Few 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.
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.