The leaves are falling and a chill is in the air, which means it’s time to pack up your patio. Although it’s sad to say goodbye to your summer outdoor space, preparing your patio for winter ensures that everything will be in tip-top shape when outdoor entertaining season arrives again. Read on to learn how to clean and store your patio accessories and prep your deck for cold weather.
Protect Your Plants
If you have potted plants on your patio, bring them indoors before the first freeze. The roots of plants kept in containers are more exposed to ambient temperatures, which makes them vulnerable to damage. Winter your potted plants in a greenhouse or bring them indoors to brighten up the cold winter days.
Gather Your Grill
Thoroughly cleaning your grill before storing it for winter can save you a lot of headaches when it’s time to light it up again in the summer. Start by running the grill on high for a few minutes to burn off any stuck-on food. Then let it cool down and give it a good scrub with dish soap and a wire grill brush. Soak the grates in a bucket of soapy water before scrubbing. If you have a propane grill, removing the tank before storage is a good idea.
Don’t Forget the Furniture
Remove all the cushions and pillows from your patio furniture and give them a wash before storing in sealed containers or vacuum storage bags. Wipe down your metal furniture and store it in a dry location to prevent rust. Store plastic furniture in a warm location like a garage or attic to prevent cracking. Wooden furniture should be cleaned and protected with a new coat of sealant before hibernating for the winter.
Deck Out Your Deck
Now that all your patio accessories are out of the way, it’s time to get the deck ready for winter. Start by giving your deck a good scrub. Power washing may be necessary if you have a lot of embedded dirt or mold. Check for any repair and maintenance needs, such as loose nails, cracks and rotted boards.
After making any necessary repairs, lightly sand the deck’s surface and sweep or vacuum away the resulting sawdust. Paint on a coat or two of water sealant to protect it from snow and spring rains. Consider using an additional deck cover, such as a tarp or awning, if you live in a climate with a lot of winter precipitation.
Complete your patio’s winter transition with some festive holiday lights and decorations. Now that your outdoor space is prepared for the chilly months ahead, it’s time to get cozy indoors and dream about your next summer barbecue.