With the melting snow and flowering trees, spring is soon arriving. However, as lovely as spring is, the melting snow can reveal damage to your yard or patio. If you want to entertain guests outdoors in the spring or summer, there are some things you should do to prepare your patio. Here are a few tips to get you started.
Checking for Damage
Unfortunately, winter weather can be very tough on patios, especially if it’s a deck made out of wood. The first step in preparing your patio for spring should be to inspect it for any damage it might have sustained during the winter from snow, ice, and wind. Your next step should be to evaluate the finish of the wood if you have wood as part of your patio setup.
Over time, wood finishes on decks deteriorate from weather and sunlight. They need to be reapplied every year or two, depending on local weather conditions. Before you reapply a deck sealant, you must first clean your deck. Once you check for damage and do all you can to fix it so it can be more resilient against the weather, your patio will not only last longer, but it will also look better.
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Weather Proofing the Furniture
Another important thing to do after checking your patio for damage is to inspect your patio furniture and protect it against future spring storms and other weather. Evaluate whether or not your furniture suffered any damage from severe winter weather or during storage. Check for rips and tears in the upholstery. If your furniture is metal, look for patches of rust. Remove rust with sandpaper and seal the sanded area. If your furniture is wood, check that all the joints are sound. If the two parts joined together move when you apply slight pressure, the joints will need to be re-glued.
Depending on the furniture material, you may want some weatherproofing covers. Although more widely available in the fall, look for protective covers for patio furniture at your home improvement store or big box store. Some styles are waterproof. Other styles are designed to stop the sun from fading the upholstery.
Spring Cleaning Your Deck
If a deck is part of your patio setup, you should give it a good spring clean. One way to keep your deck looking like new is to power wash it twice, then apply a deck sealant. Before you wash the deck, sweep it completely. Use oxygen bleach for the first wash. Oxygen bleach will kill mold and mildew and is not toxic.
The second time you wash your deck, use oxalic acid. This chemical is toxic so you need to take precautions. If you are uncomfortable with oxalic acid’s toxicity, you can substitute citric acid. Either way, the acid cleaners remove stains from dead leaves and other debris, along with brightening the wood on your deck. It does not kill mold or mildew, which is why you need to use both cleaners. After cleaning your deck and allowing it to dry fully, apply a sealant. Choose from a clear sealant or one that has a stain in it. It’s really a matter of personal preference.
While your patio and outdoor furniture may have taken a beating during the harsh winter months, that doesn’t mean that they aren’t salvageable. Your patio and deck will last for many years if you perform these simple spring cleaning chores.
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