Can You Lay Pavers in Cold Weather?

paversFew people associate winter weather with doing landscaping projects. To be honest though, that’s often the best time for finding bargains. Because many remodeling and home-focused businesses often experience a slowdown in business during the winter months, shorter waits for installation are also the norm.

That’s certainly the case with pavers. 

Available in a wide variety of shapes and colors, pavers are an especially effective way to create an environment specific to your tastes and style. However, should you have pavers installed during cold weather?

We’ll talk about it in this article.

Can Pavers Be Installed During The Winter?

As long as the ground is not frozen, we should be able to install your pavers. Another factor to keep in mind is the amount of moisture in the ground. Because pavers require a stable sub-base to keep them anchored and secured, the ground needs to be firm enough to hold the sub-base.

How Does Winter Weather Affect Pavers?

The constant cycle of freezing and thawing water during the winter months can take a toll on even the sturdiest of hardscape features, including pavers.

The ground underneath your pavers will expand during the freeze-thaw cycles, then contract during warmer temperatures. Although natural and unavoidable, the continually expanding and contracting of the ground can actually lead to your pavers shifting out of place.

While this is happening beneath the surface, the condition will often express itself through “frost heave” – an actual swelling of the soil that pushed upwards and breaches the surface. Beyond looking unappealing, frost heave can structurally damage the integrity of the surrounding pavement and even the foundation of your home.

How Can I Prevent the Shifting of Pavers?

Several preventative steps can prevent your pavers from shifting.

The main thing is to insist upon a proper installation process. Because accuracy and professionalism are vitally important to the installation of pavers, it’s definitely not a DIY project. At a minimum, there should be a gravel base and a layer of bedding sand at the proper depths beneath your pavers. 

Because it’s important for water to be routed away from pavers, there should be a slope leading away from the center of the foundation.

Afterwards, the soil needs to be compacted properly so that there’s no settling once the project is complete.

paversWhat Can I Do to Protect My Pavers During The Winter?

Many have found that an especially attractive feature of pavers is the fact that you only have to replace individual tiles as they are damaged, rather than replacing the entire surface.

Here are a couple of proactive steps you can take to make sure your pavers last for years of enjoyment.

  • Seal your pavers. A protective layer shields your pavers from the harshness of winter. This layer prevents scrapes, chips, and erosion normally associated with the cold months. Sealers for pavers can be either topical or penetrating. We recommend the penetrating sealer because it’s actually absorbed by the paver and gives you the most amount of protection.
  • Don’t salt your pavers. It’s typical to salt our driveways during freezing conditions, but that’s not recommended on your pavers. Interestingly, when it meets rainwater, the salt can seep into the pavers and freeze. The resulting expanding can then lead to the winter heave effect we talked about earlier. 

What Other Landscaping Services Does Hidden Creek Offer During Winter Months?

Hidden Creek Landscaping is a full-service landscape provider. As such, we’re proud to offer a variety of landscaping services throughout the year – including the often-severe Ohio winters. 

  • Yard aeration: This process is vital to the health of your lawn. By breaking up the soil and dirt, oxygen and water are allowed easier passageways. 
  • Winter fertilization: Because your lawn uses up most of its required nutrients during the spring and summer months, it needs a bit of help during the winter. With fertilization, you reverse any damage that may have been done to the root system just beneath the surface. The payoff for this step comes during the warmer months when your landscape is able to experience a full bloom. 
  • Winterizing your sprinkler system: Often overlooked by homeowners, making sure your sprinkler system is ready for the winter can prevent damage to the pipe seals and valves. 

If you have a redesign or remodeling project in mind, we can certainly help with that as well – even in winter. We’ll make the time to listen to your ideas and get to work on a solution. 

To give us an idea of what you have in mind, complete our Dream Builder form to get the ball rolling. For design inspiration, look at our online design center for examples of our work with previous and current clients. 

