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Maintaining your outdoor living space is easier than you think

Some homeowners hold off on investing in beautiful outdoor living features like a patio, deck, fireplace or outdoor fireplace because they believe it will require a lot of seasonal maintenance. But these enhancements actually require much less attention than you think.

Decks

Cedar decks normally have a lifetime of 20 to 25 years and require minimal maintenance. In the spring, we recommend that you lightly power wash your deck and apply a natural, clear stain to it. This is mainly for aesthetic purposes. In the fall, try to keep leaves from accumulating on your deck. As they deteriorate, they may discolor the cedar and make it harder to clean. Composite decks are primarily maintenance-free.

Pavers and patios

Pavers and patios should be washed in spring to clear away winter debris. If you have a paver or stone patio with polymeric-sand in the seams, you should visually inspect it and touch it up as needed. Your goal is to minimize the deterioration of the joints of the pavers and to keep water from getting underneath them. In the winter, water trapped under pavers or stone patios can wreak cause damage because of freeze-thaw cycles.

Several types of stone pavers can be sealed every few years; check with your La Rosa sales rep to ensure that you’re using a sealer that is compatible with your patio. This is a service we can do for you.

Fire pits/fireplaces

If you have a natural fire pit, it doesn’t need maintenance. If you have a gas fire pit, we recommend removing the ceramic logs and storing them for the winter. Fireplace inserts are made of stainless steel and don’t require maintenance. We recommend that you replace the battery in the electronic ignition control each spring.

Outdoor kitchen appliances

We strongly recommend that you always cover your grill when it’s not in use. This keeps the grill controls clean, prevents dust from building up on it, and prevents rainwater from filling up the drip pan, which can overflow and make a mess. To clean the grates, we recommend turning the burners up to 500-600 degrees. This will turn any remaining food into char, making it easy to clean the grate with a wire brush. Check the drip tray and empty it on a regular basis.

On an annual basis, remove the grates and use a medium brass brush on the burners. Your goal is to clean away any food debris around the perforations of the burners and to prevent corrosion. If your grill has brass burners, they don’t require any maintenance. Ceramic briquettes should be replaced every two to three years.

Outdoor refrigerators and ice makers should be shut off in late fall; you must also turn off their water valves and drain their feed lines so water won’t freeze in them during the winter.

Furnishings

If you have wrought iron or aluminum furniture, we recommend covering it with custom covers or bringing them inside for the winter. Chair and chaise lounge cushions should be stored after each use to prevent fading, and damage from moisture and bird droppings. Composite furniture with stainless steel hardware can stay outside all winter.

Shade sails

Shade sails may offer you plenty of comfort during the hot summer months, but they are not designed to withstand a Wisconsin winter. We normally install them upon completion of your landscaping project, and can remove them for you in the fall and re-install them in the spring. The sails may be stored at your home or at La Rosa. The shade sail posts are powder coated and are maintenance free. In addition, their hardware is made of stainless steel, which will never rust.

If you’re thinking about investing in outdoor living features, don’t be deterred by how much maintenance they will require. Most of them are designed to require little or no maintenance, and La Rosa can help you manage the rest. Contact us today to discuss your ideas and plans!