Winter is coming! Don’t be stuck cleaning your outdoor living space once warmer weather is here. By taking a little bit of time for maintenance now, you are protecting your investment and are ready to go in the Spring.
1. Protect and prep your furniture and accessories. Cover any larger pieces that can’t be stored away, and pack up any cushions. Wind tends to wreck havoc over the winter blowing in dirt and debris and can making it harder to clean the cushions later on. Remove accessories like lanterns, candles, or other decorative items.
2. Clear out annual flower pots, and hanging baskets. Take any cold sensitive plants that you will be overwintering inside or into a warmer greenhouse type environment.
3. Check and clear your gutters if they land over top of your patio. Clogged downspouts can cause icy spots and make it hard to clear the area after a storm.
4. Don’t forget about pergola covers, awnings, shade sails and umbrellas. Retract, remove, or tie down.
5. Cleaning and covering appliances that won’t be used over the winter will help extend their life span. Traditional grills, egg shaped grills, brick ovens, and open cooktops can all be degreased and swept clean of ash and food bits to discourage critters from finding their way in and wrecking havoc. Fridges and ice makers should be emptied of food, beverages, and ice. Vacuum any dirt and dust off the vents.
6. Unplug, shut off, and drain the water lines to fridges, sinks, and ice makers. Make sure to leave the drain valves open so the lines don’t freeze. Open the hot and cold lines on the faucet.
7. Blow or sweep off any debris. Get in the corners and nooks and crannies where leaves can pile up. Finish up by washing or hosing the patio down Don’t use a pressure washer on your pavers! The force of the spray is too much and can harm both the pavers and the jointing sand.
8. Speaking of joints, now is a good time to check them. Do you have any weeds that have worked their way in? Are there some spaces in between pavers low on sand? If it is a permeable paver system, how does your #89 stone look in between the joints? You want to get the cracks filled so water doesn’t seep under the pavers and cause freeze damage.
9. If your patio has been sealed or has been color enhanced check to see if it is time for a refresh. Remember this is a 2 step process involving stain removal and cleaning 24-48 hours prior to sealing. Unfortunately this is not something that can happen when temperatures dip below 50 degrees here in Colorado. Scheduling with your Contractor to get on their Spring schedule ahead of time is never discouraged.
10. Shovel as much snow off the pavers as possible shortly after a snow storm occurs. If icy spots are prevalent, a mixture of sand and ice melt is more effective than ice melt alone. Keep in mind though, if the pavers are a permeable system, sand is not a good option. Once the ice has melted, remove any excess salt, or salt sand mix so no build up remains on the pavers. Try to stay away magnesium chloride or calcium magnesium acetate in ice melts. Look instead for sodium, potassium, or calcium chlorides. They are a little less harsh on the concrete paver surface.
For more detailed information on preparing your outdoor space for winter we recommend visiting Belgard and ICPI.
Contact Summit today if you would like help creating an outdoor space you will completely love.