Recently, we gave you some tips on how to protect your patio and walkways from the harsh weather of winter. This week, we have some winterization tips to protect the rest of your outdoor living space. You may have some or all of these features in your space. Feel free to skip over anything that doesn’t pertain to your personal situation.
Protect Fire Pits and Outdoor Fireplaces
If you’re like a lot of Maryland and Virginia homeowners, you continue to use your fire pit and outdoor fireplace throughout the winter. You may be wondering what you need to protect them from. While they protect you from chilly temperatures, you need to protect both of these hardscape elements from snow and ice.
Be sure to close brick oven and fireplace doors when the unit isn’t in use. This will prevent snow and ice from building up inside the unit, as well as make it easier to use the next time you want to.
Cover your fire pit opening with a solid cover to give it the same protection. This can prevent rust if the fire pit bowl is metal, and will ensure the fire pit is dry the next time you want to light it.
If any ice or snow does build up in your brick oven, fireplace, or fire pit, remove any loose snow or ice. When you light the unit, let it warm slowly, to melt any remaining ice.
Protect Your Outdoor Kitchen
While you can use your grill all winter long (just keep it covered), it’s important to protect the investment you made in the rest of your outdoor kitchen, Follow these steps, and you’ll be in good shape come springtime.
- Shut off the water supply to your outdoor kitchen. Drain all the water lines to the sink, refrigerator, ice maker, and kegerator. Leave the drain valves open.
- Remove food and drinks before shutting off the power to all of the appliances.
- Clean the inside of the refrigerator and any other appliances. Clean the cabinets and dry everything with a towel to remove any moisture.
- Don’t place covers on outdoor refrigerators or ice makers, because doing so could cause condensation to get trapped between the appliance and the cover. That could cause electrical damage.
- You may want to remove the faucet and store it in the house over the winter. Dry up any water left when you do this. Cover the sink(s) with a heavy tarp or piece of plywood to keep debris out. This should also keep birds and other critters out.
- If your kitchen countertops are made of stone, you may want to apply a specialized seal and to prevent cracking due to freezing moisture as well as to prevent leaf stains on the stone.
Protect Your Water Features
When the temperatures are expected to drop below freezing for an extended period, it’s recommended that you turn off the pump and drain decorative fountains. As far as a pump in a pond or waterfall feature, the same advice applies.
If you don’t have aquatic life such as koi fish in the pond, it is safer to turn the pump off so that it doesn’t freeze if the pond freezes. Now is a good time to take care of this task.
You can also invest in a pond heater if you feel you need to keep the pump running during the winter. This will ensure there is a hole in the ice to protect the fish.
And when it comes to winterizing your water features, remember, your installation manual probably has some really good tips as well.
Now Booking for 2021
Make 2021 the year you build the backyard of your dreams. All that time at home in 2020 has allowed you to look at your space with a more critical eye than usual. You’ve come up with a lot of ideas. Turn your luxury outdoor living ideas into reality with LiveWell Outdoors. We offer a personalized experience and deliver distinctive designs that will exceed your expectations.
Schedule a consultation to get started.