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 KC Metro 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. Dirt and moisture can attract bugs and allow mold to take hold. This can turn your patio furniture from beautiful to gross in a heartbeat. Proper cleaning varies depending on the material. In most cases, your patio furniture can be cleaned using water or water and a mild dish soap. Once you have cleaned your furniture, allow it to dry completely. To speed up the process, you might consider wiping it down with a microfiber cloth.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. Once your furniture is clean and dry, you’ll want to treat it with a protective coat. This coat can vary depending on the material. Aluminum and plastic typically benefit from a thin coat of wax. With teak, you will often want to use mineral oil.
Store or Cover Your Patio Furniture
Last, but definitely not least, you will want to cover your furniture. This step is one of the most important. Even if you are storing your patio furniture in a shed or garage, it can get coated in dust and grime. By covering your furniture with a waterproof, protective layer, you will help limit moisture and keep dirt at bay. 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 find a cover that suits your climate needs 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. Read more about essentials for patio covers here.
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.
What Are the Effects of Leaving Patio Furniture Out All Year?
This is the question we see the most: Can you leave your furniture outside all winter? Yes, you can. The fabrics and frames are high quality and they were built with the elements in mind. But, with that being said, there are some things that can happen to your furniture when you leave it outside to battle the wind, snow, and rain, and it doesn’t matter how well the outdoor furniture is built.
The Lifespan Will Decrease – While your outdoor furniture will likely survive the winter, the materials will still take a beating. With the winds and snowfall seen in the KC Metro, it is inevitable. By bringing your furniture inside, you can eliminate this wear and tear and greatly extend your high-end patio furniture’s lifespan.
The Outdoor Furniture Will Get Filthy – As you can imagine, with full exposure to the elements, anything left outside will get covered in dirt, mud, grime, and anything else the wind blows in. So, when it does come time to use your patio furniture again, you will first have to dedicate several hours to cleaning it up.
There Is a Risk of Damage or Theft – When you leave your outdoor furniture outside, you also put it at risk of being stolen or getting damaged. A strong windstorm could blow it away, or a heavy snowfall could ruin the cushions.