The heyday of summer is quickly passing, and autumn will arrive before you know it. That means prepping your outdoor deck or patio for the elements, as well as ensuring comfort and functionality as cooler weather closes in. Here are a few things you might want to do in the upcoming months to get your outdoor space ready for the season.
Clean the Surface of Summer Debris
Brick pavers and Trex composite decking, two of the materials we use a lot of at Prince William Home Improvement, hold up well to all weather conditions and don’t tend to require a lot of maintenance. But a quick cleaning at the end of every season leaves your outdoor space looking lovely, so it’s a good idea to hose off the area and give it a light scrub with a brush or broom. Doing so removes the remnants of summer, which can include dried residue from pool chemicals, leftover pollen debris and the dust that simply accumulates over time.
Get Ready to Handle Leaf Fall
Speaking of debris that settles on your outdoor deck, autumn is perhaps the worst seasonal offender in this regard. If you have trees in your yard or nearby, be prepared for leaves to pile up in your outdoor entertainment space. Keep a deck broom handy to sweep them away, and consider raking the lawn regularly to keep leaf fall from overstaying its welcome. Most leaves aren’t going to harm your backyard patio or deck, but if you let them pile up, they can rot in place or encourage moisture and mold that can stain outdoor surfaces.
Install a Firepit or Position the Chimney
Prepare for cool evenings spent outdoors telling stories or sharing hot cocoa with neighbors. If you have a brick paver deck, consider upgrading it with a built-in fireplace or pit. If your backyard deck is large enough to safely support it, add a chimney or small elevated fire-pit. Don’t forget to stock up on the wood to fuel your outdoor heat source and optional accessories such as roasting sticks (and the requisite marshmallows, chocolate and graham crackers for impromptu family s’mores parties).
Invest in Lighting
As the sun starts to dip beyond the horizon earlier each day, the darkness of twilight and early night stretches longer. Increase the safety of your house deck and your ability to enjoy long evenings outside by adding lighting. Some options to consider include motion-sensor spotlights, ambient lighting along railings and hanging lanterns that set a romantic mood. Candles — the traditional kind or LED flameless options — are also lovely additions to your outdoor deck or patio during the fall. You can also tie your lighting options to the season, stringing Halloween-appropriate bulbs in October and switching to Christmas lights in November and December.
Position Seasonal Furniture and Accessories
Consider how your furniture and accessory needs may change with the seasons. Plush summer lounge furniture may not be up to the challenges of withstanding windy, cold or snowy weather, and early autumn is a good time to swap out cushions or put less sturdy furniture in storage. If your home gets a lot of wind as the temperatures cool, opt for heavy outdoor furniture during these seasons. You may also want to keep blankets and pillows handy in a chest or on a shelf near the door so you can grab them when you want to spend time on the outdoor patio and put them away when the elements threaten.