How Winter Affects Your Patio

Winter isn’t just miserable for people; it really does a number on your hardscapes. When spring finally arrives, you’ll often discover drainage issues and damage done to landscaping, driveways and patios. 

Some of this damage results from poor maintenance, lousy installation, or rock salt applied to concrete surfaces. Other damage could have been prevented using better installation techniques or materials. Even concrete is not immune; its porous nature holds bits of water that freeze, expand and cause your concrete to crack. 

Here are some of the ways winter affects your patio:

Corrosion – Ice melt and rock salt used for ice management to create safer surfaces cause corrosion. If your patio is made of concrete, you’ll discover permanent pockmarks on the surface. These substances also cause staining and discolouration and weaken the integrity of the concrete. If your patio is made of interlock, salt gets caught in the cracks & crevices and interferes with the aggregate base underneath. 

Water Issues – Water runoff and drainage can create stone instability, making it easy for them to shift. As the snow melts, it drains below your concrete pavers, eroding the underlying soil and aggregate. As water is trapped beneath the stones, they get pushed up. If the weather turns cold again, that water freezes and expands, further dislodging the stones beneath your surface. Whether your patio shifts & buckles or cracks and needs to be replaced, neither is ideal. 

Moss – As mentioned above, concrete and interlock are porous. During the winter months, green moss can form on your stone. 

Wobbling Stone – As winter causes the aggregate below your patio to erode or shift, the bricks or stone above can become uneven and wobble. Another cause is the constant freeze & thaw cycles cause the stone to expand and contract, loosening them and causing them to wobble. 

In particular, winter really wreaks havoc on stonework. Canadian freeze and thaw cycles are famous for causing things like interlock to shift, creating stability dangers and safety hazards that look terrible. Other stonework, if improperly installed, can face similar issues. 

One smart alternative to interlock is to resurface your patio with porcelain pavers. Not only are they stylish and upscale, but porcelain is also ideal for Canadian winters. Outdoor porcelain tiles are non-porous, so they will not absorb water & crack. They also do not accumulate moss or get damaged by salt. Using a pedestal system to mount them also offers a variety of valuable benefits. You’ll require less digging to install, and you’ll deal with less heaving & shifting due to freeze & thaw cycles. Pedestals can even be used on top of an existing concrete patio to support porcelain pavers for a new look that requires less work. If you’re tired of repairing your interlock or patio stones and hate the look of damaged concrete, you’ll find some great options at From innovative materials that resist Canada’s freeze & thaw cycles to new installation techniques that will save you time, labour and money, Stonedeck has everything you need for beautiful hardscapes that are also functional and safe.