Gardens and patios are there for both aesthetic and ecological reasons, but the biggest reasons for their formation seen from the owner’s point of view is creating a space to spend leisuretime in. This can only be done when the weather is nice outside, which primarily means summertime, but also the latter half of spring and the beginning of fall. During winter, the outdoor living area is for the most part unused, as it can even get covered by snow. However, it cannot be left unprotected like that. You need to prepare well for the coldest of seasons to avoid any structural damage to your patio. Even when it is not used, the outside area of your house has to be taken care of. This maintenance is actually quite simple, under the precondition that you know what you are doing. There are numerous protective measures you can take, so will name only the most important ones.
Protect the pathways
Scorching sun cannot hurt concrete as freezing winter colds can. The most likely place that you will have something made out of concrete are the pathways inside your yard. Snow and rain get water inside the concrete which freezes overnight, damaging the structural integrity of the concrete. This happens regularly every winter and over time concrete starts to crack until it finally falls apart. This is why it should be protected during harsh winter condition.
There are numerous ways how to protect concrete, but the most cost effective one consists of placing board and blankets over it. This way, it will never reach those dangerously low temperatures and it will be protected against mechanical damage in the form of a tree branch breaking under the weight of snow. Some people intervene by simply sealing the cracks with some industrial sealants, but this is not a long-term measure and it will only slow down the imminent crumbling of the concrete.
Bring things inside
The most obvious solution to the problem will only work for certain items. Everything that can be disassembled has to go inside the house where it will be far away from the elements. Admittedly, this method will take up a lot of space in your basement, the shed, or in the larder. Just the garden set comprised of a table and chairs is going to take a couple of square meters to store. Before winter sets in, take a good look around your outdoor living area to see if you have forgotten something. For instance, most lampposts bought from the local DIY store can be removed during the winter so the metal and electric installations inside don’t corrode. The same goes for any wall-mounted lamps. Tree swings can also be taken down, as well as any garden or power tools that you store outside.
Tend to the awnings
One thing that cannot be disassembled are the awnings. Since they have to stay, why not make full use of them? When shopping, always go for durable and adjustable awnings that can be used as shelter during bad weather. If you lack space, all the items from the outdoor living area can be stored under the folded-out awning. Of course, it has to be made of a sturdy material. The best kind of awnings are retractable ones since they can be cleaned from all the piled-up snow in no time. This will prevent them from freezing overnight and damaging their structural integrity.
Round the year upkeep
Although all the pieces of advice provided here are connected to winter, it is still just one season of the year out of four in total. If you want the outdoor area to be safe during winter, it is necessary for it to be properly maintained during the other three seasons. This predominantly includes regular cleaning and scrubbing the patio. At the end of fall, be sure to remove all the leaves and dirt from the pathways, roofing, and the awnings. If they are left to freely rot away, then algae are going to form, leaving the area slippery and potentially dangerous, especially when snow covers all the hazardous spots. Also, apply wood finishing to the deck each new season to protect it against the cold.
Old out, new in
An essential part of regular maintenance is throwing out old rickety items and parts from the outdoor living area. Once the nuts and bolts come out on themselves, then it is time for a new fence, beach chair or a barbecue. No matter how much you protect your stuff, they are going to take pounding from the wind, rain, and snow all the time, so it is smart to simply replace them and avoid risking injury. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should have them repaired if they are still in a working condition.
We hope that you now realize how little it takes to take care of your living area during winter. The keyword is regular maintenancethat is carried out year round, with regard to all the items in the patio.
This guest post was graciously provided by Jessie Hogarth. Jessie is a passionate blogger and home designer. She loves writing about tips and tricks that make every home a better place, inside and outside. Besides this, she loves sports, outdoor activities, planning parties and spending time with her close ones.