Tips to Prepare Your Outdoor Living Spaces for Cold and Snow
Although winter doesn’t officially start until December 21, November weather can get kind of ugly with cold rain. We’re going to assume you’ve already closed and winterized your pool. Take steps now to prepare the rest of your outdoor living spaces for cold, ice, and snow.
Step #1 Protect and Store Patio Furniture
Brush any dirt and leaves off of your larger pieces of patio furniture before covering them, if you haven’t already. Be sure to remove the cushions first, and bag them for storage. Move smaller pieces and decorative items into your garage or shed for protection from the elements.
Related Reading: Prep Your Outdoor Furniture for Winter
Step #2: Prepare Your Outdoor Kitchen for Winter
While you may want to use your grill(s) to help prepare Thanksgiving dinner and for grilling throughout the winter, it’s important to protect the rest of your outdoor kitchen.
- Turn off the water supply to your outdoor kitchen. Drain all the water lines to the sink and appliances. Leave the drain valves open.
- Remove any contents from your outdoor appliances before shutting off/unplugging them.
- Clean the inside of the refrigerator and other appliances. Clean the cabinets and dry everything with a towel to remove any moisture.
- Cover the sink with a heavy tarp or piece of plywood to keep debris out. This should also keep birds and other critters out. Do not cover appliances.
- If your outdoor kitchen countertops are made of stone, apply a specialized seal to prevent cracking due to freezing moisture as well as to prevent leaf stains.
Step #3: Clean Your Gutters or Hire Someone
After most of the leaves have fallen, your gutters need to be cleaned. A lot of leaves and debris trapped in your gutters can cause them to overflow onto your patio. That creates an icy hazard when the temperatures drop. Either clean your gutters yourself if you have the equipment and a one-story house or hire professionals.
Step 4: Sweep the Patio and Pull or Spray Away Any Moss or Lichens
Use a leaf blower or a stiff broom to sweep leaves and other debris off of your patio. If your patio gets a lot of shade, you may have moss trying to grow near the foundation walls. Wearing gloves, you can remove that by hand. Another option is to use your hose to spray away moss and lichens. Don’t use a pressure washer, as that can be a little too harsh for paver patios and wash away the jointing sand.
Related Reading: Winter Maintenance Tips for Patio Pavers
Step #5: Schedule Patio Sealing
If your patio has been sealed or has an additive color that has faded, go ahead and schedule patio sealing – for the spring. It’s too late to do it now because of the colder temperatures. But if you schedule now, you’ll be first in line to get a patio spruce up in the spring.
Step #6: Stock Up on Appropriate Deicing Materials
If you want to preserve and protect your patio pavers and walkways, it’s important not to use magnesium chloride and magnesium acetate-based ice melts because they can degrade your patio. Opt instead for potassium, calcium, or sodium chlorides.
Dream It. Build It. Live It.
Take a good look at your yard and outdoor living spaces while you’re out there getting everything ready for winter. Did you spend as much time outside as you wanted this summer? Do you wish you had an outdoor fireplace or outdoor kitchen like the neighbors down the street? Maybe you’ve been dreaming of a pool paradise. It’s time to stop dreaming and start planning.
We’re in the business of turning your outdoor living dreams into reality. We are now setting design consultation appointments for 2023. Check out our Portfolio for examples of our work, and to gain inspiration.
We work with homeowners throughout the Capital Region, including Northern Virginia, Maryland, and Washington D.C.