Posted by: Regent Homes, on November 19, 2015
We cannot believe it is already that time of year again; time to winterize the things around your home. With the harsh winters that Ohio brings, it is important to know the measures you should take to care for your home inside and outside.
One place that you might not think of when it comes to winterizing is your outdoor patio. Winter patio care is very important because you want to be able to use your patio or deck the moment everything thaws and spring arrives. Here are a few things you should know about winter patio care and maintenance.
Threats that winter weather imposes to your patio
- Deteriorate the wood
- Ruin the look and color of the wood
- Cause the wood to weaken and splinter
- Dry rotting
If you have put a lot of time and effort into making your patio a beautiful extension of your home, you will want to make sure that you take the necessary measures to protect it from the harsh winter elements.
Winter Patio Care Tips
- Sweep away dirt and debris – This one is really important! You do not want the snow to fall and turn to ice, hardening dirt and debris on your patio all winter long. Make sure you remove any leaves, pine needles and other organic materials. Do not forget to get in between the deck boards too!
- Remove planters and pots – Many of these planters have holes in the bottom. When these planters fill with water, they will trap water between the pot and the patio. This can cause mildew and bacteria build up. Add freezing temperatures to the mix, and the ice is likely to cause your pots to crack (when water freezes it expands).
- Give your deck/patio a good cleaning – You can pick up a patio/deck cleaner from any local home improvement store or you could mix up a homemade mixture at home. Mix water, oxygen bleach and liquid soap to create a mixture that will kill any mildew on the deck. It is recommended to use three cups water to one cup bleach and only a few drops of soap. Mix it in a spray bottle and spray all areas with mildew. Wait 20-30 minutes, and then rinse with water, repeating as necessary. This is an important step in the process because mold and mildew can cause erosion.
- Apply a protective finish – After cleaning the patio, it is important to apply a protective finish to your wood. This helps to protect your deck against the damaging effects of winter. Check your local home improvement store for wood finishes that provide protection against the elements.
- Do not over shovel – While it may seem like you need to remove any and all snow from your patio or deck, it is not necessary to do so. Do not get us wrong! You want to remove the snow from time to time, but over-shoveling can create scrapes and gouges in the wood. If moisture gets inside these gouges and freezes, that can create bigger problems in the future. Also, when you do shovel, make sure to use a plastic shovel instead of metal, and additionally, shovel parallel to the deck boards versus perpendicular. Doing this could cause you to scrape and catch the edges of the wood.
- Use a non-salt De-Icer – The properties in salt de-icers can cause pitting and drying of the wood. This can weaken the deck and cause damage. Opt for salt-free de-icing agents to melt away snow and ice.
By taking these measures to protect your patio during the winter months, you can be assured that your deck or patio will be beautiful and ready for entertaining come spring and summer!
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