K&R Landscape P.O. Box 792 | Winchester, MA 01890 | 1-781-272-6104 |

Dealing with Ice Dams in a Brick Walkway

Dear Roger-

We have a brick walkway that isn’t draining away from the front steps which is allowing water to pool, or in the winter, freeze and form ice.  How can we repair this issue and prevent it from happening again?

-Cold As Ice
Wayland, MA


Dear Cold As Ice-

The problem you’re having with your brick walkway is common with stone work that wasn’t laid correctly or has settled over time, causing the levelness of the walkway to pitch, in your case toward your home, creating small ice dams which further damage the brick.  This can also occur with other types of stone such as blue stone and concrete pavers.  Depending on what was used to install your brick there are two ways to repair this issue.  If your walkway was laid with concrete, which is the case with a lot of older homes in the New England area where you reside, then the brick will have to be removed, replaced and repointed which can be costly and more time consuming than if the walkway was originally laid with stone dust or polymeric sand which is more common in newer construction.  Stone dust and polymeric sand allow for easier repair for pitching issues.  Which product is used is dependent upon the recommendation from the manufacturer of the stone used for the walkway.  Polymeric sand is especially useful for keeping out bugs and weeds as well.

– Roger Cook