Winterizing your outdoor kitchen

As the holiday season comes around, there is still much to enjoy on our patios and outdoor rooms! Especially if you have an outdoor fireplace or fire pit to cozy up around. But if you know you are not likely to spend much time outside until spring, you will want to make sure everything is properly prepared for the winter season.

Shut off the gas line

If you have a gas grill, be sure to turn off the propane or natural gas line.

Shut off the water and let your pipes drain

The cold can burst your outdoor pipes and cause a lot of damage. Prevention is pretty simple for an outdoor kitchen—all you have to do is locate the shut-off valve, turn the water off, and then turn your faucet on until the water drains out. Do the same with your garden hoses.

Unplug your appliances

Pull out your appliances and clear any debris caught behind. The buildup can clog the vents and overheat your appliances. While back there, unplug appliances you will not be using for some time. They still draw power from the outlet when they’re not in use.  If that includes your refrigerator, remember to:

  • Empty the ice maker’s storage bin, clean it, and make sure the drain valve is closed.
  • Completely empty the refrigerator, and gently clean it with soap and water.
  • Take off the front grill of both machines and use a vacuum cleaner to clean the area behind it. Reattach the grill when done.
  • Do not cover your ice maker or refrigerator. This can lead to an accumulation of moisture that can damage the unit.

Cover your grill

You paid allot for your grill, protecting it with a grill cover. This will protect it from frost, ice, and debris such as acorns and dead leaves that can accumulate in small cracks.

Clean your grill grates

We know you are not going to wait all winter season long to BBQ. Clean your grill to have it ready for the next time you go out.

Secure or store away furniture and décor

If you are not going to use your patio and outdoor dining set and have room to store it indoors, do it. It will make your stuff last much longer. If not, make sure to organize everything so that items don’t fly away with the strong winter winds. Be sure to take down shade umbrellas, pack up the kids’ summertime toys, and take down any hanging décor that may not withstand wintery gusts well. If you’ve got lightweight furniture, stack it up or put it into storage.

Take care of rusty spots

If you spot rust on metal surfaces, you will want to take care of it now to prevent further corrosion over the winter. Use a wire brush, steel wool, or sandpaper to scrub rusty spots away. Once the rust is removed, you may also opt to use a commercial rust converter to hide the effects.

Clear out your fireplace or fire pit

As a general rule, you don’t want to leave old ashes in your fire pit. But as you’re preparing the rest of your kitchen for the winter, it’s a great opportunity to make sure everything’s tidy. Check out our full post on fire pit maintenance for additional details.

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