How to Protect Your Deck, Outdoor Kitchen and Other Structures in The Winter


You created some great memories last summer, but now that the cold winds of winter are blowing you want to make sure your backyard is protected for next year. Here’s how you can protect your deck, outdoor kitchen and other structures this winter. 

Preparing Your Outdoor Kitchen 

Avoid disappointment and damage to your outdoor kitchen with these tips: 

  • Drain your water lines including the ones to your appliances and shut them off 
  • Ensure drain valves are left open to avoid freezing 
  • Clean your fridge, switch it off and unplug it, but don’t cover it as it can cause damaging moisture to build-up 
  • Switch the power off for your ice maker, clean the bin and remove all the ice 
  • Clean the sink and fully open the hot and cold taps and then cover it up to avoid getting debris in the drain 
  • Clean off your grill with a degreaser, and then season your cooking surfaces by wiping them with vegetable oil and heating the grill to about 500-degrees with the hood down for about 20 minutes 
  • Turn off the gas line for your grill if you don’t plan to use it in the winter 

Winterize your cabinets as follows: 

  • Stainless steel needs a good layer of stainless-steel polish 
  • Wood will need to be oiled or sealed 
  • Remove all food 

This will keep your kitchen protected through the winter and ready for summer fun when spring arrives. 

Protecting Your Deck 

By winterizing your deck in the fall, you’ll help keep it in good condition for years to come. Follow these steps: 

  • Remove dirt and debris such as leaves, branches and pine needles to avoid trapping damaging moisture 
  • Trim any overhanging branches that could fall during a winter storm 
  • Power wash your deck to remove stains that will worsen over the winter unless you have an older wood deck 
  • Remove mildew using a specially formulated cleanser, and avoid letting it run off into your garden 
  • Test to see if water pools on your deck. If so, you should restain or add a waterproofer to protect it from moisture damage 
  • Look for boards with divots or that pool water, as these should be replaced 
  • Clean your deck furniture and store it away in the garage or wherever space allows such as a shed 

You can keep an eye on your deck throughout the winter and continue to remove debris intermittently to help protect it. 

How to Protect Your Gazebo in Winter 

Proper prep will protect your gazebo from warping or splintering in the winter. You can follow the same steps above to see how to waterproof a gazebo, but also consider these additional tips: 

  • Cover up areas of the gazebo where animals might try to make a home for the winter 
  • Tighten loose screws with a screwdriver 
  • Do regular checks throughout the winter to look for any issues and remove snow from the roof if you can 
  • Consider placing a vinyl tarp on the roof to prevent damage from snow 

These tips will help your gazebo last for many years to come. If you have a pergola and are wondering can a pergola be covered in the winter, the answer is no. It is best not to cover your pergola and instead use a broom to remove snow. This is easier than worrying what to cover pergola with as covering your pergola actually adds weight with heavy snowfalls which increases the risk for collapse. 

Contact Natural Landscape Group to begin planning your spring landscaping project. We can help you create your dream outdoor space! 


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