You probably enjoyed many backyard get-togethers around your outdoor space this summer, but now, it is time for outdoor kitchens in Kansas City, MO to enter into a period of hibernation. While they normally remain low maintenance most of the time, the effort you put in now is essential if you want to enjoy them again next summer. Here are the efforts you need to take to winterize your outdoor kitchen:
- Shut off water lines: Find the water lines that go to your outdoor kitchen and turn them off. Keeping them active this time of year risks blown pipes and expensive repairs.
- Drain water lines: Once water access is cut off, drain any water from the pipes leading to sinks, refrigerators or icemakers. Just as you do not want water running from the fixtures, you must also avoid water lingering and waiting to become a frozen mess.
- Clean the refrigerator: Empty out your refrigerator and give it a good cleaning. You will want to vacuum under the grills as well. Once clean, put all the parts back in place and check that power to the refrigerator is cut off. Do not cover it, as that will trap moisture and cause damage.
- Prepare the icemaker: Remove any remaining ice and cut power off to the appliance. If you have not already drained the water from the lines and the valve, do so now. As ironic as it sounds, allowing anything to freeze within your icemaker will render it useless when it is time to use your outdoor kitchen again. Just like the refrigerator, you do not want to cover icemakers because they are vulnerable to extra moisture.
- Remove sink fixtures: Remove knobs and faucets from sinks so you can store them inside away from the elements. While you are doing that, also give sinks a thorough cleaning so they remain well preserved after cold weather hits. Once done, cover them for protection.
- Seal countertops: If you have not done so already, seal the counters before the cold starts. Skipping this step means accumulating stains and dirt throughout the season. Sometimes, countertops can even crack under the strain of low temperatures. If they are not sealed yet and the weather has already hit, keep them covered so they have some protection.
- Take grill preservation steps: The likely centerpiece of your outdoor kitchen, the grill, will require the most attention. Clean it thoroughly first with a degreaser and then with a stainless steel polish. Use a metal brush for the tight places. Empty the cleanout and scrub the grates, as well. Once done with these steps, season the grill by putting the grates back in, heating to 500 degrees and closing the hood for the next 20 minutes. Once done, keep the hood and the vent closed. Turn off the gas line if you do not grill during the winter.
MSE Hardscapes LLC builds outdoor kitchens in Kansas City, MO and can help you maintain them, too. If you have any questions about preserving your space during winter, give us a call today.