In short, yes paving can be laid during winter months.
We’re asked often about the weather, and all year round, by those wanting to know how it might affect a paving project.
It’s important to be ready for every eventuality, particularly when it’s wet or cold.
There are precautions to take in order to avoid running into trouble.
A job might take longer to finish, but with planning, it can be done.
What if it rains?
A shower shouldn’t stop work, and most tasks can still be completed without a problem when they’re light and short-lived.
However, attempting to lay a patio in heavy rain brings is a much larger risk.
The cement can become saturated, causing slabs to move or sink.
Mortar is also significantly weakened if cement within it is washed away.
Natural stone paving is porous, and wet mortar is much harder to remove from its surface once dried.
That rules out more intricate work, like pointing or jointing a patio, when it rains.
How does frost affect a paving job?
Apart from being a little fun to work in, freezing conditions can have a sizeable impact.
There are two main challenges:
First, frost can interfere with mortar’s curing process.
It will remain wet for longer and risks flaking if temperatures remain below zero for a long spell.
Frost-proofer in any mix, which reduces the time it takes mortar to go off, can prevent that from happening.
Less porous materials, such as granite, require special attention.
A bond bridge, which helps adhesion between the paving material and a bedding layer underneath, is one option.
Alternatives like limestone and sandstone are generally more porous and don’t require a similar measure.
Second, it prompts materials to change shape.
A frozen sub-base will shrink when frost thaws, meaning the material above being used for your driveway or patio shifts and sinks.
Mortar should not be used unless the temperature is at least 3°C and rising.
Even a frost-proof mix is vulnerable when working with natural stone.
A prolonged or hard frost causes a halt to almost all building work.
Cover it up
A workspace should never be left exposed overnight; sheets can be used to protect it, and also to prevent any damage from unexpected downpours.
Don’t take risks
Hiring a professional to complete the work removes concern because they bring with them the tools and resources to finish the job properly.
They also know how to use and get the best out of them, no matter the weather.
Not only that, they will choose the best materials to help them.
The Premium Paving Company has evolved into one of the UK’s leading independent suppliers of natural stone paving.
We can help you to identify exactly what you need.