Tips for properly winterizing your outdoor space
Let’s face it — winterizing is not at the top of anyone’s list of fun things to do, but it is an important step in extending the life of things like your patio furniture, lawn mower and grill, as well as preventing water pipes from freezing and bursting.
Here are some basic tips for how to prepare your outdoor space for Old Man Winter’s arrival:
There is a wide variety of materials used in the making of outdoor furniture, but here are the most commonly used ones and how to protect them…
- Metals: Most aluminum furniture is powder-coated to keep it from rusting. However, it’s a good idea to wash aluminum furniture and then apply a coat of automotive wax to it for extra protection. Scratches can be touched up easily by using car paint in the appropriate color. Wrought iron, despite its sturdy structure, is susceptible to rust. Use a wire brush to remove any rust that has accumulated. Coat with an exterior spray paint designed for wrought iron, then cover the furniture with a quality tarp until spring.
- Plastic: Plastic furniture needs very little care other than a good hosing down and drying off. Due to its brittle nature, it should be brought inside for the winter
- Fabric: Vacuum or shake off cushions and umbrella at the end of the outdoor season. Keep anything stuffed with foam in a dry space for the winter. For tough stains, use a bleach/detergent mix; on printed fabrics, simply use soap and water.
- Natural materials: To maintain teak wood’s original color, apply specialty oil at least once a year. Synthetic wicker can remain outdoors year-round, but natural rattan needs to be kept in a dry, dark space.
- Disconnect: While you’ll likely want to use the outside water right up until the point freezing weather begins, it’s best to preempt the cold weather by disconnecting any hoses, splitters or connections from the spigot.
- Inspect: Check all faucets and fixtures for any leaks and/or drips, and if any are found, repair or replace them before the first freeze.
- Protect: Install hose bib covers on all outdoor faucets and fixtures. Hose bib covers are made of thick foam and are quite effective at keeping most of the cold away from the valve.
- Disconnect your grill from the propane tank or gas line and give it a good top-to-bottom cleaning.
- Coat cooking grates, heat plates, warming rack and burners in cooking oil to repel moisture and prevent rust. Burners also can be placed in a plastic bag to prevent spiders or other insects from nesting in the burner tube itself.
- If the grill uses an electric igniter, remove the battery before storing for winter.
- If the grill is stored outside, reconnect the propane tank and make sure the valve is in off position. If storing inside a garage or shed, which is ideal, leave the propane tank outside, off and in an upright position.
- Cover your grill.
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- Extend the life of your lawn mower by properly winterizing the engine. Adding fuel stabilizer and a few ounces of oil will help the engine start right up without hesitation in the spring.
To get the most mileage out of your patio furniture, Morris Home is one of a select number of furniture retailers to offer Guardian Protection Plans on their patio furniture. Ask any sales person at any one of the several Morris Home locations in Cincinnati, Dayton and Columbus.
You can find more selection, more style and more savings on the latest interior designs at Morris Home stores in Ohio and Northern Kentucky. Start shopping now at http://www.morrisathome.com/