Winter has finally arrived, with cold temperatures, ice and snow. Protect your landscape investment by taking special care of your brick pavers and outdoor kitchens. Here are a few tips:
Brick Paver Winter Care:
You love your brick paver walkway, patio or driveway, right? But did you know throwing down salt for icy patches can damage and/or discolor the surface?
Here’s why: Rock salt holds moisture. When it seeps into the pores of the brick pavers, and eventually freezes again, it expands by 9%, causing pop marks and the possibility of the top layer cracking off. When a brick driveway is sealed, it will absorb far less moisture and will last a bit longer… but we still advise against the use of salt.
What’s the alternative? There are two:
1. Magnesium Chloride is an effective alternative, and when used properly will not damage concrete brick pavers or surrounding landscapes. Yes, it’s more expensive, but will be worth the extra cost in the long run.
2. Play sand is a natural, low cost solution that will give additional traction and lasts a long time, with relatively easy clean up in the spring.
Winter Care for Outdoor Kitchens:
Fridges, outdoor grills, televisions and other equipment requiring electrical input are very susceptible to extreme cold and freezing moisture. Here are some tips to avoid damage to your appliances and tech over the winter months:
Cover granite counter tops to avoid snow and ice accumulation, which may cause damage – Shut off water that goes to your outdoor living areas – Drain all water lines – Shut off power to electrically powered units – Thoroughly clean cabinets and appliances
Still deciding what to do on New Year’s Eve?
We found these ideas on TwinCities.com for outdoor ideas around the metro area:
Dakota County’s Lebanon Hills Regional Park, 860 Cliff Road, Eagan, will be offering candlelight hiking, snowshoeing and ice skating, sledding on a lit hill, bonfires, live animals, storytelling, magic and a ball drop at its New Year’s Eve in the Wild, 5-8 p.m. Tickets are $8 in advance, $10 at the door.
A New Year’s Eve Candlelight Walk is also being offered at Fort Snelling State Park, 101 Snelling Lake Road, St. Paul, 4-8 p.m., with bonfires and candlelit trails. Park permit required.
The Wells Fargo WinterSkate rink next to the Landmark Center, 75 Fifth St., St. Paul, will be open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on New Year’s Eve. It’s free to skate, although skate rentals are $4 unless you have a Wells Fargo debit or credit card.
The Roseville Skating Center, 2661 Civic Center Drive, Roseville, will be open from 2:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Thursday for a New Year’s Eve on Ice event. You can skate indoors in the arena or outdoors on the Olympic-size oval. Party favors and a countdown at 9:30 p.m. are scheduled. Admission is $7, or $10 for both admission and skate rental.
Afton Alps, 6600 Peller Ave., Hastings, is scheduled to be open for skiing until midnight on New Year’s Eve, with food and beverage specials and live music. The fireworks go off at 9 p.m. Lift tickets cost $56.
Or you can end the year on the run. The Running Room store in Apple Valley is putting on a Resolution Run 5K that starts at 5:30 p.m. at the store at 15052 Gleason Path, Unit 104, Apple Valley. Cost is $40.