There are lots of things to love about winter: Christmas, cuddling up by a roaring fireplace, the possibility of snow and the sparkle and joy of New Year’s Eve just for starters. However, one less welcome thing is what the season does to our homes. Not only do we need to ramp up the heating but the driveway and garden paving can be a slippery gauntlet if not properly dealt with.
Here, we’ll run through a few top tips to clean up your driveway or patio in time for the festive season, in hopes of keeping it safe to use in the winter and looking its best when spring finally comes rolls back around.
Strip away the accessories – Any garden furniture that might take residency on your patio during the spring and summer months should be moved inside as it is likely to get blown about something fierce in the winter when the weather is more unforgiving. If you can’t find a place for it, meanwhile, consider covering it with a waterproof tarpaulin. Plants and pots should also be ‘hidden’ as they can leave nasty stains on your paving if left.
Sweep up – The autumn is famous for one thing n particular – leaves. Any rogue leaves or general debris that might have gathered on your patio or driveway should be cleared as soon as possible as if left, it might lead to rot, which will damage your paving. You can use a leaf blower here if you have access to one, but a good old-fashioned broom should suffice for most homes. You should also ensure that all weeds growing between paving cracks are removed as if they freeze they can become slippery and even damage your paving slabs. Don’t be afraid to use a dash of weed killer either.
Wash it down – Once everything has been cleared and swept, the surface should be cleaned thoroughly using slightly soapy water and a brush to scrub up any stubborn dirt. If left to freeze, the dirt can be a pretty slippery hazard. The cleaner your paving is, the less likely the dirt will find its way deeper into the paving over the cold months.
Fill the cracks – Once the surface has been cleared and cleaned, leave it to dry off and fill in any sand or mortar that might have escaped from between the cracks. This will prevent water from finding its way into the cracks and freezing and will also prevent the paving lifting.
Finally, of course, you might want to stock up on some grit to prepare for the ice and snow that often assaults the UK every winter. Driveway preparation is always key if you’re looking to have a perfect, accident-free winter.