Preparing Your Outdoor Living Space for Winter

It will soon be time to say goodbye to your outdoor living spaces and get ready to spend the cold winter indoors. cedar deckThere is still some good weather coming though. So now is the time to take care of your outdoor wood patio furniture, wooden structures and wood decks that have to spend the winter outdoors and prepare them for the harsh weather ahead. Even if you are able to take some of your furniture indoors for the winter, cleaning it first is always a good idea.

With some fall maintenance of these outdoor wood items you can make sure they make it through the winter well and are ready for you to enjoy next spring. Well maintained outdoor wood structures and furniture helps keep them looking beautiful and the curb appeal of your home at a high standard. Often outdoor wood furniture and structures are made from Western red cedar one of the best types of wood for use in the outdoors. It is a popular wood for outdoor use because of its natural durability and beauty. But it doesn’t matter which type of wood your outdoor wood furniture and structures were made from, preparing them for winter is an important way of maintaining their beauty.

Here are some tips for winterizing your outdoor wood furniture and structures.

1. Remove all furniture, planters, and other objects from the deck. Moisture can collect under planters or pots and leave stains on your deck. Then sweep off any debris or leaves. (If it’s not possible to remove these items from your deck, be sure to elevate them off the wood.)

2. It is also important to clean leaves, dirt and pine needles from between the boards of your deck. This will increase airflow around the boards and reduce the opportunity for mold and mildew to grow and the boards to rot. Even though western red cedar, cedar, teak and other outdoor woods contain natural chemicals that resist decay, a lack of air flow due to debris and moisture can still harm the wood.

outdoor wood furniture3. To clean outdoor wood items of mold or mildew use a broom, a little bleach and a water hose. Using a solution of three parts water and one part bleach apply it with your garden sprayer. Rinse the treated areas with clean water once they are clean. * Be sure to keep children, animals and plants away from the area while you are working. Water, dirt and mold can collect on horizontal surfaces throughout the summer and if they are left to stay over the winter, they can speed the deterioration of the wood.

4. What ever you do, don’t “pressure wash” your outdoor wood furniture and structures. By forcing water into the wood it can disrupt the wood’s natural moisture resistance. It is also very harsh to the surface of the wood, often making it appear years older (even though clean) in one wash.

These simple tips for making your outdoor wood furniture and structures ready to face the winter ahead are easy and quick to follow. If you follow them you will ensure all your outdoor wood items are in great shape and ready for you to enjoy next spring when you start spending time outdoors again.

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This entry was posted on Sunday, October 19th, 2008 at 12:41 pm and is filed under Ideas. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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