How To Prepare Your Patio in Winter

It’s December and you are sitting around your outdoor fire pit enjoying the quiet. For those of us who live in colder climates, that scene is just a dream, because our patio in winter gets little use.

Instead of just letting your patio fend for itself during those cold, snowy months though, it is a good idea to prepare it for the long winter ahead.

Accessories on your patio in winter

Instead of leaving all of your decorations up to be ruined by the snow and ice of the winter season, store them in a large plastic container. Do not forget to take down your metal wall art pieces, as they may rust during the winter too!

Outdoor living space flooring options

Most patios are created with pavers of a slab of cement. It is important to clear the area of snow and ice, especially during the winter months to keep the flooring intact. Ice that gets between the pavers can cause your patio to look uneven and buckled come spring. It is also a good idea to use ice melting pellets that are eco- and pet-safe in any area where your family or pets will be walking.

By taking care of your patio furniture and area before and during the winter season, you can be assured that you will have a space to enjoy in the warmer weather.

Patio furniture

Patio furniture is made to withstand the elements, but patio cushions are not. The best thing to do is invest in some weatherproof covers for your patio furniture frames and bring your cushions indoors during the winter months.

By covering the frames you help reduce rust and rot. It also makes them a bit easier to clean when the warmer weather rolls around. After washing and wiping down the cushions, let them dry completely and store them in a large plastic trash bag.

If you neglect the space during the cold months, be prepared for some major clean-up and possible damage when you head out to enjoy a glass of wine by your fire pit in the spring.

A little preventative maintenance and upkeep can save you a lot of time, money, and energy!

Have any questions about keeping your patio in top shape this winter? Contact us here!

How To Enjoy Your Hot Tub in Winter

hot tub in winter

With winter coming, people wonder how to get the same use out of the backyard features they love, like their hot tub. Today, we’re going to discuss how to you can fully enjoy your hot tub in winter.

1. Have an exit plan that keeps you warm and dry.

In spring and summer, getting out of your spa or hot tub does not usually present a temperature shock to your body. That’s not the case when it’s chilly out.

If the ground outside is cold or damp, place the robe or towel on a chair, stand, or and/or wrap it in plastic or another cover to keep it from getting cold or wet. The same goes for bath slippers or plastic shoes that will protect your warm, wet feet from any outdoor elements.

2. Maintain proper spa or hot tub water temperature.

Anytime you use a spa or hot tub, water temperature is vital. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, water should never exceed 104 degrees Fahrenheit. While immersed in warm water, your body can’t properly regulate its temperature through perspiration.

If the water temperature is too high, or, if you remain in it for too long, the dangers are real: You could suffer a heat stroke, become light-headed and faint, or can become drowsy, which may lead to unconsciousness, resulting in drowning.

Another tip about temperature: Wear a winter hat. A knitted beanie or cold-weather cap may seem like odd gear for a hot soak. However, a hat will actually help you regulate body temperature.

A final reminder: Be sure to observe the same kind of spa and hot tub use safety guidelines that you would the rest of the year.

3. Uncover your spa or hot tub in winter using extra caution.

First, if your hot tub or spa has a lid or cover, carefully remove it: Depending on the lid or cover condition—such as ice or snow piled on it—you may want to take this initial step only after donning winter gloves.

Be absolutely sure that you completely sweep off any ice or snow before removing the lid or cover. Otherwise, ice or snow could have an unhappy meeting with some water—falling into the spa or hot tub or getting just wet enough to freeze up on the cover or lid (or around your hands).

Have any questions about your hot tub or any other backyard feature? Don’t hesitate to contact us here!

3 Ways To Enjoy Your Backyard This Winter

The cold is here to stay. As soon as you step outdoors, you are met by the chill-inducing wind, which whips at you with no remorse. The cold makes you wear multiple layers of clothing and requires you to have a warm drink in your hand at all times.

Winter in Ohio can be rough, but that doesn’t mean you have to stay inside your house and covered with three blankets watching Netflix until spring.

Here are ways you can still enjoy your backyard in Winter!

