We’ve happily talked about getting your patio or deck ready for summer entertaining with spring cleaning tips. Now it’s time for the dreaded opposite, fall cleaning tips (cue sad music and deep sighs).

Of course, there’s nothing better than extra chores (ha, ha), but preparing outdoor spaces before it gets cold is necessary so that once spring arrives, you can get outside and enjoy your backyard faster.

Fall Cleaning Tips: Wood Decks

If you have a wood deck, it’s going into hibernation and before it does, it needs a bath. Otherwise, mold, fungi, and mildew can grow and stain the surface for an unhappy surprise next spring.

Be sure to sweep off any debris (a leaf blower is your best friend here) and then scrub with deck soap.

fall cleaning tips, leaves, wood deck

If you notice that the water is soaking into the wood, you’ve got some more work ahead of you. Expert advice varies, but you at least need some sort of water sealant even if you don’t have time to strip and re-stain.

For a very thorough look at what to do, read Three Steps to Winterize Your Deck at Capper’s Farmer.

Here’s a beautiful (and sealed) deck in rainy Seattle by Exteriorscapes

fall cleaning tips, sealed wood deck

Fall Cleaning Tips: Concrete Patios

Just like a deck, you’ve got to clean a concrete patio. You can sweep and hose it off. Then, you have to use concrete sealant to protect it because if you don’t, you’ll face a spider web of cracks and damage come spring.

fall cleaning tips, cleaning concrete patios

Here are some easy concrete winterizing steps to follow from ehow.com, including how to apply concrete or masonry seal.

And here’s a beautiful stamped concrete patio by Concrete Concepts LLC in Kansas City…

fall cleaning tips, stamped concrete patio

Fall Cleaning Tips: Brick Patios

If you have a brick patio, the main thing you need to do is keep your bricks safe from the freeze/thaw cycle, which can last three months or more depending on where you live. We’ve found lots of fall cleaning tips for winterizing your patio brick pavers by Brick Doctor Bill, including a quick sweep of joint sand into the brick joints.

fall cleaning tips, patio brick pavers

Here’s a brick patio by John Kraemer & Sons in a place known to get a bit of cold weather… Minneapolis!

fall cleaning tips, brick patio

Fall Cleaning Tips: Stone Patios

Preparing a stone patio for winter involves a lot of weeding so that the stones remain in place. Here’s a guide to winterizing a flagstone patio (including pulling weeds).

fall cleaning tips, stone patio

Here’s a gorgeous flagstone patio by Jeffrey Gordon Smith Landscape Architecture near San Luis Obispo in the Central Coast of California…

flagstone patio, fall cleaning tips

Fall Cleaning Tips: Patio Furniture

Leaving your patio furniture and cushions unprotected will damage them and that will put a crimp in your outdoor entertaining schedule next spring.

fall cleaning tips, patio furniture

If you have extra room in a protected area, like a garage or basement, it’s easy to stow your patio cushions, but if  space is limited, high-quality storage bins are a convenient and simple solution.

To ensure your cushions are ready for next summer, clean them with a little soap and water (not in the washing machine) and let them air dry before storing or covering them.

The type of furniture determines how you winterize it, but like everything, a good cleaning is essential. If you your backyard gets a lot of snow and rain, purchasing furniture covers from your favorite home improvement center is probably the easiest way to make sure your furniture is all set and ready to go once spring comes. (This protected patio was designed by Keith Willig Landscape Services)…

fall cleaning tips, patio furniture covers

So there you have it, easy fall cleaning tips to ensure your patio and deck survive winter. Now we just need some for ourselves!