Getting Your Yard Ready For Winter

As the leaves start to fall and the temperature begins to drop, it’s time to start thinking about winterizing your deck and outdoor furniture. Taking the necessary steps to prepare these elements for the cold weather can help extend their lifespan and ensure they’re ready for use when spring arrives. Here’s a comprehensive guide on what you need to do as a homeowner to get your deck and outdoor furniture winter-ready.

Clean and inspect your deck: Before winter arrives, give your deck a thorough cleaning. Sweep away any debris, leaves, or dirt that may have accumulated. If you’ve got a pressure washer, use it to remove any stubborn stains or mold. Once cleaned, inspect your deck for any signs of damage or loose boards. Repair or replace them as necessary to avoid any further deterioration during the winter months.

Apply a protective sealant: To safeguard your deck from the harsh winter elements, apply a protective sealant. This will prevent moisture penetration, which can cause the wood to warp, crack, or rot. Choose a high-quality, water-resistant sealant and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application. It’s recommended to apply the sealant when the temperature is above 50°F (10°C) and when rain isn’t expected for at least 24 hours.

Store or cover your furniture: Outdoor furniture can be susceptible to damage caused by snow, ice, and freezing temperatures. Before winter hits, decide whether you’ll store your furniture or cover it to prolong its lifespan. If you have the space, storing it indoors (such as a garage or basement) is the best option. Make sure to thoroughly clean and dry the furniture before storing to prevent mold or mildew growth. If storage isn’t feasible, invest in high-quality furniture covers specifically designed for winter use. Ensure the covers are waterproof, UV-resistant, and properly fitted to protect your furniture from the elements.

Secure loose cushions and fabric: If you have cushions, pillows, or any other fabric components on your outdoor furniture, it’s essential to secure them properly. Remove and clean the cushions, then store them in a dry location. If you prefer leaving them outside, invest in weather-resistant cushion storage bags or waterproof covers. This will help prevent moisture damage and extend their lifespan.

Trim surrounding trees and shrubs: If you have trees or shrubs near your deck, take the time to trim them back before winter sets in. Freezing branches laden with snow or ice can cause damage to your deck, so it’s important to create ample space and reduce the risk of falling limbs. Additionally, removing any dead or decaying foliage will help improve the overall health of your landscape.

Clear gutters and downspouts: While not directly related to your deck and outdoor furniture, it’s crucial to clean your gutters and downspouts before winter. Clogged gutters can cause water to overflow and accumulate around your deck, potentially leading to water damage and rot. Ensure gutters are free of debris to allow water to flow freely away from your deck and home.

Perform routine maintenance: Finally, as a responsible homeowner, it’s important to perform routine maintenance throughout the year. Regularly inspect your deck for signs of damage, such as loose screws, nails, or splintered wood. Tighten any loose hardware and replace damaged parts promptly. Additionally, periodically clean and inspect your outdoor furniture even during the winter months to prevent any potential issues from escalating.

By following these steps, you can protect your deck and outdoor furniture from the winter elements and ensure they remain in good condition for years to come. Remember, a little preparation and maintenance will go a long way toward preserving the beauty and functionality of your outdoor living space.

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