We spend time prepping our lawn, flowerbeds and garden for hot spells and heavy rain, but rarely do we think about weather’s effect on our other outdoor living spaces and decor. Moisture, wind, dirt and regular wear and tear can leave your deck, sidewalks, patio furniture, and other outdoor surfaces looking worn. Algae and moss can take residence on your surfaces creating a green tint and film. All these issues can wreak havoc on your outdoor accessories, but for the most part you can fight back.
Outdoor Cleanup Tips
Try these techniques to protect your outdoor surfaces from the harsh effects of moisture, dirt, sun, and cold weather:
- Fight algae — Safer® Brand Moss and Algae Killer is an effective and environmentally friendly product that will help you eliminate moss and algae. This all-natural moss killer utilizes the natural effectiveness of potassium salts to rid your deck, roof, siding, walkways, lawn and more of algae and moss. Allowing these tiny plants to remain through the winter allows moisture to wick into the tiny crevasses that they grow from. These crevasses can expand to full-fledged cracks if freezing weather hits. This product is USDA National Organic Program compliant for use in organic gardening.
- Move it inside — Some material simply can’t be left outside for long periods of time. The rain, humidity, and the freeze-thaw cycle can ruin seat cushions, hammocks, umbrellas, and other fabric material by staining them or breaking down the fabric itself. For a winter cleanup, it’s best to seal these in an air-tight bag and store them in a shed. For the rest of the year, keep your eye on the weather and bring them inside during especially rainy periods.
- Clean kids’ toys — You know those big, plastic play sets and scooters your kids or grandkids love? Definitely another thing you should spray with the Safer® Brand algae killer! You can also clean them regularly with soap and water. For winter storage, move the playhouse to a corner of your lot, load all the outdoor toys inside and wrap that with a tarp. Doing so will keep everything inside protected while sealing the playhouse off from any critters eager to make it a winter home. If that fails, there are plenty of ways to keep unwanted animals away from your yard.
- Keep those covers on — If you have a portable fire pit, grill, or other outdoor item that gets regular-yet-occasional use, make sure to keep its cover on during those inactive periods. Doing so will keep rust, grime, and debris from accumulating on the surface or on interior parts. Metal objects like your fire pit may require special cleaning methods. In the winter, its absolutely vital to keep these covers on — excess moisture and ice can be especially damaging.
- A new coat of paint — Repainting or re-staining outdoor furniture, patio surfaces, and decks should also be part of your regular maintenance schedule. Use environmentally friendly materials on your outdoor surfaces to ensure you won’t be adding chemicals and substances that may cause adverse effects for the plants surrounding these areas. You may also want to apply rust-resisting spray to any sculptures or metal décor that you keep outdoors through the winter. Make sure you paint and stain while the weather is still agreeable for your paint’s required drying time and temperature.
- Weeding — Freezing weather can be bad news for the concrete, pavement and blacktop on your property. If weeds and other debris have edged themselves into these hard-top surfaces, you’ll want to get them out before a freeze hits. Moisture inside these cracks will expand and further damage the surface. Your best bet is to weed vigorously in the autumn, apply weed killer, and then use a leaf blower or broom to push out any remaining dirt or debris.
- For the birds — Cleaning your bird houses, bird feeders and bird baths is crucial, too. Using a mild soap and warm water, thoroughly clean all components of your bird-friendly equipment and towel dry. Birds will benefit from regularly cleaning these throughout spring and summer. Follow the same schedule through the winter, too.
Making the Most Out of Your Yard
Taking time to clean up and restore your outdoor entertaining space and its furniture will improve the longevity of the materials and save you the hassle and time of replacing them. Not only will you appreciate a clean and beautiful outdoor space but your guests will, too!
Do you have any additional tips for keeping your outdoor surfaces clean? Leave a comment below. You can also visit us at Facebook for more ideas for your yard. Subscribe to our E-Newsletter for exclusive deals from Avant Garden Decor.