Outdoor kitchens are more appealing than ever as more people are cooking and socializing at home. If you enjoy spending time outdoors in Colorado and entertaining, having an outdoor kitchen is a great option. Nothing beats spending a Colorado summer evening outside cooking and spending time with family and friends as your kids run around in the backyard.
When fall begins to turn to winter, it is essential that you take steps to protect your outdoor kitchen from winter weather. Ensuring that your appliances and features are protected when the cold Colorado winter weather arrives will allow you to protect your investment. Here are some tips for protecting your outdoor kitchen from winter weather in Colorado.
Prepare Your Plumbing
When Colorado freezes, any water left in your plumbing system and pipes in your outdoor kitchen can cause problems. As soon as it starts freezing outside, water in your pipes can freeze, causing the pipes to burst. Frozen and bursting pipes can cause a considerable nuisance, resulting in large plumbing bills. Bursting pipes can also cause flooding and make your outdoor kitchen unusable. Ensure you evacuate water from all of the faucet outside and the supply lines to avoid costly issues with frozen pipes.
Next, shut off water supply lines that lead to your outdoor kitchen from your inside plumbing system. Use a valve inside your home to shut off the water, so the water does not stay in your outdoor pipes. After you shut off the water, drain the lines. Do not forget to shut off the water supply lines connected to outdoor ice makers, refrigerators, or stinks. Compressed carbon dioxide works well for clearing water from the lines, unless you have a gravity-based winterization system in use. Finally, make sure the drain valves are in the open position during winter.
Prepare Your Outdoor Grill
Taking care of the outdoor grill and preparing it for winter will help you maintain your ground till the end of summer. You may plan on using your grill occasionally during the winter. Even so, giving your girl a good cleaning well is a good idea. Your grill may be able to resist winter weather elements without a cover, but if you do choose the cover, make sure it is designed to allow moisture to escape to avoid rust.
Choosing a cover with synthetic material often works best to protect the grill against winter weather and allow moisture to move through. When you are ready to clean your grill, take the following steps to prepare your grill for winter by cleaning it:
- Wipe down any debris that is easy to get off the grill
- Get rid of any built-up grease on your grill with a degreaser
- Remove the grills grates and clean the grill underneath
- Apply vegetable oil to season the cooking surfaces and grates and allow the grill to heat at 500 degrees Fahrenheit for at least 20 minutes
- If you do not plan on using your grill during winter, turn off the gas line
Seal or Cover Your Appliances, if Needed
Sealing or covering your outdoor kitchen appliances can help prevent cracks, stains, and wear and tear due to Colorado’s cold and wet winter weather. However, you must not allow moisture to become trapped under the cover, which can cause rust and other damage to your appliances. Refrigerators and ice makers often fare better when they are uncovered during the winter to avoid accumulating moisture. Mold is always a risk when it comes to outdoor appliances, as well. If you are unsure whether to cover or seal your appliances, we recommend contacting the manufacturer of your appliance with instructions on protecting them from the winter weather elements.
Winterize Your Ice Maker and Refrigerator
During the fall, before the winter weather begins, we recommend preparing your ice maker and refrigerator. Turn off the power to both appliances. After you have already shut off the water supply to the appliances and drain the water lines. Next, you should either turn off your refrigerator ice maker entirely in your home’s electrical panel or simply unplug the devices. We recommend cleaning the items once a year using the following steps:
- Empty the storage bin of the ice maker and clean it thoroughly
- Make sure the valve to the ice maker is completely closed
- Empty the refrigerator and clean it gently with soap and water
- Take off both machines’ front grill then use a vacuum cleaner to clean the area behind it. When you are finished vacuuming, reattach the grill
Keep Salt Away From Your Appliances
Be careful when using salt to melt the snow around or inside your outdoor kitchen. We do not recommend using it on Flagstone, Pavers, decking, or any other surface and your outdoor kitchen. Using it could seriously corrode or damage the materials in your kitchen. Similarly, salt can lead to scratching your appliances, causing damage to stainless steel appliances’ surface.
Consider Radiant Heating
If you would like to preserve your outdoor kitchen, consider installing radiant heat. Installing radiant heat and chairs that the area around your outdoor kitchen and your cabinets remain snow-free and dry during winter. However, installing radiant heating does have some downsides. The outdoor kitchen area will be usable, but you will still need to pay to install the system and run it. If you enjoy cooking in your outdoor kitchen during the winter, installing radiant heat is a good investment that can be worth the money. It will also help you protect your investment.
Contact Masterpiece Outdoor Living
If you would like to create a beautiful, functional outdoor kitchen, Masterpiece Outdoor Living is here to help. Our nationally recognized outdoor kitchen designers can help you achieve the kitchen of your dreams. We understand the challenges involved in creating an outdoor kitchen in Colorado, and we can help you design the perfect outdoor kitchen that you can use year-round. Contact us today to discuss setting up a consultation with one of our design experts.