Winter and Your Outdoor Living Space
As we inch closer to the winter season in the Midwest, we know we can expect dropping temperatures, wind, freezing rain, and snow. This type of weather means the outdoor living space will need to be prepared for winter. Winterizing your outdoor living space is essential to avoid costly replacements or repairs in the spring.
A few of the things that will need to be prepared for the colder months are decks, grills, and your patio furniture.
Poor deck maintenance prior to cold months could leave you with rotting wood, stains, or mold and mildew damage. Winterizing your deck should become a priority in all of your fall maintenance. Water can build up beneath planters and the metal that touches the deck. This will cause rust, stains, mold, mildew and rot.
Sweep all the dead leaves and debris from the deck. Wet leaves can stain the deck and decomposing matter can spread rot to the deck boards. Be sure to remove any debris that has become wedged between the deck boards as well. This allows air flow that will make it possible for the moisture to evaporate as quickly as possible and discourage mold and mildew buildup.
If you already have mold and mildew on the deck, it is best to scrub out any you find as it will only get worse over the winter. Remember, it is best to keep the snow cleared from the deck throughout the winter months. Otherwise when the snow melts it will send the moisture right into the wood. Avoid using salt or other ice melting products on a wood deck.
Give the grill a thorough cleaning with a citrus-based degreaser. Follow with a stainless steel polish. Don’t forget to clean the cooking grates.
You’ll want to re-season the cooking surfaces. Wipe vegetable oil on both sides of the cooking grates. Place the grates back inside the grill and heat the grill to 500 degrees. Keep the hood closed and allow the grill to season for 20 minutes. When seasoned, the cooking surface should be brown or black.
If you are not going to be using your grill during the winter months, shut off the gas. Remove the tank and store it in an area that is not prone to freezing. It’s a good idea to cover your grill as well.
If your outdoor furniture is plastic it will need little care. Simply clean it, towel it off and store inside to prevent brittleness.
The fabric on your outdoor furniture is probably designed to resist mildew, but it’s best to store cushions indoors over the winter months.
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