5 Ways To Prep Your Patio For Winter


November 3, 2023


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John McClain is an accomplished interior designer, speaker, writer, and on-air contributor who has turned his lifetime passion for interior design into an opportunity to do the same for others.

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Cozy Sectional on Covered Porch

As an interior designer, I often focus on creating beautiful and functional spaces inside your home. But I also understand the importance of extending your design sensibilities to the great outdoors. Your patio is a place where you can relax, entertain, and enjoy the fresh air, and it’s just as vital to prepare it for the winter season. So, in this blog post, I’ll share five essential tips for prepping your patio for winter, ensuring it remains inviting and ready to use all year round.

1. Clean and Store Outdoor Furniture:
The first step in preparing your patio for winter is to give your outdoor furniture a thorough cleaning. Dust, dirt, and pollen can accumulate over the warmer months, and you don’t want these elements to degrade your furniture during the cold season. Use mild soapy water and a soft brush to clean your tables, chairs, and cushions. Make sure everything is completely dry before storing it. If your patio furniture is lightweight and easy to move, consider bringing it inside a garage or basement to protect it from harsh winter weather. If you don’t have the space, invest in high-quality furniture covers to shield your pieces from the elements. Bonus Tip: Buy the furniture cover that matches the size of your furniture when you originally buy the furniture piece, it will fit perfectly and you will have it ready to protect your pieces when winter comes!

Outdoor Dining Table, Pergola, Outdoor dining

Outdoor Dining Area

2. Protect and Seal Wood Surfaces:
If your patio features wooden elements like a deck or furniture, it’s crucial to protect and maintain them before winter arrives. Start by cleaning and sweeping the wooden surfaces to remove any debris. Then, apply a sealant or wood preservative to prevent moisture penetration and avoid warping, cracking, or rotting. If you have wooden furniture, use a wood protector to maintain its appearance and longevity. Remember that different types of wood may require specific treatments, so consult a professional or read product labels to ensure proper care. HERE is a good one.

outdoor chase, outdoor pergola

Covered Pergola with Chaise


3. Prune and Trim Plants:
Your patio’s greenery can bring life and vibrancy to the space during the warmer months. However, as winter approaches, it’s essential to trim, prune, and protect your plants to help them survive the colder temperatures. Remove any dead or diseased branches, and cut back perennials and shrubs to prevent them from becoming damaged by heavy snow or ice. For potted plants, consider moving them indoors or to a more sheltered location. Mulching around the base of your outdoor plants can also provide insulation and prevent root damage.


Well lit Outdoor Bar and Kitchen

4. Check and Maintain Patio Lighting:
Outdoor lighting can transform your patio into a cozy and inviting space during winter evenings. Ensure that all your outdoor lights are in good working order by checking for burned-out bulbs and replacing them as needed. Clean any glass or plastic covers to improve the quality of light. If you have string lights, make sure they are securely fastened and supported to withstand wind and snow. Solar lights may need a bit of extra care; clean the solar panels to keep them functioning efficiently during the darker months and also ensure that the solar panel still has access to the sun to recharge it (sometimes a pet or the wind can move the panel and cause your lights to lose charge).

Cozy Covered Porch Seating Details

5. Create a Winter Atmosphere:
Lastly, don’t forget to add some winter decor to your patio to create a warm and inviting atmosphere. Consider placing outdoor rugs to add a touch of coziness and protect your feet from cold, damp surfaces. Add outdoor pillows (or you can also consider using indoor polyester pillows on your outdoor furniture) to your furniture for extra comfort. You can also incorporate winter-themed decorations like lanterns, candles, or seasonal plants like poinsettias. These touches will make your patio an attractive place to spend time, even in the colder months. My fave addition anytime of the year? A plush and comfy throw blanket you can wrap yourself in. Try THIS ONE made of polyester so the outdoor elements do not bother it so much.

Warm and Inviting Rooftop Fireplace

Warm and Inviting Rooftop Fireplace

Prepping your patio for winter is a practical and aesthetic endeavor that ensures your outdoor space remains a welcoming haven throughout the year. By cleaning, protecting, and beautifying your patio, you can enjoy its charm even when the temperature drops. So, take some time to prepare your patio for winter, and you’ll reap the benefits of a well-maintained outdoor oasis that’s ready for you to enjoy whenever you please.

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John McClain is an accomplished interior designer, speaker, writer, and on-air contributor who has turned his lifetime passion for interior design into an opportunity to do the same for others.

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