Tips to Care for Outdoor Home Spaces
Written By Liliana Duque, Housekeeping Director
Keeping your outdoor living spaces looking great and ready for use requires a regular routine to make sure things are in place. Whether it’s a porch, a deck area, grill or full outdoor kitchen there are tips to help tackle the job.
Sweep, Dust, and Wash
Every week, sweep the floor of your porch with an outdoor push broom; dust the windowsills, door frames, and ceiling-fan blades using a counter brush. On a monthly basis, remove and wash the porch light-fixture covers to rid them of insects that collect there.
Most new decks are made of pressure-treated wood that has been processed with chemicals to make it more resistant to moisture and insects. Sweep deck floors and thresholds with an outdoor push broom at least once a week to remove leaves and other debris. Dust railings and windowsills with a counter brush.
Caring for Your Grill
When you have an outdoor area where people like to congregate, it’s wonderful to set up a grill. Whether you burn charcoal, gas, or wood, if cared for properly, your grill can serve you for as many as 15 years, or longer.
Prepare the Grill — Oil the grate before each use of the grill to prevent food from sticking. Use oil that can withstand high temperatures, such as grape seed oil.
After Grilling — Remove cooked food and close the lid. If using gas, turn the heat to high. After 15 to 20 minutes, shut off the gas or extinguish flames. Rub the heated grate with balled foil, or brush the grates with a tight-bristled brass or stainless-steel grill brush.
Remove Burned-On Food — To loosen burned-on food from a grate, sandwich it between wet newspapers, cover it with plastic, and leave it outdoors overnight, then scrub.
Unblock Burner Holes — When a gas grill’s burner holes are blocked with food debris, cooking temperatures may become uneven. Go over the burners with a grill brush, and clear clogged burner holes with a pipe cleaner or a sewing needle.
Cut Grease — Once a year, spray a gas grill’s cooking grate with a grease-cutting solution of 1-part distilled white vinegar to 1-part water. Close the lid, and let the solution work for at least an hour. Scrape the grill gently with a putty knife.
Spot Gas Leaks — To detect a leak on a gas-hose connection, brush soapy water over hoses and hose connections. If bubbles emerge, shut off the gas valve and disconnect the tank from the grill, then find a qualified repairman.
Must-Have Grill Gadget — A good set of tongs can be one of the most useful tools for summer grilling. Grab a pair and you can go to work on any number of tasks — flip food on the grill, plate a meal, or toss a salad.
Outdoor living spaces are great to spend time with family and friends. When the area is well maintained, it makes it all the more enjoyable for the homeowner and hassle free to maintain.
A variety of other housekeeping tips can be found by following Golden Ocala’s living blog. We also offer an array of housekeeping services to members of Golden Ocala Golf & Equestrian Club. Call me at 352-402-4377 to learn more.