Winter Tips for Patio Furniture

The winter in Massachusetts can be a time of snow accumulation, biting cold, and whipping winds. So when the season changes in December, many homeowners choose to pack up their patios for the winter and go into “hibernation.” However, if you do a few maintenance tasks to get your patio prepared for the upcoming harsh winter months, you might actually be able to use it every now and again. Here are a few outdoor patio ideas that will make transitioning to the winter season more bearable, and maybe even encourage you to step outside for your morning cup of coffee.

Remove Your Patio Furniture

The first task to take care of before winter arrives is clearing your patio of all large items. Remove any and all chairs, tables, plants, and backyard tools. Give each furniture item a quick shower with a hose to remove debris, and allow it to dry in the sun. Take the umbrella from your outdoor patio table and wipe it down to remove any dust or dirt that has accumulated over the summer. Cover each item with a large trash bag and store them neatly in the garage, a tool shed, or beneath a large tarp. The goal here is to remove them from exposure to the elements so that they will be fresh and ready to use next spring. It’s also easier to shovel snow and clear pathways on your patio when it’s not full of furniture. If you don’t have room to store your patio furniture, simply remove the cushions and stack them neatly into a corner, out of the way.

Barbecue Grill - Flickr/Steven Depolo

Image Source: Flickr/Steven Depolo

Clean the Barbecue Grill

Many people don’t take the time to thoroughly clean their barbecue grill before the winter arrives, which is why it looks like a disaster in the spring. If you have a charcoal grill, get rid of the old coals and ash. Scrub the grill down with a degreasing agent and give it a good rinse down with your hose. If it’s a gas grill, make sure to safely shut off and unscrew the gas lines, then store the tank in a cool, dry location or return it to your local retailer. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for proper storage or disposal.

Tidy Up

If your patio is located near trees, take the time to sweep up leaves and debris before they have a chance to get covered up by snow in the winter. Use a high-powered nozzle with a patio and driveway cleaning solution to wash the bricks or cement surface thoroughly. Give your patio a fresh start, so that when spring rolls around again it will be clean and ready to be arranged.

Bench and Lights

If you plan to spend any amount of time outside on your patio this winter, you’re going to need weatherproof seating that is easy to move around. Get yourself a lightweight plastic bench made entirely of recycled materials. These benches are usually easy to lift, attractive, and can accommodate multiple people. If you don’t want to purchase a new bench, you can also leave two patio chairs outside and cover them with a heavy duty, weather resistant furniture cover. Also, remember that in the fall and winter it gets dark outside earlier, so add additional outdoor lighting to your patio so that it will be more welcoming. Try mini holiday lights or landscape lightingsystems.

Bench - Flickr/US Fish and Wildlife Service

Image Source: Flickr/US Fish and Wildlife Service – Recovery Act Team

These outdoor patio ideas make it possible to enjoy your back or front yard even during colder winter months.

Main Image Source: Flickr/Lee Haywood

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