From 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.
The 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.