Residents of Appomattox, VA, are not new to ice patches and snow. Each winter, both tend to build up and cover grass lawns and gardens. Homeowners with properly graded yards won’t experience many problems as the melting ice flows and ends up in a drainage catch basin. The problem comes when landscapers and builders do not get their grading right. Water gets trapped or flows back into the basement or crawl space. If the problem persists, you will have to create a new drainage plan.
Solutions for Ice Patches
Snow and winter ice pose the greatest risk of weather damage to your landscape. Frost can cause ice patches to form and linger on your lawn and grass for several weeks. These can damage your plants and make the ground slippery. Let us look at how you can prevent snow or ice buildup and minimize the resulting damage.
Minimize Foot Traffic
Under heavy snow, grass and garden plants become brittle, lose their root strength, and become susceptible to fungal diseases. Walking on the fragile grass packs more snow onto the lawn, increasing the density of the snow cover and prolonging the time it takes to melt. The longer it takes the ice to melt, the better the chance the snow will refreeze when temperatures dip at night. Reducing foot traffic helps snow stay light and melt faster. Encourage your loved ones to follow the pathway when they walk out.
Dig and pitch snow that falls on your yard with a shovel, as it can damage grass roots. Be careful when shoveling the yard. Snow shovels and snowplows are responsible for most of the snow-related landscape damage. Blowing or pushing snow mechanically creates an artificial snow cover, which melts slowly and is prone to refreezing. The heavy snow will damage your grass and break garden plants and shrubs. Use a snowblower to clear the grass of snow as it’s less disruptive than other snow removal techniques.
Keep the Gutters and Roof Clear
Remove any snow or ice that collects on your roof. Wind and gravity can dislodge them. Leaving snow to accumulate and remain on your roof increases the risk of ice sheets falling onto your garden plants. The mass of snow falling near your home will damage your plants. When this compacted snow hits the ground, it is going to refreeze. Removing the extreme snow load from the roof protects your home’s structure from damage.
Re-grade the Yard
Another thing you can do to reduce snow and ice buildup is to re-grade the yard. Doing this improves surface drainage. Whenever the snow or ice melts, the water will flow out, collect in your yard, and refreeze at night. This also is important so any water from rain, snow, or ice will now flow back near your foundation and seep inside your home to cause a variety of issues like leaks and flooding.
Break Ice Patches
Whenever sheets of ice form during a storm, they will thaw and refreeze. The denser the ice; the greater the landscaping damage. Tree limbs can bend or break under heavy ice, causing severe damage. Break up the ice with a hammer and push off heavy snow. Keep an eye out for areas where water can collect.
Melt the Ice
Use sand or kitty liner to dissolve the snow and ice that builds up on your pavement, walkways, and driveway. Avoid de-icing salt, as the melting snow can wash it off onto your yard, where it will damage the grass and garden plants.
Do not pay unnecessary attention to the natural blankets of snow or drifts. Leave them alone as long as they do not bend or break your plants. Natural snow provides insulation. And as it melts, it waters the thirsty plants in winter. Remove snow or ice from plants that are breaking or bending only.
If you notice water from snow, rain, or ice impacting your foundation or home, get in touch with JES Foundation Repair for a free foundation repair inspection and quote. Our experts will pinpoint small issues before they turn into larger and complex problems. We will help protect your home and the foundation from the effects of the cold. Your foundation and basement or crawl space will stay dry and healthy during the winter.