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What you should know about maintaining paving stones in winter?

Concrete paving stone is a durable material that is easy to maintain, however even it is not fully resistant to outside factors in the winter. If we do not follow a few rules, in the spring our paths and driveway may change beyond recognition!

Compliance with the recommendations of the manufacturer will not only help to protect the concrete surface against damages and aesthetic shortcomings, but will also guarantee safety and comfort of movement on the paths around the house in winter.

Step 1 – cleaning
Basic and absolutely necessary care procedures in case of paving stone certainly include its regular sweeping and cleaning of sand and dirt. These activities should be performed throughout the year, regardless of the weather outside the window. However, in winter time - depending on prevailing conditions - the boom for removing sand and other dirt is more often replaced by a snow shovel. And then the real fun begins!

Step 2 – snow clearing
When removing snow from concrete surfaces, it should be remembered that contact with metal instruments is not good for paving stone. Their use may lead to scratches and scalings. Therefore, it is better to replace all metal equipment with that made of plastic, which does not cause damages – advises Karol Umiński, main Polbruk technologist. – For snow clearing we can also use preparations available on the market, which are intended for melting of snow, which are also safe for paving stone, and in addition eliminate the occurrence of slush. It is worth carefully considering the matter of laying automatically controlled special mats or heating cables under the surface. The use of the thermal method will relieve us from snow clearing, and guarantee safety to paving stone - as well as to us - even when the whole area is covered with a thick layer of snow – explains Karol Umiński. These types of systems are particularly worth installing near the entrance stairs, which helps avoid slipping.

Step 3 – de-icing
High quality paving stone, which meets the requirements of the highest class of resistance to weather conditions specified in the standard - D class, is resistant to freezing and defrosting in the presence of de-icing agents. However, regular and intensive use of rock salt (NaCl) is not beneficial to it. Under the influence of this component - in time - paving stone may become discolored and the whole arrangement may lose in terms of its attractiveness. Due to this fact, manufacturers recommend the use of salt only in the quantities necessary for it, and completely dissuade it in the first days of winter and during the first winter period after laying of paving stones. – Other ingredients, such as magnesium chloride, which is safe for both paving stone and environment, are well suited for de-icing. This agent may be purchased at most chemical stores without any difficulty - explains Karol Umiński, Polbruk expert. Without proper cleaning, snow clearing and de-icing, the surface of paving stone may become unnecessarily damaged during the Winter. Surface prepared with regard to the listed advices will serve household members - their safety and comfort. And paving stone, after the Winter, will look as good as before the frosts.

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