Nov 5, 2009

Winterizing your Brick Pavers

I am asked alot about the need for "winterizing" brick paver patios, walks, or driveways. The great news is that interlocking brick pavers are designed and installed to withstand the ill effects of winter climate & frost cycles and do not necessarily require any winter prep.

I do have some suggestions that will help in the long-term success and aesthetics of your brick paver installation.

  • Remove any heavy items or vehicles that you plan on leaving on your brick pavers throughout the winter months. The reason is that the area under a heavy item or tires will not flex to the freeze thaw cycle, thus possibly causing sunken areas as the base below shifts. Over the years I have noticed, especially on brick paver patios,where homeowners leave there patio table base (filled with sand or water), leaves a slight indention in this brick paver area. Also, on driveways where homeowners leave boat trailers, campers, motor homes, etc.. the spots where the tires sat through the winter freeze thaw cycles are sunken.
  • Sweep some joint sand in all the joints if needed. I always instruct my clients that brick paver joints will require a resweep of joint sand each Spring after the winter frost effects. But if the sand is low in your brick paver joints heading into the Winter, it would be a good idea to do a quick sweep. Brick Paver joints that are filled will allow for proper drainage of late season rains and also properly hold pavers in place. Really you should always keep your brick pavers filled with joint sand all year round for optimum success.
  • Redirect any direct water or ice sources from draining on your brick pavers. If there are any gutter spouts that drain onto your brick pavers, it would be a good idea if possible to connect a solid corrugated pipe to the end of the gutter spout and run into the grass or plant bed. The constant freezing and thawing of snow and ice that runs down the gutter onto a brick paver patio, walk, or driveway will create a tremendous stress on your pavers in this area. Hopefully you addressed water drainage during the original brick paver installation but it will be important to reduce any thaw drainage & refreezing.
These are just a few things you can do to add to the long-term success and aesthetics of your brick paver installation. There is no need to cover your pavers or shovel off your paver patio. Just let the functional beauty and benefits of interlocking brick pavers do there job and enjoy!