Patios are great places to entertain and to relax during most seasons in Southeast Texas. The temperate climate means more outdoor enjoyment. The cooler months may see less use of the outdoor spaces, but proper maintenance of your patio during that time can help ensure a great living and entertainment space when the weather becomes more temperate.

Here are some winter-care patio tips:

Sweep Away Debris

Leaves or other debris on hardscape surface like your patio are likely to leave a stain, especially during cold and damp weather. Use your broom regularly to keep things clear. Depending on your patio’s material, you might be able to power wash the surface on warmer days (avoid doing this with porous stone).

Pay Attention to the Furniture

Even if you use your patio furniture during the winter months, it’s a good idea to take care of them. Wood furniture might benefit from a sealant for protection against moisture. If you have metal furniture, wipe it down with a mild soap-and-water solution and touch up rust spots with paint. Ensure that you choose outdoor rated fabrics for furniture cushions. Fabrics resistant to mold, water, stains and UV rays will last longer and look better over several seasons.

Backfill Holes

Soil erosion or holes around your hardscape area should be backfilled with dirt. Failure to do so allows water to pool around and under your patio. While the weather likely won’t get cold enough for that moisture to freeze, it could erode the patio’s foundation and cause the pavement or stone to buckle and crack. It’s better to plug the holes before they get too deep than face the later consequences.

Check and Redirect Drainage

Speaking of water, another must do for patio care is to help direct drainage away from the surface. Check your gutters’ downspouts. If they’re directed on or near your patio, fix them so water flows in another direction. Another thing to check is whether your home is at the bottom of a slope that might drain onto your patio. This might require installation of a channel drain or a French drain to help reduce any water flow.

Other things to watch for at any time of year is damage to any pavers or slabs. Be sure to use sealant on your patio when it warms up. This will protect the surface from staining and prevent dirt from penetrating through pavers or concrete.

Spending a little time and effort on your patio during the cooler winter months will help keep it looking great, while extending its longevity.

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