How to Prep for Spring
With Spring just around the corner, it is time to gear up for warmer days. Spring cleaning should not just be limited to the indoor space. Your backyard and patio are just equally as important—especially with everyone spending more time at home. In this blog, we walk you through some tips on ways you can prep for the upcoming season.
Uncover Your Patio Furniture
Time to stretch out your arms and legs (and your patio furniture's) and step outside for some fresh air. With many of us retreating indoors from winter's grueling weather, it is important to get some vitamin D. Protect yourself from harmful UV rays while relaxing beneath the cool shade of an umbrella, like with this Aspen Rectangle Umbrella by ARTiculatedshade.
Shake off winter's chill from your patio essentials and get ready to soak up some sun! Keep loungers and deep seating upholsteries looking their best by brushing off dirt, removing stains, washing them thoroughly with mild soap and warm water, and allowing the fabric to air dry—where necessary. If you have umbrellas or outdoor rugs, you may want to repeat this same procedure as well as spot clean the affected areas—depending on the material they are made from, of course.
Be sure to check out our How to Maintain Your Outdoor Furniture and Fire Pits guide where we offer tips on how to properly maintain the differing materials that are popularly used for patio furniture and outdoor fire pits. With this knowledge up your sleeve, you can protect your outdoor furniture from normal wear and tear and prolong their use for years to come.
While we tend to associate Spring with fragrant scents, lively florals, and warm sunshine, we certainly cannot forget about the spring showers. If you are currently in the market for new patio furniture, consider the benefits of all-weather resin. This water and fade resistant material make it the ideal solution for year-round use outdoors. It requires minimal upkeep so you can spend more time relaxing than worrying about replacing your decor every other season. Plus, you will not need to cover and uncover it as often as furniture made of other materials as all-weather resin is made to withstand rain. (You can read about the benefits of all-weather resin in our Patio Furniture for April Showers article.) With your patio furniture ready to go, now you can relax in full comfort amidst the sounds of nature all while sinking into the plush, pillowy cushions of your chaise.
Freshen Up Gas Fire Pits and Outdoor Gas Fireplaces
Inspect your gas fire pit or outdoor gas fireplace for damage and gas leaks before turning it on, especially after months of unuse. You will also want to check that your fire media is dirt and moisture free to ensure the gas receives adequate flow for combustion. (Pictured: Reflective Fire Diamonds by Starfire Glass)
Although fire pit season doesn't hit until the Summer and Autumn months, who said you can't enjoy fresh air around a cozy fire during the Spring time? If you're like us, gathering around the fire with loved ones is one of the best ways to unwind. So, keeping your entertainment area ship shape is just as important as enjoying it—and that includes everything from the fire pit itself down to the accessories.
After breaking out your gas fire feature—especially after weeks, or even months of unuse—it is always important to inspect it for any damage or gas leaks. Curious critters, such as rodents gathering materials from your fire pit to keep warm or even nestling spiders attracted to the scent of gas, can impede with its' functionality. Before operating your gas fire pit, smell around for a rotten egg odor. Unlike natural gas which dissipates into the air because it is lighter in weight, propane will settle onto the floor because it is heavier—lending to it often going undetected. A gas leak test, which is generally recommended at least once a year, should be performed by an authorized gas service technician. (Remember to always refer to your fire pit's owner manuals for instructions on how to properly maintain and care for it.)
You should also examine the fire media for dust and moisture prior to igniting it. Why is this essential you might ask? The air pockets in between each piece of media helps ensure the burner ports receive adequate gas flow for proper combustion, which is crucial for when it comes to lighting and operating your gas fire pit or gas fireplace.
It is easy for media, such as fire glass, to collect loose dirt that can block and interfere with the combustion process. This is especially true if you live in a location that is prone to high winds or even if you simply leave your fire media uncovered and exposed to the outdoor elements. If you live in a coastal, snowy, or wet region, you will also want to be sure your fire media is completely dry before lighting your fire pit. Lighting your fire media when it is wet can cause the water to heat and expand which can result in the pieces cracking, popping, or bursting. As a preventative safety measure, we highly recommend using a combination of a burner cover and a fabric cover to keep your investment well protected from inclement weather and unfavorable environmental factors. That includes during the off-season and even overnight when your fire pit is not in use and the burner area is completely cooled down.
