Winter Hardscape Protection: Risks Facing Highland Hardscapes

There are a few prominent landscaping components or features that you’ll want to keep protected during the cold Utah winter, and a good example here would be any hardscape materials on your property. Materials like stone, concrete and others used in hardscaping may deal with things like water expansion and contraction, freezing and thawing cycles and various cracking risks — and as a property owner, you should be taking steps to protect both the materials themselves and anyone present on the property.

At Olympus Landscaping, we’re proud to not only assist clients with a variety of paver installations and other hardscape needs for our Highland clients, but also with any care and maintenance needs they have for these areas — including winter care. This two-part blog series will begin today by going over some of the key risks that may be facing your hardscaping during the winter, while part two will look at some tips we can offer on how to protect all such surfaces through the winter. 

Moisture Risks

Perhaps the most significant risk facing various hardscape elements, particularly those made from concrete, is moisture. When the air temperature falls to freezing, any exposed wet surfaces are at risk of becoming frozen — and if you’ve ever seen concrete or stone exposed to freezing temperatures, you know how permanent the damage can be.

Be particularly mindful of parking areas, sidewalks or other high-traffic areas where vehicles may find themselves driving through standing water; not only will you risk damage to the exposed concrete or stone itself, but also any gravel down below.

Expansion and Contraction

One of the reasons moisture is such a risk during the winter: It can become lodged within the surface of any exposed concrete or stone. That moisture continues to freeze and thaw during the day, which can lead to cracks within these materials. This is an especially serious risk for concrete, and if the freeze-thaw action is too strong over a short period of time, the ice in the cracks will expand — leaving you with damaged hardscape that will be costly to repair or replace.

Snow and Ice Risks

Even if there isn’t outright precipitation falling from the sky, you’re still at risk of having snow and ice build up on hardscape features such as walkways and stairs, which can then become very dangerous for anyone visiting your property. Snow can be removed from hardscape surfaces, but only with the right tools and a method that doesn’t risk further damage to the surface — and ice should always be completely removed from any surface before it thaws out again.

For more on the threats your hardscape is facing this winter and how to protect it from them, or to learn about any of our landscaping or hardscape services in Highland or other parts of Utah, speak to the team at Olympus Landscaping today. 

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