6 SPECIAL FEATURES TO ENHANCE YOUR OUTDOOR KITCHEN
Think beyond cooking
Spring’s Work: Time to Clean
You made it through the winter, so now it’s time to enjoy the spring outdoors. An unwashed wooden deck is an invitation to mold and mildew, which can cause rot.
Start by removing debris from between deck boards or the patio stones using a putty knife. Once you have the space cleaned, thoroughly sweep the area. When you’re ready to clean using a solution, make sure you choose an appropriate cleanser for your building material.
After you clean your deck, seal it. Your finish options include:
There are a few options for patios depending on how much of a cleaning is needed. For a thorough, hearty clean, you may want to power wash the surface. For a gentle cleaning, hose off the patio and scrub stains with a gentle household cleaner. A bleach solution is an effective cure for stubborn stains.
Remember to provide this deep clean before bringing out your deck or patio furniture.
Midsummer’s Work: Inspect and Repair
When the weather is warm and dry, it’s a good time to give your deck and patio a close inspection. Pay particular attention to any areas within 6 inches of the ground or close to sources of water, such as downspouts and planters.
Look for signs of rot. Begin by checking stairs. Also check each perimeter post. If you can push a screwdriver a quarter-inch or more into a suspect area, you probably have rot.
Inspect the ledger. Using a flashlight underneath your deck, pay special attention to the ledger — the piece of framing that attaches the deck to the house. Check remaining joists, posts, railings, and beams. Check all the hardware underneath, especially joist hangers, and replace any that are seriously rusted. Probe for signs of rot on the posts and joists.
Check grout. Look at the grout in between stonework on your patio. If any has come loose or disappeared altogether, repair it.
Fall’s Work: Preventive Measures
Fall is also a good time to wash and seal your deck and clean your patio if you didn’t get a chance to so in the spring. The point is to do it when temperatures are mild.
Otherwise, to keep your areas in good shape:
Winter’s Work: Caring for Accessories
If you live in a cold climate that will keep you indoors for the winter, ensure your outdoor furniture is ready for you when the weather warms by storing it in a shed or garage if possible or if not, consider covering it. Soft goods, like pillow and rugs, should be brought indoors. If you live in a warmer climate that will allow you to remain outdoors in the winter, enjoy!
Whether you have a deck or patio, you have likely discovered a love for your outdoor living space. Unlike your interior rooms, the outdoor areas are impacted daily by weather conditions and accordingly, need regular inspection and occasional maintenance. A little investment of time each season will ensure your deck or patio is ready and waiting for a good time.