Get Your Outdoor Living Space Ready for Cookout Season

outdoor living space ready for cookout Warmer weather is finally here which means it’s time for fun in the sun. Before you know it, there will be cookouts, pool parties and family meals on the patio every time you turn around. Is your outdoor living space ready for the spotlight?

The colder months followed by pollen season can be rough on outside areas. But if you pick up some pointers on cleaning a deck, you’ll be ready to go when the barbecues begin.

Learn how to clean a patio like a professional in four easy steps.

1. Bust out the Broom

When it comes to cleaning your outdoor living space, the first thing you want to do is give your deck or patio a good sweeping. Clear away any old leaves, fallen twigs and pine needles so that your outside area starts to look welcoming and open.

2. Wash Winter Stains Away

Your patio or deck may have experienced some staining or discoloration while sitting under debris for a few months. Your first instinct might be to rent a pressure washer. Fight that urge. Pressure washing can cause damage to surfaces like wood, concrete or stone. If you decide to go that route, you need to call a professional. Otherwise, you can try the below methods.

Note: You should always perform a spot test in a small inconspicuous location before performing a full clean. Also, it’s a good idea to move any patio furniture or outdoor plants before cleaning.

  • Concrete— When trying to figure out how to clean a patio made of concrete, look to the kitchen. That’s right, a solution of dishwashing liquid and warm water can work wonders on this surface. You can use a broom to work on any stubborn spots. Afterward, rinse the patio clean with your water hose.
  • Wood — Both acidic cleaners and too much pressure can damage wood surfaces. Your best bet is to head to your favorite hardware store for an all-natural cleaner for cleaning a deck or patio made of wood. If your deck hasn’t been stained or sealed in a few years, you may also want to look into taking care of that.
  • Stone— This is another material on which acidic cleaners and pressure can wreak havoc. As with concrete, you can wash stone patios with a mixture of dish soap and warm water. However, you want to avoid scrubbing with stiff broom bristles, as this can scratch the stone. Instead, opt for a microfiber cloth or gently clean stained areas with a soft-bristled brush.

3. De-Grime any Glass

The outside of your home’s windows need attention, too, especially after a long winter or heavy pollen season. You can use the same solution and method as you would to clean the windows on the inside of your home. Just keep in mind that you might need a little more elbow grease due to heavier amounts of buildup.

4. Tackle the Final Touches

Now that you’ve taken care of cleaning the deck or patio itself, it’s time to focus on getting your outdoor living area prepared for guests. Here are some final touches that can help you do just that.
  • Clean the grill. Summer means cooking al fresco, so make sure that grill grate is ready to see some action.
  • Wash outdoor furniture. Whether it’s been in storage or subjected to the elements, your patio furniture likely needs some freshening up.
  • Spruce up potted plants. Give your plant pots a good wipe down with a microfiber cloth and remove any dead leaves or weeds that may have sprouted.
  • Decorate. Make your outdoor living area feel like a warm extension of your home. You can make any occasion — including a Tuesday dinner with the family — feel a little more festive with strings of outdoor fairy lights, Edison lights or even paper lanterns. Additionally, you can find outdoor rugs, colorful pots or eye-catching art pieces that bring your patio or deck to life.
Cleaning a deck or patio after winter does take some time and effort. However, you’ll find it to be a worthwhile endeavor when you're soaking up the payoff of relaxing outdoors with a cold glass of sangria or iced tea. Next: Treat Him to an Organized Garage This Fathers Day