While it is still technically fall, winter will be here before you know it. If you haven’t yet, now’s the time to start thinking about winterizing your patio. Because though the Seattle area is unlikely to get hit with an East Coast-level blizzard, we also can hardly expect the sunshine-filled days folks in Arizona are primed to experience.
From cleaning to storing, the following tips will help you get your outdoor space ready to survive the winter and look great this coming spring.
Clean Your Patio Furniture
Take a look at your patio furniture. Did it accumulate some dust and grime throughout the spring, summer, and fall? It lives outdoors. That is bound to happen. Rather than store it dirty, take the time to wipe it free of any dirt and debris. By tackling a little cleaning now, you can significantly reduce the amount of prep time you will face in the spring.
Store or Cover Your Patio Furniture
Even the most weather-resistant outdoor furniture can wear over time. To extend the life of your outdoor tables and chairs, you will want to cover them during the winter or move them indoors. Just be sure that before you cover your furniture it’s completely dry. If it’s not, you will trap moisture inside and this can lead to mildew.
Scrub Your Patio Cushions
Like any fabric material, outdoor cushions can become a breeding ground for mold and mildew. You will want to thoroughly wipe all your outdoor cushions with a soapy sponge and water and then scrub off any remaining dirt and grime.
After they've been washed, prop them up in a dry space for a few days so that the air can flow around each cushion. This is really important. You never want to stack your cushions or store them in containers until they are completely dry.
Once they have dried, find a dry, enclosed space where you can store them. This is important for keeping animals from using them as a nest.
Clean Hammocks and Store Umbrellas
Even the sturdiest of hooks and bases can be bent and broken in an intense storm or under the heavy weight of snow. Why risk it? Take the time to clean and then store your patio hammocks and umbrellas. Like your cushions, you’ll want to make sure they are completely dry before you put them away. This might mean spreading them open in the garage for a period of time.
Store Your Garden Tools
Do you have small potted plants that won’t survive the winter? You might be able to save them by moving them to a more sheltered area of your outdoor space, like a covered deck, or indoors. Anything you don’t want to save should be tossed in the compost bin so you can start fresh next year.
Turn large, empty containers upside down so that water doesn’t collect inside. Untwist and untangle hoses, and then wind them into a neat circle and place them inside. This will help protect them against freezing and cracking.
Organize your outdoor tools so you know right where they are when spring arrives. And, cover all your outdoor spigots to protect them against freezing.
Give Your Patio Floor Some TLC
Like washing your kitchen floor, it’s a good idea to remove the summer and fall grit from your patio before winter sets in. Power wash the base of your patio to easily cut through the dirt and debris that’s built up. If you have pavers, now’s a good time to weed between the cracks and apply new sand.
Clean the Grill
Whether you’re a winter griller or not, fall’s not a bad time to give your grill a little TLC. After all, it works hard helping you cook up some delicious food. Fire it up for several minutes to help burn off any residue. Turn it off and use a ball of aluminum foil to scrape off any stubborn bits. (You might want to use tongs to hold the aluminum ball.)
Finally, after your grill has cooled, wash the outside with soapy water to remove any grime.
Need some outdoor furniture covers? Visit our Seattle and Bellevue locations to find a variety of sizes to fit your needs.