Winterize Your Outdoor Kitchen
How To Winterize Your Outdoor Kitchen
Now that winter is here in full force, you are probably wondering what you need to do to protect your outdoor kitchen from the elements. If you didn’t winterize your outdoor kitchen at the end of the fall, now is definitely the time to do it. Don’t wait for the next winter storm to hit; protect your kitchen from snow, ice, and cold so that it will be in good condition for many years to come.
Why winterize your outdoor kitchen?
The winter poses several dangers to your outdoor kitchen – more if you live where winters are more severe, and less if you live where winters are more mild. Winterizing your outdoor kitchen will help prevent your kitchen from being damaged by the cold and nasty weather. Then when the warm weather returns, you will be able to get back to cooking without worrying about costly repairs.
Some of the dangers to your outdoor kitchen include:
- Burst water pipes
- Damaged gas pipes
- Frozen over and broken refrigerator and freezer
- Moisture accumulation around power sources
- Cracks and stains on stone surfaces
- Warping of wooden surfaces
- Dirty and gunked up grill and fire pit
Simple steps to winterizing your outdoor kitchen
Winterizing your outdoor kitchen isn’t hard, but it will require that you not use your kitchen again until the spring. If you still want to come out and grill up some burgers on a nice day, follow the steps for the essential areas like the fridge and counters, but leave the grill available for your cooking out pleasure.
The pipes are the most important part of winterizing your outdoor kitchen. You must drain the pipes and turn off the water to them. Don’t forget the pipes to the fridge and freezer! If the pipes freeze while they are full of water, they can burst. Fixing burst pipes is not easy, nor is it cheap. If the forecast calls for a heavy freeze and you haven’t drained the pipes yet, set them to drip or run slowly overnight to prevent them from freezing completely.
Refrigerator and freezer
Clear out all the food from the refrigerator and freezer, and dump out the ice. Use a mild cleaner per the manufacturer’s instructions to clean out the refrigerator and the freezer. You do not want to smell old food drips when you open the doors up in the spring! Turn off the power to the appliances. Do not cover the fridge or the freezer, as this can cause moisture to build up.
Scrub the grill and drain the gas lines.
Counters and surfaces
For wooden surfaces, oil thoroughly to prevent water from being able to soak into the wood. Wood plus moisture equals warping, and warping is the last thing you want to happen to your beautiful outdoor kitchen. For stone surfaces, apply a protective sealant. Stone can withstand a certain amount of snow even without being treated, but after a while it will start to show stains as the snow wears away the coating and soaks into the porous surface. Prevent these stains from starting by putting on a protective coat before the snow starts to fall. For stainless steel, protect it with a powder coat as directed in the manufacturer’s instructions. Your stainless steel already came with a protective powder coat, but the outdoor elements naturally wear that layer away. When you winterize your outdoor kitchen is the perfect time to reapply it.
Give Custom Image Hardscapes a call today for help winterizing your outdoor kitchen!