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Patio season – a time for barbeques, relaxing evenings under the stars, and enjoying the beautiful outdoors. But with the sunshine often comes the reality of storm season. Don’t let the threat of bad weather turn your patio paradise into a disaster zone! Here is a guide a to securing your patio and ensuring it stays safe and enjoyable throughout storm season:

Secure or Store Your Belongings

Imagine your favorite patio chair transformed into a projectile in a strong wind! Loose furniture is a recipe for disaster. Here are your options:

  • Bring it Inside: If possible, bring lightweight furniture like chairs, tables, and ottomans indoors before the storm hits. This is the safest option, especially for areas prone to high winds.
  • Anchor Down the Heavies: For heavier furniture like patio sets, consider anchoring them to the ground using furniture straps or tie-down cables. This will prevent them from being tossed around by strong winds. Remember, choose straps or cables specifically designed for outdoor use to withstand the elements.
  • Group and Secure: If you don’t have space indoors, group heavier furniture together in a sheltered area of your patio, like a corner, and secure them with heavy-duty bungee cords or straps.

 Protect Your Potted Friends

Those beautiful potted plants lining your patio can become dangerous projectiles in high winds. Here’s how to keep them safe:

  • Move Them Indoors: If manageable, bring your smaller potted plants indoors. This is the safest option, especially for delicate varieties.
  • Group and Secure Large Pots: For larger pots that can’t be moved easily, group them together in a sheltered area of your patio and secure them with strong straps or rope.
  • Lay Them Down: If your pots are lightweight and anchoring isn’t feasible, consider laying them down carefully on their sides to minimize wind resistance.

Umbrella, Not Quite So Friendly:

Patio umbrellas are fantastic for shade, but not so great in a storm. Here’s what to do:

  • Take Them Down: It’s best to disassemble your patio umbrella completely and store it indoors before the storm hits.
  • Secure Them if Fixed: If your umbrella has a permanent base, consider securing it to the ground with additional straps or weights to prevent it from taking flight.

Don’t Let Small Things Become Big Problems

Flying debris can cause significant damage during a storm. Here’s how to prevent it:

  • Clear the Clutter: Store away any loose items on your patio, like throw pillows, decorative items, wind chimes, and outdoor toys. Anything lightweight left outside becomes a potential projectile.
  • Secure Decorations: Take down any seasonal decorations or hanging plants that could be ripped down by strong winds.
  • Secure Trash Cans: Weigh down your trash cans or bring them inside to prevent them from becoming airborne.

Protect Your Covered Patio

If your patio has a retractable awning, ensure it’s retracted and secured before the storm arrives. Most awnings come with straps or tie-downs specifically designed for this purpose. Don’t attempt to leave your awning out during a storm – it can act like a sail and potentially damage itself or your patio structure.

Protecting Your Screened-in Patio

Screened-in patios offer wonderful protection from insects by protecting your outdoor patio during storm season, but they need some TLC during storms too. Here’s what to do:

  • Inspect the Screens: Before the storm, check your screens for any rips, tears, or loose framing. Repair any damage to ensure the screens can withstand strong winds and flying debris.
  • Reinforce the Structure: If you live in an area prone to severe storms, consider reinforcing your screened-in patio with hurricane clips or straps designed to hold the structure secure during high winds. Consult a professional for proper installation.

Wrapping up

By following these tips, you can transform your patio from a potential storm victim into a safe haven for enjoying the sunshine well into storm season. Remember, a little preparation goes a long way. With a secure patio and a well-thought-out plan, you can relax and enjoy the fresh air, knowing you’ve taken the necessary steps to keep your outdoor oasis safe from the elements. So go ahead, fire up the grill, soak up the sun, and create lasting memories on your patio – all while keeping safety at the forefront of your mind. Happy storm-proof patio season!

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