A big thank you to Angela Ballachino for this guest post!
Doesn't it feel like it was just yesterday that you were firing up the grill for a 4th of July barbeque and enjoying the summer sun?
Well, as much as we all wish the summer was still here, the cooler temps, changing leaves and pumpkin craze has made its annual return!
As we embrace everything that the fall has to offer, it's time to take advantage of autumn's mild days to prep our backyards for the colder months ahead.
Check out these tips and tricks to ensure that your backyard is prepared to take on the season in full stride.
Clean the Gutters
While you want to get your backyard ready, you have to remember that your gutters could play a role in how well your yard handles water from the seasonal rains.
It's important to grab a ladder and clean out the gutter because there could be plenty of debris blocking the track.
Things like leaves, birds' nests and other things will need to be removed for optimal flow.
Also, be sure to check the roof for missing shingles or damage and repair it as necessary.
Head to the local home improvement store and pick up a few bags of mulch.
You'll need to re-mulch around trees, shrubbery and other plants to help them survive the cooler temps ahead.
Plus, the mulch will keep them hydrated if you live in an area that doesn't get a lot of rain fall.
Break out the lawn mower one more time so your lawn is trimmed and at a respectable height before it's too late to cut it again.
Sometimes homeowners tend to forget that the grass will be tough to evenly cut if there's a fair amount of dew on the lawn so be sure to have it complete before conditions get too chilly and wet.
Patio & Deck Care
Now that the summer is over, you've probably used your patio quite often which means it's in need of some TLC from its frequent use.
This is where you'll need to give it a good and thorough cleaning!
To start, grab a broom and sweep off any debris that may be nestled in corners and in-between floorboards.
Once you've cleared the surface (don't forget to remove patio furniture), give it a good and deep clean with a pressure washer or a garden hose and brush.
However, be cautious when using a pressure washer as you do not want to cause any damage to the surface.
After the surface is clean, you'll want to seal or stain the patio after it is completely dry.
As a general rule of thumb for wooden patios, if the water soaks into the deck, it'll need to be sealed, but if it beads up, you can forego this type of prep. But, if the summer sun has caused the deck to fade, you may want to re-stain it to give it a boost in color.
At any rate, it's important to have the surface sealed because it'll prevent water from soaking into the wood.
If water soaks into it, it'll cause it to deteriorate and jeopardize the structure. Find a sealer at the home improvement store and grab all the supplies you'll need to do the job, it'll typically require a paint brush or roll and it's an easy application process.
Just like the patio, you'll want to prep your outdoor furniture for the change in weather by taking care of it now.
Care for the furniture by cleaning its surface with a mild cleanser or follow the instructions listed by the manufacturer.
If applicable, repair spots of rust because they tend to get worse over time if they are subjected to unfavorable conditions and you won't like shelling out loads of cash new furniture in the spring.
Also, re-paint any surface if it was faded by the sun. When it comes to furniture cushions, clean stains and if possible, throw the covers into the washing machine.
Consider storing the furniture indoors in a shed or garage if you have the space available, but if not, you may be able to use custom patio furniture covers that'll keep them protected.
Additionally, if you plan to use your grill during the fall, the Today Show recommends cleaning your grill with a light lubricating oil to condition the exterior and maintain proper function of the moving parts.
Now that you've got the tips you need to prepare your backyard, you can now sit back, relax and wait for the warmer weather to return!
Special thanks to HGTV, Veranda, Casual Living, Beautiful Backyards, Better Homes & Gardens, Outdoor DIY, and Home & Garden for the beautiful photography seen in this post.