In case you didn’t the memo, we are officially in the heart of winter, with spring not coming for several more months. The sub-freezing temperatures and snow/sleet accompanied with winter can wreck havoc on a patio, damaging wood decks, furniture and other items. You can protect your patio and outdoor furniture from this damage, however, by following these patio maintenance tips for the winter.
Apply a Weatherproof Finish
When was the last time that you “weatherproofed” your patio? If it’s been longer than one year, then it’s probably a good idea to do it again. Pick up some weatherproof deck finish from your local home improvement store and apply it to your patio deck. Once dry, it will act as a protective barrier between your patio and the outdoor elements, protecting it from moisture damage. If your patio isn’t covered, you may want to choose a UV-protected finish, which as the name suggests blocks out the sun’s ultraviolet rays.
Bring Vulnerable Furniture Indoors
Not all outdoor furniture is able to withstand the harsh winter environment. Plastic furniture is an all-around durable choice that typically doesn’t sustain damage from cold and wet temperatures. Furniture made of certain types of wood, on the hand, will sustain damage. Wood contains holes (known as pores) that absorb moisture from the surrounding environment. When it absorbs too much moisture, it can lead to warping, rot, mold and other forms of damage.
Keep in mind, however, that genuine cedar furniture contains natural oils that protect it from moisture-related damage, meaning you can leave it outside for the winter without fear of it becoming damaged. For the rest of your furniture, through, you’ll want to bring it indoors – or at the very lease, inside the garage until spring.
Keep it Clean
This tip applies for all seasons throughout the year, not just winter. Homeowners should clean their patios regularly, sweeping away any leaves, brush or other debris that’s accumulated on the surface. Allowing this debris to sit on your patio may cause discoloration and/or the formation of mold.
These are just a few things to remember when maintaining your patio this winter. Above all else, though, bring any furniture that’s susceptible to moisture indoors. There’s nothing worse than going to sit in your favorite patio chair, only to realize that’s developed mold after being left outdoors for the winter.