outdoor living ny

Protect Your Outdoor Kitchen in Winter

If you are on the east coast, you are probably experiencing a rough winter. Outdoor living and cooking may not exactly be on your radar this time of year, but it should be. You’ve done some hard work to make your outdoor living experience a reality. Now during the season of snow, you should really consider how to keep it safe. Here are 4 tips on what to do to keep your backyard vacation in the cold winter months.

1. Prep the Outdoor Refrigerator and Ice Maker

It is best to take care of your refrigerator and ice maker before the weather gets cold. First, turn the power off on both units. You should have already shut off the water supply and drained the water lines leading to the machines. After these steps are complete, either turn off the ice maker and refrigerator circuits in your home’s electrical panel. You could also unplug both units instead. Then, clean the units according the following steps. Empty storage bin of your ice maker. Clean it, and make sure the drain valve is shut. Empty the refrigerator, and gently clean it with soap and water. Do not cover your ice maker or refrigerator. This can lead to an accumulation of moisture that will damage the unit.

2. Get Your Outdoor Grill Station Ready

You should clean your grill after every summer. If you plan to use the grill occasionally during the winter a good cleaning will make sure it’s working well for the next cookout season. You can easily clean your grill following these steps:

  • Use a degreaser to get rid of tough grease
  • Polish the grill with stainless steel polish
  • Scrub areas that remain dirty with a metal grill brush
  • Remove the grates and clean underneath
  • Turn off the gas line if you will not be using your grill during the winter

Cover your grill with a lid that is designed for your type of grill. Make sure that it will allow moisture to escape. Synthetic materials work best for withstanding wet weather and allowing moisture to move through it.

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3. Cover up your Outdoor Kitchen!

You’ll want to protect the entire kitchen of your outdoor living experience. Covering surfaces and appliances in your outdoor kitchen can prevent wear, cracks, and stains that may result from cold and wet weather. Be careful though, as moisture can get trapped underneath a cover. That can be more damaging than exposure. You can also apply sealers and finishers to protect surfaces from wear. If you have stainless steel appliances or cabinets, it would be a good idea to apply a coat of stainless steel finish. Make sure everything has been removed from cabinets and that they are free of dirt and debris. Weather can wear down the finish on stone countertops over time. You can purchase sealers designed for stone to prevent this from happening. Applying these products will help guard expensive outdoor stone surfaces from stains and damage.

4. Outdoor Plumbing Protection

Water that remains in the pipes and plumbing system of your outdoor kitchen can cause a big problem if you don’t manage it properly. When the weather gets freezing, the water in pipes can freeze also. This could cause your pipes to burst. The flooding, and making your outdoor kitchen unusable for a period of time. By making sure to evacuate water from all faucets and supply lines, you can avoid issues with freezing pipes.

To clear your pipes, you should first find and shut off all water supply lines leading to the kitchen from the indoor plumbing system. Make sure to perform the shut off using a valve inside your home so that water does not rest in outdoor pipes. Once the water is shut off, begin draining the lines. Make sure you do not neglect water supply lines connected to refrigerators, ice makers, and sinks. Finally, ensure that all drain valves are in the open position for the duration of the winter. By guaranteeing that no water remains in your pipes as winter sets in, you can save yourself from expensive repairs.

If you need any more outdoor living maintenance tips, feel free to contact Empire City today! We are proud to help you keep your outdoor living experience up and running for years to come.