Your Indian paving slabs generally don’t need a lot of upkeep – they’re essentially pieces of rock, and as you might expect, throughout most of the year rock does a pretty fine job of taking care of itself, only requiring the occasional once-over, and perhaps a sweep every now and again.
That changes in winter, when the notoriously cold and damp weather can sometimes pose a couple of temporary risks to the safety and integrity of your Indian paving slabs. Don’t worry though – here at Bridge Street Stone, we’ve got a couple of useful tips on how to catch these issues before they turn into more expensive (or even dangerous) problems. Here’s what to bear in mind over the next few months!
Leaves and moss on your paving slabs
Keeping your paving slabs clear of dead leaves and moss might seem like a bit of an unnecessary effort at first glance, but it’s not just about keeping them looking presentable. Dead leaves can be very slippery when wet for example, and could easily cause you or a member or your family to take a nasty fall. Plus, they can encourage the growth of irritating weeds and stains, which can leave annoying marks on your Indian paving slabs.
Moss is even more dangerous – it’s at least equally as slippery as dead leaves, and often even harder to remove. If you’re quick to catch it when it first starts to form though, happily it’s not too tricky to remove with a simple trowel (and maybe a knee pad if you think you’ll be at the job for more than a few minutes). If it’s already started to significantly spread, or you’re not able to handle it yourself for whatever reason, then a professional can normally take care of it for you at a decent rate.
Cracks in your Indian stone
Cracks in your Indian paving slabs aren’t ideal at the best of times, but they can be particularly problematic in winter, largely because of the issues posed by general weathering and freeze thawing.
Now, even if you’re not familiar with the term ‘freeze-thawing’, you’ll probably be familiar with the general principle. Essentially, when water gets into the gaps between your paving slabs, or any existing cracks, then it can freeze. When water freezes, it expands by up to 9%. That forces the cracks open wider, which can turn minor damage into a more noticeable issue.
Here’s the thing with freeze-thawing – it’s progressively more damaging each time. Once the frozen water thaws and melts away, it leaves a bigger gap than before. That means even more water can get into it next time, freeze and expand it again, leaving the gap successively bigger each time. That’s one of the key reasons to get it seen to as quickly as you can. Again, not only does it look awful, but it can easily turn into a tripping hazard for anyone crossing your Indian paving slabs – including your family members, or any visitors.
You may already have your own preferred solutions for dealing with cracks in your paving slabs, or a professional you can trust who can sort it for you. Here at Bridge Street Stone, we’d personally recommend simply replacing the damaged stone, as it’s the safest and most reliable solution. However, our experts are also happy to provide expert advice on a case-by-case basis, so don’t hesitate to give us a call on 01282 860571, and we’ll be happy to help.
Snow and ice
Now we come to the most obvious risk normally associated with winter: snow and ice. And while the former may look very magical, they’re both equally problematic throughout the winter season. Ice is something to be constantly aware of throughout winter, both in front and out the back of your house, and it’s worth bearing in mind that even when it’s covered by snow, it’s not unusual for the bottom layer of snow to turn to ice.
Not only is that (once again) a slipping hazard, but it has potential to cause wear and tear damage to the slabs underneath. Shovelling the snow is an effective – although admittedly tedious – way to deal with the top layer of snow, while a sprinkle of sand or salt can deal with the icy layer beneath. Depending on the size of the frozen area, a bucket of warm water can sometimes do the trick as well.
The most important thing is to avoid using harsh chemicals on your paving slabs at all times. They can easily cause more damage to your paving slabs than the snow or ice could, and may even end up discolouring them permanently. We’ve previously written a guide to cleaning your paving slabs, which suggests some handy and effective alternatives!
And if you ever need any replacement slabs – or you’re thinking of redoing your space from scratch – that’s exactly where we can help. Here at Bridge Street Stone, we supply the highest quality sandstone paving in the whole of the UK, and we stock shades in a variety of popular colours, including Kota Black, Kandla Grey, Autumn Brown and Golden Leaf.
Our Indian sandstone is imported straight from ethically operated quarries in India, so if you’re looking to give your patio the perfect upgrade, feel free to give us a call today on 01282 860571 - we’re happy to help!