With winter quickly approaching, you may decide it is time to start getting the outside of your home ready for the cold weather ahead. If your plans include the patio, use the following tips for getting your home's wooden patio ready for winter.
Scrub the Surface with Dish Detergent
The first thing you should do when preparing your patio for winter is to scrub the surface. Doing so helps get rid of any oil, grease, or food that has become trapped inside the wood's grain. If this is not done, the oil or grease could degrade the wood. Also, any food could freeze inside small cracks, expanding until it makes the openings larger.
To clean your patio's surface, use a grease-cutting dish detergent. This detergent should be strong enough to remove any stains but should not damage any foliage around your patio.
Mix one or two tablespoons in a gallon of warm water, then dip a brush or broom into the solution. Then, scrub the entire patio. If there are any set-in stains, apply the detergent directly to the areas before scrubbing them. Leave the soap on for about an hour, then rinse the entire patio.
Fill in Any Cracks with Wood Putty
If you find any cracks in your patio's wooden planks, these should be filled with wood putty before winter sets in. When water freezes inside the cracks, the ice will make them grow bigger. Also, the cracks will let water into the wood's interior, increasing the risk of it rotting.
To fill the cracks. use a putty knife to completely fill them until the top is slightly above the surface of the patio. Allow it to set up as per the instructions, then lightly sand the putty until it is even with the surface.
Apply a Waterproof Sealer
Once your patio is clean and the cracks filled, you may want to apply a waterproof sealer over the entire surface. While you may feel as though you have caught all of the cracks, there may be some hairline cracks that you cannot see.
Depending on the size of your patio, use either a brush or a roller to paint the surface with the sealer. After it dries completely, apply a second coat to ensure you have covered all areas of the patio.
While preparing your patio for the winter ahead, you may come across extensive damage that you feel needs professional attention. If so, contact a home and garden business that provides patio services that can discuss their recommendations for fixing up your patio to make sure it survives the cold, winter weather.