Patio furniture is an investment and should be treated as such. If you are not winterizing your patio, your furniture will wear out and need to be replaced more quickly than if you know how to properly care for your items at the end of the season. By following these tips to winterize your patio, you can get everything put away in short order.
Clean and Store Patio Chairs and Tables
One of the first steps you'll need to complete when winterizing is to clean and store any patio furniture — including dining tables, chairs, loungers, rockers and more. First, wipe off dust and dirt. Next, clean the furniture with an all-purpose cleaner. If you see signs of mold or mildew, scrub it with a bleach solution so the mildew does not spread.
If your patio furniture includes an umbrella, you'll need to clean and store this as well. An umbrella that's covered in pollen, dirt or dust can be swept off and stored without further cleaning. However, if you see traces of mold on your umbrella, take the time to give it a good cleaning. Scrub the fabric with a mixture of soap and bleach. If your umbrella is vinyl, use a .
Allow the furniture to dry, and then store in a clean, moisture-free area, such as a basement. If you have cushions or pillows, consider laundering these items and allowing them to dry fully before storing them with the furniture. If you're unable to place cushions in a washing machine, scrub them with a bleach solution to remove any mold or mildew. Allow the cushions to air dry fully, then store. If you cannot bring furniture inside, cover the items with a tarp and secure the tarp to prevent winter weather damage.
Clean the Grill
If you forget to clean the grill in the fall, you will be in for a nasty surprise come summer if mold takes over your grill grates! Fire up the grill and allow the flames to burn any food residue, rather than applying a chemical cleaner. After approximately 15 minutes, use a grill brush to scrub the grill grates until they appear clean, then turn off the grill.
When the grill has cooled, wipe down the outside using an all-purpose cleaner. Clean the grease tray. To protect your grill from the elements, use a grill cover or bring the grill in a detached garage. Never store a propane tank in an attached garage, basement or home with the propane tank attached, since this poses a fire danger.
Put Away Plants and Garden Supplies
If you have planters on the patio, you have a choice: Throw away annual plants and purchase new plants next year, or bring perennial plants indoors for the winter. You may try keeping plants indoors as house plants, or placing them in a secure dry area (like a basement) where they can go dormant for the winter. After the final frost in the spring, move the plants outside where they can thrive once more.
As you put away plants and garden supplies, take in any patio decor that could be ruined by winter weather. This may include decorative lanterns, patio curtains, lighting and more. Store everything in a plastic tub to protect it from the elements. Finally, don't overlook tools or hoses, which can sustain damage if left outside all winter.
Pressure-Wash the Patio
Once the patio has ben cleared of clutter, sweep the floor to remove leaves and dirt. Then use a pressure washer to clean the surface. With the patio clean and clear, it may be a good time to reseal the surface to protect against spills, stains, mold, mildew and natural deterioration.
Winter ice, snow and rain can seep into the wood of your patio, causing damage and shortening the lifespan of the material. When properly applied, a sealer should hold up for several years.
When you take the time to work through this winterizing checklist, you will keep your patio looking great and ensure that all of your furniture retains its value and attractiveness for years to come.
Author bio: Melissa Taylor serves as Social Media and Content Specialist at Gold Eagle Co. Originally from Chicago, Taylor is an avid outdoors enthusiast. When not exploring the city, you can find her traveling, hiking, camping, boating and enjoying nature as much as possible.