Stone steps are beautiful and can enhance the beauty of your lawn. During the summer and spring, the steps really seem to pop against the bright green of the grass. Unfortunately, when winter arrives, your stone steps become more of a hazard than a beauty. Their surface may become slippery with ice, making it hard to walk on them. And if you avoid your stone steps to be on the safe side, their winter neglect will show in Spring. Below we offer some winter stone care tips to keep your stone steps in their best, and safe, condition all winter long.
Keep your stone steps clear of any debris
The number one way that your stone steps can become stained is with buildup of debris. The biggest culprit are leaves and other Autumn debris. The leaves can begin to pile on top of one another and begin to rot on your stone steps. If left uncleaned, the pile of rotted debris will be almost impossible to clean. The chemicals within leaves are like dyes and can cause deep stains on your stone steps.
Therefore, you should always maintain the cleanliness of your steps, especially during the Autumn and Winter months. The best ways to keep your steps clean are to:
- Sweep or blow away leaves
- Uproot any nearby growing weeds
- Clear away any moss
- Washing stones with mild soap and water
Remember keeping your stone steps clean is the best way to maintain their strength and quality.
Do not use any strong chemicals
You may also be tempted to clean your stone steps using harsh chemicals. Logically, it would make sense because the stronger the chemical, the stronger the clean. However, this is not the case for cleaning stone steps. Strong chemicals can cause damage to the stone’s seal, which can make them more porous. Then your stone steps will be more likely to stain from anything. Not to mention that strong chemicals can also cause your stone to become damaged, and lose their shine. Therefore, to ensure the health of your stone steps, make sure to clean only using mild soap and water.
Use salt to avoid a slippery surface
Now that you know how to keep your stone steps clean, you need to know how to prevent them from becoming slippery. Most stone step owners are told to use grit to increase traction on their stone’s surface. It is true that grit can help create traction on their slippery surface but it can also cause damage to your stone. Grit is strong enough to cause scratches on your stone steps. Unless you like having scratched up stones, you are better off using salt.
Regular old table salt is the best way to give your steps traction during the winter. The most effective way to use salt is to lay it down on your stone before ice can form. Salt has a lower freezing point so ice cannot be formed on your steps. Keep in mind that the white residue left behind from the salt will not stain your stone. This residue can easily be washed off with water. Then your stone steps will be clean for the Spring!