In the desert, wintertime brings a unique set of challenges to all our outdoor assets. While the average temperatures in the daytime may be quite pleasant, depending on your elevation, nighttime often brings intense cold temperatures. You may find yourself fighting night ice and other challenges. If you are worried about how these environmental dynamics may impact your outdoors patio, you have come to the right place.
The steps you can take to prepare your patio for winter in the desert will depend in large part on what type of material your patio is made from. Typically, patios are made by paving slabs, sometimes called paving flags. These normally are made from either concrete or stone. The natural stone paving slabs are typically more expensive than their concrete counterpart. These are not the only materials used in patio creation today. Some alternatives include bricks, cobble stone, or tile. The temperatures of a desert winter will impact these materials differently.
One of the advantages of the paving slabs is their durability, particularly in the winter months. One of the reasons for this durability is the structure of the installed system. Because paving slabs are installed using a variety of small interlocking pieces, there is never too much stress on any one point in the system. This makes paving slabs one of the most durable options for patio material.
In the winter, paving slabs also have some big advantages. When a patio is composed of large component pieces, too much weight on any one portion could compromise the system. If you experience snow in the wintertime, the extra weight from the snow could do precisely that. If your area is more prone to black ice, the extra weight of the ice could have a similar effect. This is less likely to be a problem with a paving slab system.
If your patio is not constructed using a paving slab system, you may consider removing any unnecessary items of excess weight in preparation for winter. Reducing the amount of strain on the system may help you prevent any damage from occurring.
If you live in an area prone to snow fall, you may need to take extra steps to keep your patio in tip top shape during the winter months. If your patio is made of a material which is susceptible to problems in connection to contact with water, then you will need to be extra diligent in times of snowfall. You will want to regularly remove whatever snow may come from your patio.
Another option is to coat your existing patio in a material which increases the resilience of the material used in your patio. Signo Flexiguard is one such option. This material not only protects against mold growth and chemical attacks, but is wholly unaffected by extreme temperatures (–20°C to +350°C). In addition, your patio material will be less prone to corrosion by salt or any other materials present in your region. When it comes time to clean your patio, this material will help it stay clean. Typically, you will need to go through the cleaning process about half as often. And when the time does come, Signo Flexiguard will help your patio material last even longer. High-pressure cleaning is a popular option which often compromises patio material, but with Signo Flexiguard, you material will withstand up to 50-60 bars of pressure. You may consider adding this material in preparation for the winter months.
No matter what type of material your patio is made of, it will be necessary to give it a really good cleaning prior to the onslaught of winter. The truth is the sunny months can be harsh on your patio in very different ways than winter. In order to reduce any long term damage from grime collected from these months, before winter comes around, you’ll need to give it a good scrubbing.
One material you may want to use to clean your patio is a bleach-free cleaner. This type of cleaner comes in a number of varieties. You can get something specially formulated for the type of material your deck is made from. If your deck is made out of wood, you may want to try JOMAX Deck Wash. This product is made specifically to remove dirt, reduce wood stains, and prevent mildew growth. These are all important elements to having a well maintained patio. If you have an older wooden deck, you may want to remove any deteriorating finish or other problems during this step of the preparation process.
Many of our patios are decorated with lovely plants and outdoor furniture. Once you’ve prepared the patio material for the winter months, you will also want to prepare these decorations. If you are worried about frost and the well-being of any of your plants, you may want to move them closer to your house, preferably under some kind of roof. This will reduce the impact of any coming frosts. When that frost comes, you can cover them up with either plastic sheets or even lightweight blankets. Doing this overnight and then removing the extra protecting the following morning is great for keeping your plants safe from those early frosts. You can even cover them for a few nights until that harsh cold spell is over and warmer weather returns. This method has proven to keep your plants going strong for a few weeks longer before the coldest winter weather rolls in.
With these extra steps, you can ensure a good winter for you and your patio.
Hailing from Las Vegas, Louise Williams knows a thing or two about desert winters and how best to prepare for them from her friends at Proficient Patios. Every desert city worth it's heat has a great patio store, because residents spend so much time outdoors when temps drop below 1,000,000 degrees.