Four Tips For Readying Your Patio Or Deck For Winter
Unless you live in a year-round tropical climate, your deck or patio need care to weather the winter months. Even in the warmer areas of the US, temperatures can reach below-freezing levels, and winter rains can damage furniture and your decking material itself. Here are four tips to help you get your outdoor living areas ready for inclement weather.
Flower Pots, Planters, and Garden Elements
Flower pots and planters should be moved indoors or to a garage to prevent cracking and chipping. Remove any old plant material and empty of soil and stack these items in a garage or garden shed. Plants that can winter over indoors should be placed in a location that best replicates the light they received outdoors.
Many people take away bird baths and fountains, but birds need water during winter too. If you have a power outlet near your bird bath or water feature, consider adding a bird bath heater to keep ice from forming and to enjoy wildlife all year long.
If you are not planning to use your grill during the winter months, it's best to bring it indoors or cover it and put it in a garage or someplace protected from the elements. There's no reason, though, you can't continue to enjoy your barbecue grill even in snowy weather. Move it closer to your back door, so it's easier to access, and cover it with a fitted cover from the manufacturer or a patio supply store.
Don't wait until spring to clean or do any repairs to your deck surface. First, make sure the deck or patio is clear of any leaves and debris that can hold moisture and create mold. If you're planning to paint, stain, or seal your deck, it may need power washing to remove stubborn dirt.
Repair any damage to the deck material, and take care of any loose screws or nails. Take advantage of ideal fall temperatures to apply paint or stain to protect your deck through the winter ahead.
Your patio furniture can be particularly susceptible to winter weather, as the freezing and thawing cycles can damage all kinds of furniture materials:
- Metal furniture can rust.
- Wood can split and rot.
- Plastics and resins can age faster and even crack under weight.
- Grout on tile or stone tables can chip and crack.
Unless you bring all your furniture indoors, you should protect it with fitted, breathable covers. You want moisture to be able to evaporate, rather than sit trapped under the cover. Using patio covers has the added advantage of protecting your furniture during summer storms as well, when hail and loose branches can cause damage.
By investing in high quality patio covers (from companies like Allied Awning), you'll ensure that your outdoor furniture lasts for years to come. Take the time in fall to protect your deck or patio from winter weather, and come springtime, you'll be able to uncover your furniture and get right to enjoying your life outdoors again.