To find out more, call Hidden Creek Landscaping at (614) 779-0846. You can also reach us via email

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Patio Building Materials to Withstand Cold

patio materialsFrom snowstorms generated by Lake Erie to the moderate cold of the central lowlands, winter weather in Ohio can be like living in different regions, depending on where you live. Here in our neck of the woods, the winter months are typically marked by freezing temperatures and gusting winds.

If you’ve been blessed with a patio or are thinking of having one installed, it’s vital that you select materials that can withstand what Mother Nature can throw your way. 

Here, we’ll talk about patio building materials that are best equipped to withstand Ohio winters so that you can enjoy outdoor living year-round.

Do You Want a Deck or a Patio?

The two terms are often used interchangeably, but they’re quite different.

Often attached to a house, a patio is very versatile. The designs are varied and the materials are as well. For example, good materials for patios include concrete, stone pavers, tile and brick.

Decks, on the other hand, are usually made from wood or utilize a wood composite. While they too are often attached to a house or other structure, it’s also not unusual for a deck to be freestanding to take advantage of certain views.

What Patio Materials Are Best for Cold Climates?

Again, you have quite a few choices for materials for your patio. Knowing which one will do a better job of withstanding the elements while needing the least amount of maintenance can save you a lot of money and headache. 

Cement: Say goodbye to the days when concrete patios were simply gray slabs. With advancements in coloring methods and stamping techniques, a concrete patio can be formed into practically any shape and hue.

While concrete can withstand a lot of things, it doesn’t always perform as well in extremely cold conditions. One of the main reasons is that concrete is porous – meaning it has small holes through which air and water may pass. That’s not a good thing when water lays on top of it and freezes. The added stress to the surface can easily lead cracks and other structural damage. 

Concrete sealing can be an effective preventative action. The sealing coats the surface and repels water – all while strengthening the bonds within the concrete. 

Pavers: Available in brick, concrete, stone and other materials, many homeowners prefer using pavers to add a touch of elegance and texture to their patios.

Unlike cement, pavers are individual tiles installed in the pattern you wish. This essentially lets you expand your personal and architectural tastes outside of your home.  

patio materialsThe advantage to this approach is that if you do notice bits of a tile falling away from the effects of the continuing freeze-thaw cycle, you merely have to replace the affected tiles rather than the whole patio.

Slate, travertine (made from limestone), porcelain and terracotta pavers are especially effective at withstanding frigid weather. 

Brick: We humans have been using brick for our homes and shelters for thousands of years. Like other materials, there have been tremendous advancements in brick to produce various combinations of shapes, colors and textures.

While brick has proven to be effective in standing up against just about a weather onslaught, freezing temps and water are often too much. As water is absorbed into the brick and then freezes, it can shatter its internal structure.

As for maintenance, brick is relatively easy to keep up. Regular cleaning, and spot checks for damage caused by water and freezing should keep you in good shape. As with concrete, sealing your brick patio can be especially effective against the cold elements. 

How Do I Decide Which Patio Material is Best For Me?

We understand it’s a lot of information to take in and process. That’s why we sit down to talk with you one-on-one about your patio needs and wishes. Our process is one that’s entirely collaborative. 

Getting started on your new patio is easy. Simply complete our Dream Builder form to get the ball rolling. 

Here’s how our process works.

  • During our initial consultation, we’ll discuss budget and design options. 
  • Then, we present our schematics and have a preliminary budget review to discuss materials and amenities. 
  • Together we review the final plan to lock down the details, so that everyone is on the same page. 
  • We’ll then schedule a visit to your home to assess any potential obstacles and talk about them with you before proceeding to the completion.
  • Once your patio project is complete, you will have a walk-through to make sure everything has been done to your satisfaction. 

As for the design of your patio, we invite you to check out our online design center for examples of work we’ve completed for previous and current clients. 

Our mission is to design and install the patio of your dreams, while making sure it can withstand the harsh Ohio winters.

To find out more, call Hidden Creek Landscaping at (614) 779-0846. You can also reach us via email.

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