Give paving a winter clean by following our step-by-step guide. By doing so you will not only keep your paving looking clean & tidy but it will help stop your paving being slippery over the cold frosty days. It could also help if you have to remove snow or ice from your patio or driveway paving. And It will also help make cleaning your paving in the Spring or Summer so much easier.
How to give paving a winter clean
Read our easy-to-follow guide to help give your patio or driveway paving a winter clean. This will help keep your paving safe to use over the winter months in preparation for next spring. Try to prepare your paving as early as possible. During autumn after the last of the leaves have fallen from the trees is an ideal time to clean your paving ready for winter.
1. Remove plant pots and patio furniture
Begin by removing or storing away patio furniture. This will help to keep it clean ready for using again next year. During the autumn and winter months it’s most likely to get blown around by stormy and blustery winds. Packing patio furniture away can stop the chances of your garden furniture getting damaged. If you don’t have the space to store any outdoor furniture you could simply cover the garden furniture with plastic or waterproof sheeting and weigh or tie down.
If you are going to give your patio or driveway paving a winter clean It’s also a good idea to remove containers such as plant pots from the patio or driveway before you clean the paving. Often you will find a build up of plant matter and rubbish “hiding” behind plant pots and containers after the summer months. If you are going to be using a pressure washer to wash down the surface it’s better if they are removed so you can clean under and behind them. You may find that containers sat on your paving for any length of time have stained the surface of your paving. So it’s maybe a good idea to once-in-a-while change the position of containers to stop permanent staining in one area.
2. Important: Remove Fallen Leaves & Twigs from Paving
Remove fallen leaves and twigs as soon as you possibly can. This could mean having to remove them from the driveway or patio on several occasions over Autumn. This may seem like hard work as you could just leave the fallen leaves until there are no more leaves to collect. But the problem is that the leaves that fell early will start to rot and then this will lead to staining on the surface of your paving.
If you have a garden, or the space to store a few bags, you could store fallen leaves in dustbin bags over the winter. They will rot down inside the bags over the winter months and provide fantastic leaf mulch and fertilizer at a later date.
3. Give paving a winter clean by removing weeds & moss
Just because the weeds have stopped growing or have died back doesn’t mean you should leave them in situ. If they are left alone they will rot and become slippery, especially when wet. If it freezes they can also create ridges on the surface of your paving. Frozen weeds and debris can make clearing snow more difficult from the surface of your paving.
4. Give your paving a good sweep
One you have removed any weeds, moss or build up of dirt its time to give your patio or driveway paving a good sweep to remove any finer left over dirt or decaying plant matter. A popular way to sweep clean the surface of paving is with an air blower. These can be electric or petrol powered but if you have a large paved area then they can save a great deal of time. If you buy a blower that has a vacuum built-in they can be used for collecting fallen leaves too. When using a machine blower to sweep your paving simply start in a corner and blow the debris away from your house, conservatory or vehicle to avoid turning larger objects such as stones into flying projectiles.
5. Wash down & weed kill or apply a winter cleaner
After you have cleared and swept the paved surface area its time to clean and possibly treat the surface with a weed-killer. Simply wash down with clean slightly soapy water, then brush or scrub to remove the dirt. You could use bleach to clean and kill the weeds in your paving but is not the most environmentally friendly way to achieve a clean paved area.
Should you use a cleaner when you give paving a winter clean?
It’s not always necessary to use a cleaner such as soap, bleach or a purpose made cleaner when washing down your paving. But cleaning the surface using a cleaning liquid to remove the dirt could help in a number of ways.
- Firstly if you give your patio or driveway paving a winter clean it will help stop the surface becoming slippery. Especially if the surface is dirty or on an incline.
- By applying a weed killer after you have swept clean the surface you will kill of any germinating weeds, seeds or algae that are just waiting to grow should the weather turn milder over the winter months. (which is can be surprisingly often nowadays) For best results, always follow manufactures instructions when applying weed killers to paving.
- Your paving will often stay damp over winter keeping any left-over dirt on the surface slimy. This is more easily picked up on your footwear. This then often ends up inside your home. Keeping your paving clean helps reduce the transfer of dirt from outside to the inside of your home.
- Consider applying a paving cleaner that continues to clean your paving without the need for power washing. These kinds of paving cleaners are an excellent kind of cleaner to apply during the colder winter months because they can keep cleaning the surface for up to 6 months after application. They are environmentally friendly and every time it rains the cleaner is reactivated so continues to work. We have reviewed some of the best-selling paving cleaners you can buy here.
- Give your patio or driveway paving a winter clean to make it less likely the dirt will penetrate deep into the paved surface over the colder months. This will keep your paving cleaner for longer into the spring. Making cleaning and maintaining your patio or driveway easier in the spring.
6. Replace Missing Sand or Mortar Pointing
Once you have swept and/or cleaned the surface of your paving, replace any lost jointing sand or cement mortar that may have been lost. Do this once your paving has dried.
You need to do this because replacing paving joint sand or cement pointing will stop the ingress of water into the sub-base of your paved area. This can also help stop any damage such as lifting of the paving being done by frost and ice. Which happens during the freeze and thaw cycle of winter.
7. Be prepared for snow & ice with grit sand or rock salt for de-icing
In the UK you normally expect at some stage we are going to get some snow and ice during winter. So it could be wise to be prepared and keep your own stock of grit sand or rock salt. You are then ready to defrost or thaw any snow or ice on your driveway or patio. Especially if you have an inclined driveway or path that you walk or drive on.
- Buy rock salt from Amazon here at discounted prices
- Buy grit sand from Amazon here at discounted prices
You can use rock salt or table salt when needed to thaw ice and snow on paving but be cautious. You should never leave high concentrations of salt on your paving over a prolonged period of time. Salt can often damage paving, just as it can damage the underside of your car.
You can also use grit sand to give you better traction during icy conditions. But be aware that using grit sand to walk on to give you grip during icy conditions could lead to your paved surface becoming scratched by the sharp, gritty sand. This is often apparent if you have a shiny paved concrete or glossy, sealed paving. You can also mix table salt with grit sand to help thaw the snow and ice and give you greater coverage.
When you give your patio or driveway paving a winter clean it can be wise to take a note of any raised paving areas you may have. These could include raised edges or steps because if you need to clear deep snow off your paving you don’t damage them with a shovel.
That’s it! you now have a well prepared paved area that can cope with the harshest of Winters