As the winter months approach it is important to know how you can protect your masonry. Whether you have a brick driveway, brick exterior, brick walkway or patio, there are some things that should and shouldn’t be done over the winter. Following these suggestions will help expand the life of your masonry while also ensuring that other parts of your property are not affected during the winter months. From snow & ice removal to basic masonry inspections these steps will prepare your property.

  1. As winter approaches and you start putting the patio furniture away many people give their patios and walkways a cleaning. Be cautious before putting chemicals on your brick or paver patios and walkways. In many cases a basic dish detergent will be sufficient. You can also try a 50/50 mixture of water and bleach. A light scrub brush with no wire bristles is best for most masonry surfaces. Power washing is also good but be sure to use a wide angle spray pattern. If your power washer is too strong it will damage the brick or pavers.
  2. Perform a simple DIY masonry inspection in the fall. This way if there are basic brick repairs needed you will be able to get them completed before winter. A visual inspection is something that everyone can do if you know what to look for. Cracked or loose bricks, missing mortar, and failed caulking are all things you should have repaired before winter.
  3. The fall is also a good time to seal your masonry. If you have brick patios, walkways, driveways, siding, or other stone that requires sealing the current temperatures are ideal for this application. Different types of stone and masonry require sealing at different frequency. Give us a call if you have any questions.
  4. Make sure that proper care is taken when addressing ice during the winter. Applying rock salt to a brick walkway, brick driveway, or concrete is never a good idea. Salt is very corrosive and will damage your hardscapes. The best option for your masonry hardscapes is sand or kitty litter. These will help with traction but unfortunately have no melting power. When deicing is a must be sure to seal the masonry with a salt resistant sealer before the winter. As stated there is no concrete or brick friendly deicing solution. Many experts say the least damaging option is magnesium chloride. This is a widely available product you can find at a home improvement store.
  5. Lastly, always clear the snow away from your masonry hardscapes. You want to minimize the amount of times that snow melts into the brick or concrete and refreezes. Shovel all surfaces with plastic edged shovels, avoid using metal. For brick driveways find a plow contractor that has rubber edged blades. Using a metal edged snow plow blade on a brick or concrete driveway can turn disastrous quick and cause a lot of damage. If a snow blower is used it is also best to use a rubber paddles versus a metal auger.

Many people invest in masonry hardscapes because of their strength and durability. Strength and durability is most definitely the proper traits. However care needs to be taken to maintain these surfaces and maximize their lifespan. Following these steps will help you achieve this. If you any questions or would like a  pre-winter masonry inspection by an experienced, fully insured, masonry contractor call Fitzgerald Restoration Services.