Warmth

As we mentioned earlier, staying warm during winter can be difficult. However, you don’t have to retreat indoors. You can enjoy the still peace of nature while thawing out by an outdoor fireplace or a fire pit. Bring the blankets and the hot chocolate for a relaxing time with your family or friends.

Snow

When it snows, you often dread shoveling your driveway, cleaning off your car and dealing with other drivers on the road. Why not take a break from shoveling and go have some fun in your backyard? You can build a snowman, construct an igloo or snow fort and have a snowball fight.

Grilling

One great thing you can do year-round on your patio is grilling. Don’t let the bitter cold and snow stand in your way from eating delicious steak, chicken, and burgers. Just remember to prepare and make sure that your grill has fresh dry charcoal or a fresh tank of gas.

If you want to learn more about how you can enjoy your backyard during the winter, we encourage you to contact us today!

Thanksgiving: Backyard Edition

thanksgiving

A great way to enjoy your backyard during the holiday season is to host your family Thanksgiving outside!

1. Create a plan for keeping your Thanksgiving food warm.

If you are only feeding yourself and your partner or a small party of around four or five people, keeping the food warm during the first serving may not be an issue.

However, if the food is on your outdoor dining table, you can be sure that it will be cold by the time anyone goes for seconds.

Plus, if you are hosting a larger gathering it is very likely that the folks at the end of the buffet line or at the far end of the table are going to be scooping up lukewarm mashed potatoes.

2. Plan for the possibility of Thanksgiving bad weather.

If you are hosting a holiday dinner outside in autumn, you can be fairly certain it is going to get cold, it might be a little windy and it could even rain.

Hopefully, you already have come up with a backup plan after reading tip #1, so you are all set if the weather gets bad enough to force the party indoors.

However, the more prepared you are for cold or inclement weather, the less likely you will need to rely on your backup plan.

If you have a covered patio, then you are definitely ahead of the game and you can more easily make your outdoor living area a comfortable spot for fall entertaining.

Even if you have a fire pit or outdoor fireplace — both of which are great for fall entertaining — you will likely still need one or more patio heaters to accommodate your attendees if your guest list extends beyond your immediate family.

Have any questions about how to turn your backyard into a paradise? Then don’t hesitate to contact us!

 

Your Backyard and Patio: Thanksgiving Edition

With October behind us, it’s time to look forward to Thanksgiving and the holidays! This year, do something a bit unexpected—take your feast outside.

It’s totally doable for those who live in warmer climates. And even in the Midwest, it’s sometimes unseasonably warm in November. With these tips and a bit of prep time, you can style a rustic outdoor supper your friends and family won’t soon forget.

Plus, an outdoor Thanksgiving is more festive (and chic) than being cooped up inside with football on the television.

Use these tips to make your Thanksgiving this year one to remember!

Use Pillows and Blankets to Stay Cozy

Even if it’s warm for November, there will still be a chill in the air on Thanksgiving. Use pillows and wool tartan throws to keep things casual, cozy and autumnal during your feast!

Food Table and Covers

To give everyone room at the table, use a separate table for food and dishes.

Other things you’ll need are mesh food coverings. Protect your delicious food from unwanted pests to ensure everyone can enjoy it!

Patio Lighting

Since the time change, it turns dark fairly early now. To extend your outside feast, you should strong lights around your patio!

Fire Pits

Be prepared for the chilly temperatures and place some firepits in your backyard. Not only will this help warm up your guest, but they can be used to roast marshmallows after dinner!

Yard Games

Outside yard games are a great way to fully enjoy your backyard during Thanksgiving. Some examples of games are cornhole, washers, horseshoes, badminton, and croquet!

Have any questions about your backyard or patio? Then contact us here!

 

 

How To Enjoy Your Backyard In Winter

backyard in winter

Winter is around the corner and, no matter how much you are dreading the cold weather, there are always ways to continue to enjoy your backyard in winter.

For many homeowners, the backyard is a staple of summer living that may fade away once the snow starts to hit, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

Winter takes away the daylight, the warmth and replaces it with a whole lot of snow. The key to enjoying your backyard in winter is to make up for what Mother Nature took away while making the most of what she provided.

