Protecting Your Patio from the Elements

brush applying varnish to a piece of wood in the sun

Your patio is likely a focal point of your outdoor area. For that reason, it’s important to arm it against the weather during all seasons to keep it in pristine condition.

Protect Your Patio Before Each Season

The change in seasons is the perfect time to protect your patio from the elements. This is especially important in winter. If you live in an area affected by winter weather, you’ll want to winterize your patio to protect it from cold temperatures, ice, and snow.

Clean Patio Furniture

Start the process by cleaning your patio furniture. Leaving any lingering moisture, dirt, or debris on your patio furniture could lead to the growth of mold or mildew, which is an unwelcome inhabitant of your outdoor pieces.

Furniture made from wicker, wrought iron, or plastic can all be cleaned using a sponge or brush with a mixture of dish soap and warm water. Wipe down the furniture with the soapy mixture and then rinse the soap off. Let the furniture dry completely before moving onto the next step of the process.

If your patio furniture is made of wood, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning. Using the wrong substance on wood furniture could cause serious damage to the furniture. Whitewashed or painted wood furniture pieces can be cleaned by using a damp cloth to wipe it down rather than scrubbing or using a hose on these pieces, as this could lead to paint chipping.

You’ll also want to clean the textile parts of outdoor furniture. Cushions, outdoor rugs, and patio umbrellas should all be cleaned prior to the winter. You can go two different routes with these items when it comes to cleaning. The first option is to just dust these items and then air-drying them.

Alternatively, you could opt to take this opportunity to deep clean these fabrics. Do so by using a pressure washer to not only completely cleanse furniture but give their appearance a nice refresh. This could be a great option for outdoor textiles that have lost their luster. Be sure to allow these items to dry completely after washing.

covered furniture in snowy outdoor area

Cover or Store Furniture and Accessories

When it comes to protecting your patio leading up to the winter, you may want to cover or stow furniture and accessories for extra protection. Once you’re done cleaning outdoor furniture and it’s completely dry, you can move on to the next step of either covering or storing your furniture for the season. If you have covers for these items, use them. If not, think about moving them indoors to a shed or garage for the season. You should also move or cover any planters that reside on your patio.

Removing Snow and Debris

When it snows or there is any kind of debris on your patio, remove it in a timely manner to keep the area in good condition. This includes fallen leaves and branches in addition to snow.

Secure Cushions and Pillows

On a particularly blustery day, your furniture cushions or pillows could potentially blow away. To avoid this situation, use something to secure them. An easy way to do so is to adhere some velcro to the bottom of cushions and the furniture so that the cushions are actually secured where they belong.

Protect Furniture from the Sun

hand painting varnish on outdoor chair

The bright rays of the sun can add to the wear and tear of your patio furniture over time. To protect against this, use a coat of outdoor furniture protector on your pieces, which can be found at most hardware stores and applied with a paintbrush. Wooden furniture is best protected from the sun with regular paint, which acts as a “sunscreen” barrier for these pieces.

Always Plan Ahead

One of the easiest and most effective ways to protect your patio is simply to plan ahead. If major weather events are coming your way, be proactive in preparing your patio by securing items, moving them to a safe location, or taking measures to protect them from the weather.

Clearly, a little care and effort can go a long way in keeping your patio and everything on it in pristine condition.