaw cycles that will occur over the winter, such heavy items may cause the area below them to sink as the rest of the patio area shifts and flexes with the freezing and thawing.
  • Fall clean-up of leaves and other debris will also help keep your pavers clean and stain free longer.
  • Typically people resweep joint sand into their paver joints at the start of spring, but doing so before winter (if the sand level is low) will help hold the pavers in place and allow for proper drainage.
  • Watch for areas of water puddling where the pavers might have settled slightly, as these spots may be ice patches once things freeze.

Snow and ice removal during the winter is the next thing to take a look at.

  • Snow plowing and Snowblowing - Most pavers have a chamfered or recessed edge that allows a plow or shovel to ride over it smoothly.
  • Some concrete pavers have a raised or dimpled texture on the surface. These can be scratched and scarred from plows, if you're not careful.
  • Ice is best handled by spreading sand on the surface of the pavement.
  • Ice Melt - Some ice melt chemicals can damage concrete pavers over time - so please read the instructions on the container before using anything. Salts such as magnesium chloride, can be mixed with sand to speed melting. Calcium chloride can cause deterioration of concrete pavers. The instructions on many chloride bags contain warnings that calcium should not be used on Portland cement concrete products or on clay pavers. Magnesium chloride would be better, but still read the bag. Read more on ice melt products and how they work.