Here are 4 great ways you can enjoy your backyard in winter

Find a new source of light:

In winter, the days are short and daylight is very hard to come by. A practical way to address this issue is by going with a neutral holiday light set and using it all winter long. You could also consider having more permanent lighting installed in your backyard as well.

Find a new source of warmth:

With temperatures plummeting, you need heat to make your backyard more hospitable. There are a variety of options on the market that can address this concern. They include purchasing patio heaters, having a fireplace installed or even getting a hot tub, which is more affordable now than ever before. These pieces are well complemented by other winter-friendly additions such as wooden furniture and gazebos.

Enjoy the snow:

You might as well make the most of the winter by enjoying the one gift it provides that many people don’t actually mind, the snow. The opportunities for fun are limitless, whether you want to make snow angels, a snowman, or even have a snowball throwing contest (where you aim at targets, not at each other!).

Rely on winter plants:

Spring is the season of blooming for most plants, but there is still some plant life out there that can survive and thrive in winter. Head over to your local nursery to learn more about cold-resistant and winter-blooming plants, shrubs and perennials that can add some much-needed vibrancy to your backyard this winter. Look out for Red Osier, a red winter shrub, and Purple Coneflower, a perennial, two options that will compliment any winter garden.

Have any questions about getting your backyard ready for winter? Then contact us here!

How To: Storing Your Pool Accessories

After pool season is over, one of the biggest dilemmas a pool owner can come across occurs, where do I store my pool accessories?

We’re here to help.

Here’s a rundown of pool accessories and how/where to properly store them during the offseason.

Floaties and Other Pool Accessories

The best place to store your pool floaties in a dry place with cool temperatures. You don’t want them to get too hot or cold.

If stored improperly, they can develop holes, warp and even melt.

Filters

After you close your pool for the season, you need to properly store your filter cartridge.

Once you remove the cartridge, you should clean it with a mixture of detergent and water. You can soak it overnight, and then once you take it out of the mixture, you can wipe it down and let it air dry. You should store it in a cool, dry place during the off season.

Chemicals

The best place to store chemicals is in a cool and dry location. Your storage area should also be well-ventilated to prevent the build-up of gasses that may be hazardous.

Have any questions about properly storing your accessories? Contact us here!

How To Properly Store Pool Chemicals

pool chemicals

Having a regular supply of the necessary pool chemicals is essential to keep your swimming pool in good condition. However, to keep the chemicals themselves in good working order, it’s important to store them correctly. Here are some frequently asked questions about where and how to store pool chemicals.

What Kinds of Storage Containers Are Best?

Pool chemical storage is safest when the chemicals are stored in the containers in which they were bought. It’s not necessary to transfer chemicals to different containers because the product packaging is designed to provide safe storage.

The safest option for storing chemicals is to put the sealed containers into hard plastic bins with tight-fitting lids. Ideally, use several bins so that you can separate liquids and solids, and so that reactants such as chlorine and muriatic acid can be stored separately.

Where Should Pool Chemicals Be Stored?

The best place to store chemicals is in a cool and dry location. Your storage area should also be well-ventilated to prevent the build-up of gasses that may be hazardous.

Can Pool Chemicals Freeze?

In most cases, pool chemicals are more sensitive to heat than to cold. Some kinds of chemicals can withstand freezing, but it’s generally best to avoid exposing chemicals to extremely cold temperatures, as some may lose strength after cold storage.

Are Pool Chemicals Heat-Sensitive?

Some chemicals do react with heat, so it’s safest to store chemicals away from all heat sources, including sunlight. If pool chemicals are stored outdoors, it should be in a cool and shaded area.

Check Your Products for More Information

While these are some good general rules to follow for safely storing chemicals, hazards can vary according to the different products you use. Most pool chemicals come with a Material Data Safety Sheet (MSDS) that provides details of hazards and safe handling practices, so check these to make sure you’re staying safe.

Gave any questions about storing your chemicals? Contact us here!