If you’re like many people at this time of the year, you’re itching to get outside and shake off the final dregs of winter. While the temperatures aren’t quite summer-worthy yet, there are a few things you can do now to ensure that your outdoor area is ready for your first warm weather get-together. Here are the top tips for preparing two major outdoor gathering spots: your patio and your pool.
The winter weather likely wasn’t kind to any part of your home. From collapsed rain gutters, which are the number one most common form of ice dam damage, to heavy snow sitting on vulnerable roofs, Mother Nature has thrown challenge after challenge at homeowners this year. Between the snow, wind, sleet, and rain, she probably turned your once-beautiful patio into a salty and worn mess. Luckily, your outdoor space was made to withstand these elements and will look shiny and new again with just a little bit of work.
The first step is to spray it all down. Break out the hose and a bucket with a mix of liquid dish soap and warm water to wash the floor, furniture, any walls that surround the area, and even the ceiling if your patio is covered.
The next maintenance step is to install a mesh screen around your patio area. These handy screens are essential for protecting your party guests from bothersome bugs. And with recent estimates indicating that there are over 200 million insects for every human on the planet, you definitely need a trusty bug guard. If you already have one surrounding your patio, be sure to repair any holes so that unwanted invertebrae don’t crash your party.
Finally, dress up your patio with some fun design touches. An easy way to do this is to choose interesting lighting options, like lanterns or string lights. You’ll also want to pick out the right seating. Bright wicker chairs are perfect for a small patio and an outdoor sectional or custom bench are great for a large one. You can even transform the floor of your patio by putting down an area rug or stenciling a design directly onto your concrete patio or wooden deck planks.
If your patio and pool are one unit for optimal summer fun, you can certainly use the tips above to get your pool area party-ready. However, you’ll still need to focus specific efforts on the pool itself.
You’ll first need to consider if you will be doing any renovations on your pool this year. If so, this time between the end of cold weather and the beginning of warm is perfect for pool projects. Even a project as simple as retiling your pool can give you major benefits. While common swimming pool surfaces such as plaster, exposed aggregate, or fiberglass finishes last between five and 25 years, glass tile surfaces can retain their surface integrity and appearance almost indefinitely.
If you don’t want to make any design changes to your pool this year, you can skip right to cleaning the filtration system. Make sure you clean out all of the baskets and remove any plugs you put in when you closed the pool last year.
Next, top off your water level if it fell over the winter. You should then test your water’s chlorine and pH levels by purchasing chemistry testing strips from a store or bringing a sample of your water to a swimming pool store for professional testing. Once you’ve tested it, be sure to balance your chemicals to make your pool water perfect.
Cleaning up your patio and pool now will not only make your space more enjoyable come summer, but it will make it safer for you and your family. It’s all too easy for kids and adults alike to slip and fall when they’re caught up in summer fun, putting you among the 50 visits urgent care centers in the U.S. receive every day. This year, stay out of the waiting room and in your own backyard by starting your patio and pool prep work early.