With the winter solstice on December 21 drawing near, and winter weather already well-established and here to stay for a few more months, those pleasant warm temperatures of the spring and summer might feel like the distant past. This also means that many folks find themselves spending more time inside—and while there are ways to extend the use of your patio, deck, and hardscaping features into the colder months, there are plenty of days when rain or low temperatures can drive you and your family inside.
You might find yourself worrying about your patio space on those unpleasant days. While hardscaping features are designed for outdoor wear and tear, it can be stressful to see your stone features—especially if they’re new—soaked with rain or covered with ice, day after day. You might wonder if there are things you can do to make sure that your outdoor spaces stay in good shape for the spring and summer ahead. Here, we’ll break down what you can do to keep your outdoor features in their best condition year round, and let you know how Victory Lawn Care Services can help you in the Memphis Metro Area of Germantown, Collierville, and Arlington.
Design Goes a Long Way
In the mid-South, we don’t face the huge snow drifts that cities further north get. This can be something of a relief—it means that you probably won’t spend a lot of your winter time shoveling or worrying about the extra weight of snow resting on your hardscaping features. But our milder winters bring some of their own problems—one of them being freeze-and-thaw cycles that can do a number of damages to hardscape features.
Imagine a tiny crack appearing in one of your hardscape stones. When rain comes, some pools in the crack—and when the temperature drops, that rain freezes and expands. This increases the size of the crack. When the temperature rises and the ice melts, more water can flow into the crack—and freeze again, and increase the size of the crack again.
While it’s not possible to eliminate all risk with outside features, there are steps you can take to prevent damage from freeze-and-thaw cycles. Making sure that you use the services of a professional landscape company such as Victory Lawn Care Services in the Mid-south, who know which materials hold up well to local climate is a good first step. A professional will also know how to level and grade the feature so water doesn’t pool in any low spots, but instead flows safely away. Pros can also apply a sealant to prevent damage in the first place, and keep your hardscaping looking great.
Repair or replace damaged areas promptly
If a crack, chip, or puddle does appear in your hardscaping feature, it’s not time to panic—though it is a good idea to repair any problems promptly. Waiting will only allow more water or temperature damage to reach the inside of the stone, which can compromise the internal structure, unlevel the feature, and allow longer-term damage.
Make sure to seal cracks, replace damaged stones or boards, and get your hardscaping company to address any problems when you notice them. This saves you money in the long run, too—a quick touch up now can prevent you from having to do more work later on.
Use the right tools
If snow does fall in the mid-south, make sure to remove it promptly from your hardscape feature—as it melts, that water can seep into the stones or cracks between them. But be wary of the tools you use—harsh chemicals to de-ice the surface can damage the stone. Stick to natural products, like rock salt—though try to avoid salt on concrete surfaces. Heavy metal shovels might cause scratches or chips, too. So if you find yourself clearing a patio or your front steps, stick to a broom for a light dusting of snow, or a plastic shovel for a heavier blanket of it. Using a leaf-blower for fallen leaves can be another way to keep your patio looking great.
Keeping the surfaces clear of snow, ice, or leaves has another advantage—it keeps you and your family safe from slipping and falling on hard surfaces. Moving outdoor objects indoors or to the shed or garage for the winter can help eliminate tripping hazards, too, and can help protect your stone surfaces from pooling water. And adding some outdoor lighting can help with visibility and safety, while also making your space more enjoyable in the colder seasons.
What else can I do?
A big step in caring for your hardscaping features is caring for your landscaping features, too. If water runs out of your garden and pools on the patio, or if limbs fall from a tree and crack stone features, you can find yourself up against time-consuming problems. Luckily, some simple winterizing can help protect lawn and home alike.
Applying mulch to garden beds can stop run-off and help plants retain water, while pruning and preparing trees for winter weather can help protect the plants and other areas of your home. As best as you can, try to avoid letting salt come into contact with your grass or garden beds—and, if you notice this, water the area after the temperature rises to flush out the extra salt.
How can Victory Lawn Care Services help me?
At Victory Lawn Care Services, our professional team takes great pride in installing top-quality hardscaping features, from foot paths and patios to retaining walls and more. Our company is Memphis based—which means that we’re familiar with the weather, climate, and seasons, and know the ins-and-outs of designing features that will withstand local weather in all its unpredictability. Our team is also experienced in caring for lawns all year round, and can help prepare your space for the seasons with a plan tailored to your home.
We make working with us hassle-free, too—with free estimates, automatic payments, reliable communication and scheduling, and high-tech equipment, we aim to ensure your peace of mind as we help get your outdoor space to its fullest potential. When you’re ready to get started, give us a call at (901) 870-3720 or use our online tool to start your project now. For more free value added information visit our online website articles.
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