Now that you have an understanding of why it is important to maintain your fire feature and fire media, be sure you bookmark our How to Clean Fire Glass guide for steps on how to keep it spick-and-span. Whether you are freshening up existing fire media, or are looking to upgrade to a different style, be sure you have no more than a 1" layer of fire media covering the burner to ensure it receives adequate gas flow for combustion. Staying ahead of the game weeks well in advanced of the upcoming season does not just mean ensuring everything looks good, but that your investments perform optimally. You do not want to run into complications midway of your Spring break.
Here are some other helpful guides to ensure you are Spring-ready:
- Why Isn't My Fire Pit or Fire Table Lighting?
- Why Isn't My Flame Larger? How Do I Make My Flame Larger?
Cut, Split, and Stack Wood Logs for Future Use
Due to wood's high moisture content, it can take 6 months to 2 years for it to achieve a moisture content suitable for burning. April is the ideal time to cut, split, and stack wood logs for October use. (Pictured: Crescent Log Rack in Stainless Steel by Fire Pit Art)
Speaking of ensuring your fire media is completely dry, if you are a traditionalist and have a wood burning fire pit or fireplace, late Spring is the ideal time for cutting, splitting, and stacking logs for October use. This is because wood has a high moisture content that ranges between 35% - 70%, which can make it difficult to ignite properly. Depending on the species, it can take anywhere between 6 months and even up to 1-2 years for logs to air-dry and reach a suitable moisture content ideal for wood burning. The best method for speeding up the drying process involves loosely stacking the firewood in a sunny, well-ventilated area elevated off the ground and covered with a tarp to keep them protected from the rain. While it can be hard to judge when a wood log is ready for use, moisture meters can be used to gauge the moisture content. You will want to look for a 20% - 25%, or lower, reading for the wood to burn best.
Hit the Snooze on Your Indoor Gas Fireplace's Pilot Light
While gas fireplaces don't have a snooze button like our alarm clocks, you can certainly conserve energy and reduce utility costs by considering the benefits of turning off your fire feature's pilot light during the off-season.
If you have an indoor gas fireplace, it is worth considering turning the pilot light off during the warmer months to conserve energy and reduce utility costs. Since the pilot light burns gas, leaving the pilot on and running while you are not utilizing your fireplace can potentially eat up your home's energy and your wallet's. This will not only help you save money during the fireplace off-seasons but can also help increase the lifespan of your indoor fire feature. It is important that you always refer to the owner's manuals instructions on how to properly operate your fireplace. If you decide to leave the pilot light on year-round for safety reasons, just keep in mind that it still generates heat. So, depending on where you live and your location's climate conditions, remember that homes exposed to hot weather may feel the warmth—however small—from the pilot light.
Plant Florals and Foliage for a Livelier Backyard Getaway
This Spring, explore creative ways to plant your garden accents beyond the traditional plots. Enhance the warm, rich tones of a Cazo Copper Planter by The Outdoor Plus with floral accents or add natural life to a concrete planter, such as this Sedona Planter and Water Bowl by The Outdoor Plus, for an elegant charm (please call for details).
What better opportunity to start planting florals and foliage than in Spring? If you have a green thumb, explore some creative ways to add lush emerald hues and vibrant blooms around your patio or backyard. Display your gardening skills in stylish concrete planter bowls that can be mixed-and-matched with surrounding decor. Introduce herbs like mint, chives, dill, cilantro, parsley, and basil to your garden to not only add life to your entertainment space, but to also prepare for grilling and barbecue season in the Summer. Garnish your favorite dishes with fresh, ready-to-be-snipped herbs directly from your backyard. With your outdoor entertainment space Spring-break-ready, you can proudly boast of your hard work and ease into the rest of the outdoor season fully geared up for leisure time.
Preparing for the upcoming Spring season does not just mean uncovering patio furniture to enjoy the sun. Small, thoughtful actions like ensuring your fire pit is well-maintained and putting your indoor gas fireplace's pilot light into hibernation mode can make all the difference. Have a knack for gardening? Discover creative alternatives for showcasing your plants and giving your outdoor entertainment space some new life. If you have questions about how to prime your backyard or patio for days of sunshine, message our helpful team members on our live chat, fill out a contact us form here, or simply reach out over the phone at (866) 578-8538. We are more than happy to assist you in achieving your dream space.Main image: Enhance your outdoor space with lush evergreens and lively florals with a Sedona Planter and Water Bowl by The Outdoor Plus (please call for details).
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
An avid rock climber, Stephany is one of the Ecommerce team members responsible for the addition and maintenance of product listings on the website.