Protecting Your Patio in Winter
West Michigan winters can be brutal. Cold temperatures, ice, snow, hail, even salt—all of it can damage an outdoor space like a patio in one way or another. You’ve spent a lot of money installing or upgrading the man-made features of your landscaping, and you want to be sure everything still looks nice next spring! Fortunately, protecting your patio in winter doesn’t have to be difficult. For starters, we recommend cleaning all your patio furniture thoroughly—especially cushions—and let it dry out completely before storing it away or covering it for the season. In truth, you’ll probably need to clean it again in spring, but you definitely want to get last season’s grime and gunk off your furniture before the cold weather hits. Same goes for your grill. Fire it up one last time to cook out any lingering residue, then give it a good scrape with a wire brush. Don’t forget to clean the grease tray and wipe all surfaces down, too. You may choose to store your grill inside over the winter, but if it’s a gas grill make sure you remove the propane tank first—you should never, ever store one indoors. Either way, make sure the gas is shut off and the hose is disconnected. If you notice any rust developing on metal surfaces—gates, furniture, etc.—scrub it, loosen it, and touch it up right away. Rust and corrosion will only get worse if you don’t cut it off early. Remember also that not all materials handle the frigid elements equally well. If you’ve got wicker furniture, you should probably store it inside during the winter to increase the lifespan. Other elements of your patio may be sealed, covered, treated, or even left alone. To get the best advice, check with the manufacturer of the piece to see what they recommend. Now, turn your attention to the surface of your patio itself; it should be cleaned as well. Most concrete can simply be swept and then scrubbed with just water or a mile detergent, though you may need to bust out the degreaser for grill stains. Some surfaces may be power washed, though definitely check with the manufacturer or contractor here—some stones with more porous surfaces require more specialized care. Definitely seal or repair any obvious cracks—they provide an opportunity for water and ice to get in and force it to open even further. With a little care, your patio should continue to provide many years of outdoor enjoyment! If you’re looking to repair or update your outdoor space, give Bosch’s Landscaping a call at (616) 399-6861.