Tips to Protect Your Outdoor Space this Winter!

For those of us in northern areas, we’ve already bid farewell to our patios! Even in more moderate zones, you’ve likely transitioned away from your outdoor spaces. Regardless of your climate, getting outside to tackle clean-up activities will help protect the investment you’ve made in outdoor furniture, kitchens, etc. Plus, you want to get rid of debris and leaves that look unsightly and can add up to more headaches in the spring. Ideally, you’ll get a few sunny days to get started on ‘winterizing’ your space to protect it from the elements.


In colder months, rain, snow and colder temperatures create perpetual dampness in the ground. Keeping wood elevated and away from moisture is the best way to store it that prevents rot and termite infestation. General Shale has two Woodbox kits that are easy to assemble and look super cute; what a perfect family activity to get outdoors!

If you require a larger supply, here are some helpful tips:

  • Choose a level, well-drained location for your wood pile. You do want easy access, but never choose a low lying area.
  • Keep in mind that critters will seek cozy nooks in wood piles. Maintain some distance from the house and avoid inviting unwanted guests!
  • How you stack wood is key to drying. Here are two great articles we found on the subject: a serious guide and a fun DIY blogger 




Before temperatures near freezing, turn off the water under your sink (close shut-off valve completely) and drain the lines; plus, leave the faucet turned on throughout the winter. It doesn’t take a deep freeze to cause damage. It’s also easy to add insulation sleeves, which fit right over existing pipes.

Stainless Steel

Now is the perfect time to clean and treat your stainless steel – from sinks, to appliances, to grills. We like natural solutions:  try simply washing with a vinegar and water mixture and then apply olive oil. Sometimes we need stronger products for grills and outdoor areas – your hardware / DIY store will have a wide selection of products if you need it.


Generic covers for chairs, loungers, couches, tables, even umbrellas are widely available and definitely worth the investment. Clean everything well and wrap it up! This website has covers for everything!


Moisture is the enemy – particularly for the fabrics and pillow fillings of our outdoor living areas. Simply bagging things up can trap moisture, creating awful smells and even mould – plus mice and other pests can get easily get into plastic bags and cardboard boxes. It’s best to bring these items indoors.

Try large Rubbermaid bins and to maintain some air flow, drill several holes into the lid or on the sides if you are stacking them. Outdoor patio and deck boxes are super convenient, so long as moisture isn’t being trapped inside.


Removing all the debris you can from your deck, patio, steps, and paths creates safer walkways. Not only are wet leaves slippery enough to cause falls, they can also hasten wood rot and leave stubborn stains on pavers or concrete. The natural tannins in leaves are deposited as they decompose and they’re very tough to remove.


With shorter days and slippery surfaces, it’s nice to add lighting for safety and security. You don’t need to worry about wiring these days! Battery-powered or solar-powered options abound. Plus, you can combine outdoor and holiday lighting at this time of year. Check out your DIY store or online retailers for an option that suits your entry areas. If you have existing outdoor lighting here are some great tips to get them winter ready:

  • Clean lights:  removing bugs, cobwebs and dirt and giving the glass a good cleaning will keep your lights working better.
  • Go LED: As you know by know, LED bulbs last an extremely long time and they perform better in the cold.
  • Adjust timers: Well-lit outdoor areas are safer and help your home look occupied.

Happy cleaning everyone! Your outdoor work at this time of year not only protects your investment, it also boosts your physical activity. Not a bad idea after Thanksgiving! If you are interested in pre-planning a new outdoor space, check out the Outdoor Living section on our website or the brochure, for paver ideas, fire pits, wood boxes, benches, and more!