Fall Patio Checklist: How to Prep Your Deck for Winter
It’s hard to believe summer is just about gone. It’s been a beautiful season and I’m sad to see it go. But, as always, I look forward to all the things I enjoy about fall and I’m sure you do too. So, while you’re outdoors soaking up the last warm days of the year, take a look around your patio and see what items need to be cleaned and put away to avoid the harsh weather that’s just around the corner. I’ve provided some tips for winterizing your patio, deck, and outdoor living space.
Deck & Patio Care
Sweep or use a leaf blower to remove any loose dirt and leaves. Next, I’d suggest cleaning your deck or patio surface with a mild detergent or specially formulated deck cleaner. A power washer will work great on a deck that has a finish that’s in good shape. If your deck finish is starting to show its age, then stick to a standard hose and sprayer to avoid damaging the wood and existing finish.
Patio Furniture Care
Plastic Patio Furniture – Wipe the surface down with a solution of water and mild dish soap then rinse well using a hose. If the plastic is white, use a dish soap that has a bleaching agent to help renew the bright white finish.
Wicker & Wood Patio Furniture – An oil-based soap such as Murphy’s Oil Soap and water will work well. Gently scrub the wicker or wood with a soft bristle brush and rinse well.
Aluminum Patio Furniture – Wipe clean with a solution of water and mild dish soap and rinse well. To avoid scratches don’t use brushes or cleaners that are harsh and abrasive.
Outdoor Cushions & Pillows – Shake out or vacuum to remove any dust. If you think they require a deeper cleaning, then I would recommend the cleaning mixture listed below. Dispense the cleaning mixture from a spray bottle. Be sure to shake the mixture well before spraying onto fabric. Gently wipe clean with a damp sponge. This process works great on hammocks and umbrellas.
- 1 qt. warm water
- 1 tsp. dish soap
- 1 tbsp. Borax
Patio Umbrellas – Take your umbrella down, shake off any dust and dirt, then spray it down with a garden hose to remove any remaining debris. Be sure to let it dry completely before storing away to avoid mold and mildew. The Borax cleaning mixture listed above works well on umbrellas too!
Around the House
BBQ Grill – Thoroughly clean the cooking grates and the grill interior as well as the outside before storing it away or protecting it with an all-weather grill cover.
Outdoor Pots & Planters – My suggestion is if you really like the container and want it to last for years, bring it inside. Plastic items must be stored in a temperature controlled area to avoid cracking. Cement and terracotta items tend to fare better in temperature extremes.
Fall Leaves – Quickly rake and bag leaves from your driveway, sidewalks, porch, and deck. Leaves that are left in your yard over winter can smother your grass and create bare spots in the spring. A dependable leaf blower will do the job perfectly.
If you want to stay outside a bit later in the day, now is the perfect time to check out an outdoor patio heater or fire pit. Grab some blankets and enjoy the crisp fall evenings with your family and friends!