Compared to Midwest and East Coast, Seattle’s winters are relatively mild. Yet, the Beautiful Pacific Northwest isn’t without its snowy days — especially in recent years. When Mother Nature brings a flurry, you’ll likely want to race outside to build a snowman or head to Stevens Pass for an epic day of skiing. But after you’ve had your fun in the cold — there’s a good chance you start wondering what all that heavy moisture is doing to your outdoors space.
Should you remove the snow from your patio furniture?
Generally speaking, you’ll want to just leave your patio furniture be. Even the most durable outdoor patio furniture can be damaged when scrapped with an abrasive surface, like a snow shovel. If you are really worried about your furniture, you may consider sweeping off the top, soft layer with your hands or a soft brush. You can also tip chairs or tabletops to allow any unfrozen show to slide off.
Protect Your Furniture Early
The best way to protect your outdoor patio furniture is to care for it before the snow arrives. In the fall, you’ll want to thoroughly clean and dry your patio furniture. Once it’s dry, you’ll want to cover it or move it indoors. If a winter snow has already come, you can complete this process once it’s melted in a warm and dry space, such as the garage.
Sling Seats Should Always be Covered for Winter
There are a variety of patio furniture collections that can withstand the extremes of winter, such as all-weather wicker and teak. The ultra-sturdy design of these substantial pieces can typically handle the heavy weight of snow.
But sling seats are designed to provide give — molding to the weight of your body. While a tight weave can help these elegant chairs retain their shape, bouncing back after daily use, prolonged pressure can cause the material to stretch and warp over time. In order to protect your investment, we strongly recommend all sling seats be covered or moved into a sheltered area during winter.
Will Your Plants Survive Their Winter Blanket?
Most likely. Snow can act as an insulator, helping to protect your garden from extreme cold and watering it as it melts. However, heavy snow means a lot of weight can build up on branches — especially when ice forms. This extreme weight is the biggest concern as it can cause limbs and trunks to bend and break.
In order to protect your garden, keep the following tips in mind:
- Don’t “Pile On” – The vast majority of snow damage is actually caused by humans, as excess snow is piled onto gardens. When shoveling a walkway or driveway, be careful when you put the snow, so as to not further burry delicate plants.
- Sweep Gently – The best way to remove snow is with a broom. Use the bristles to gently sweep upward, loosening the snow and allowing it to fall down. You don’t want to sweep down, as even this minimal extra pressure can cause already heavy and bending branches to break.
- Leave Ice Alone – As tempting as it may be, do not try and remove ice. Once it has formed, trying to remove it will likely break the plant in question.
- Skip the Salt – You’re probably aware that salt can help melt ice and snow. But, salt is also very bad for your garden. While you might want to use it on your sidewalk, driveway, and roads, avoid sprinkling it in your flowerbeds as this will kill your plants.
- Avoid Accumulation – As much as possible, try and remove snow every few hours, rather than waiting until it’s multiple inches or even multiple feet deep.
- NEVER Remover Snow or Ice from Overhead – When snow and ice have built up on branches overhead, there’s a high likelihood that heavy limbs and trunks can break and fall. This is especially true if you’re placing additional stressors on them, shaking them to try and remove said snow and ice.
Should You Shovel Your Deck?
Shoveling the deck is another very legitimate question for homeowners and this one can be tricky. If you need to shovel the deck in order to provide a clear and safe passageway to something like a woodpile or to get out of your house, then you likely have no option but to shovel. However, you should be aware that like your outdoor patio furniture, your deck can be marred and damaged when scraped with an abrasive tool, like a shovel. If possible, allow the snow to melt naturally. If that’s not an option, shovel as carefully as possible.