Tips and advice on how to protect and maintain driveways, patios, paths and paved surfaces
Gleam Team Cleaning Services – 07581 681994
It is easy to neglect outdoor areas during the winter but it’s important to maintain paving throughout the year to keep it in tip-top condition. We have already experienced snow and conecutive days of freezing temperatures here in Kent and the south east during December ’22, and it’s several months yet before the warmer months of spring.
Some general rules that apply to all paved areas are to keep them clean and sweep up leaves and organic matter. These provide the ideal environment for moss and algae as well as causing stains. Fruit and berries from overhanging trees should also be cleared and any staining left should be dealt with as soon as possible..
The more ingrained a stain becomes the more difficult it is to remove. This is particularly true with absorbant paving such as stone and block pavers, and applies to all sorts of staining such as oil stains, brake fluid, petrol, BBQ fats and food and drink spillages. Contact Maidstone Gleam Team if you require professional paving cleaning and stain removal services.
Is it OK to seal paving in winter?
Simple answer: NO. You should not attempt to seal, or employ any contractor willing to seal your driveway or patio during the cold winter months. Rain and Cold are the enemies of applying sealer and will prevent it properly absorbing into the surface, leaving unsightly white residue and it will not be protecting your paved surfaces.
For paving sealant to be applied effectively three things are necessary:
- Dry paving
- Dry weather
- Mild conditions
Obviously local conditions vary but the ideal months for cleaning and sealing drives and patios in Kent, London and the south east are between March and October.
Is it good to seal paving before winter?
YES it is. A good quality patio or driveway sealant will help to protect and maintain paving during the cold, wet, frosty winter months. It will provide a protective waterproof barrier on porous materials like Indian Sandstone patios and block paving driveways.
Protection against excessive water penetration means water doesn’t get trapped within natural stone or block / brick pavers and avoids the freeze / thaw process.
What is the freeze / thaw process in paving?
When water freezes it expands. Expansion within paving can cause tiny cracks inside stone and concrete blocks to get bigger due to the water expansion. When temperatures rise the water thaws and evaporates, but is replaced the next time it rains and the process repeats itself.
The cracks are invisible to the eye because they are internal, but the damage is done and can only get worse. Eventually it can leade to visible cracks and damage on the surface by which time individual blocks or slabs are likely to need replacing.
It should also be noted that water can penetrate through surface damage, holes and breaks in mortar joints. Therefore, these should also be filled and repaired before the onset of winter.
Before sealing your drive, path or patio make sure it is a suitable material and that you use a suitable sealing product. Most paving can be sealed but not all of it :
Porcelain paving & resin bound surfaces are UNSUITABLE for paver sealants.
Porcelain is naturally resistant to water penetration and resin bound and bonded driveways, pool areas, play areas and tennis courts are designed for their natural, excellent drainage. Water penetration is not a concern for resin areas because it quickly and efficiently drains away into the soil.
Paving maintenance – Ice and Snow
It is better to clear away heavy snow deposits and avoid prolonged contact with paths, pavements, driveways, patios, tennis courts and other residential and commercial paved areas. During severe weather conditions with repeated snow showers and / or long term freezing temperatures, a layer of ice forms underneath the snow. This icy cold and wet layer is then pressed tightly against the surface 24 hours a day which is not good for any building materials. They need to breathe and be allowed to dry when possible.
Always use a PLASTIC snow shovel, rather than a metal one, to clear snow and avoid the risk of scratching or gouging the paving.
Shovel the snow slowly and carefully. It is imortant to maintain paving safely to keep it looking great and structurally sound.
A powerful petrol or battery powered leaf blower can also be an effective way of clearing some types of snow that is still relatively light and flaky. Wet or compacted snow will not be so easy to move.
Following the tips in this post will help to maintain paving in any residential or commercial setting all year round.
Exterior cleaning and maintenance services
Gleam Team are exterior cleaning specialists operating in Kent, London and the south east. Our services include :
- driveway and patio cleaning, sealing and refurbishment
- wall, brick and cladding cleaning
- render cleaning
- soft washing
- roof cleaning and moss removal
Please call us on 07581 681994 or email using Contact Us for more information or a free quote.
Paving Expert, “Paving Maintenance and Cleaning.” pavingexpert.com, https://www.pavingexpert.com/maintain_02
Landscaping Network. “Winter Paving Maintenance.” landscapingnetwork.com, https://www.landscapingnetwork.com/winter/paving-maintenance.html