Here in our area, of Alexandria, VA we understand that rain, snow, and freezing temperatures are a guarantee in winter. Our steps and other outdoor areas often become victims of the freeze/thaw syndrome. This problem affects all of our outdoor hardscapes but is especially dangerous on the steps our children, and we use to enter and exit our home.
Damage From Freeze and Thaw
Wood, stone, concrete and any porous material used for the steps are affected when water gets into tiny cracks and porous surfaces, where it freezes and then expands, weakening the stairs and eventually cracking and splitting whatever area it is in when it develops. This ice damage can cause holes and separation in your step materials, though it may not be visible immediately. Several freezes and thaw situations each year cause more damage each time water gets into the porous materials and freeze.
Not only does ice damage cause stains, but it can also split the stone or damage the wood, making them unstable and unsafe. This situation sometimes requires expensive replacements, as repairs are often not possible. What alternative do we have, as we know this weather will happen eventually? With the proper care and the right products, it is possible to prevent damage to steps and walkways during times of freeze and thaw.
Protection with a Sealant
However, it is sometimes essential to get the advice of a professional as to what sealant works best for the material of your steps. Wood, stone, and concrete may require different products for protection. When planning new outdoor construction including stairs. steps and walkways keep this issue in mind.
Use the Professionals
In fact, if you don’t have all the extra time to take care of a large property or even a standard size yard, consider a contract with your local landscape company. They keep up with what your outdoor areas need and when to do it, leaving you to just enjoy your outdoor space after long hours on your job.
A reputable company will schedule maintenance such as sealing your hardscape features long before the storms hit our area. Also, your landscape will always be well-manicured and look beautiful with appropriate plantings each season. Lawn mowing and tree upkeep is often part of the contract. Your valuable outdoor specimens deserve proper care, as do your stairs and walkways. Keep your family safe with appropriate maintenance. Contact us today for a discussion of your outdoor plan.