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Prepare For Winter in DC: Preserve the Property of Your Historic Home

Nov 16, 2023 8:45:00 AM Christina Wilson

As the crisp autumn air settles in, it's essential to prepare your backyard and urban garden for the bitter cold of the approaching winter. This vital task not only protects your outdoor oasis throughout the season but also helps to ensure the overall integrity of your historic home. With these tips, you can effectively winterize your outdoor areas, protect your investment for years to come, and preserve the property of your historic home.

Preparing Your Outdoor Furniture and Accessories for DC Winter

No matter what materials your outdoor furniture is made from, proper winter storage can shield it from the harsh elements of a Washington, D.C. winter and extend its lifespan. Proper storage means more than chucking it into the corner of a garage or storage area until spring, though. To get the most out of your outdoor furniture, here are some helpful storage tips:

  • Clean it Up: Deep cleaning isn't just for springtime. Before you store your outdoor furniture and backyard decor for winter, giving it a thorough cleaning is a critical step. Dirt, grime, pollen, and assorted outdoor organic matter can all attract pests and encourage microbial growth. A deep cleaning before moving the furniture off the patio and into storage can prevent mold and mildew, as well as other potential damage if left unchecked.
  • Keep it Dry: It's best to store your outdoor furniture in a dry, enclosed space such as a garage, shed, or basement. If you don't have access to any of these storage facilities on your property, consider covering furniture with a weatherproof tarp after cleaning. 
  • Invest in Furniture Covers: Furniture covers can provide extra protection from the elements, which is critical if your indoor storage space is too limited, and especially if your furniture is made of wood. Wood is more susceptible to moisture and potential water damage, but the proper purpose-made furniture covers can help keep it protected. 

Are Your Retaining Walls Ready for Winter?

Retaining walls play a critical role in supporting your garden and preventing erosion. Still, the wall itself can be vulnerable to damage during the winter months, especially those walls which are constructed from brick and stone. Here are some things to consider in relation to the retaining walls on your historic D.C. property:

  • Pre-Winter Inspection: Before severe winter weather arrives, it's a good idea to conduct a thorough check of your retaining walls. Look for signs of brick damage and cracking so you can have the issues addressed promptly. It’s a good idea to consult an expert on historic homes who can recommend the best course of action. Traditional tuckpointing methods can proactively preserve and protect the integrity of retaining walls. 
  • Invest in Sealant: Frost and moisture damage can wreak havoc with historic retaining walls. Sealants developed specifically for this purpose can protect your property and stave off new or worsening damage.
  • Plant Evergreens: More than just providing a pop of green in a gray winter landscape, evergreens can also play a critical role in protecting your property and retaining walls. These natural barriers against the wind and snow are beautiful guardians that can provide much-needed protection from harsh winter weather.

Expert Help Preserving Your Historic DC Home During Winter

Getting your outdoor areas and retaining walls ready for winter is a big job, and it's one you want to make sure you get right in order to protect your property investment. The experts at Renaissance Development can help. Specializing in historic brick preservation and repair, we have the knowledge and experience to help you protect your home and garden against the elements, winter weather included.


When it comes to preserving the historical integrity of your Washington, D.C. home and ensuring your property’s longevity, Renaissance Development is a trusted partner. Contact us to learn more about safeguarding the outdoor areas of your historic property for years to come.

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Categories: hardscape, preventive maintenance, old brick, Patio, Walkway, historic brick home, historic brick, Stone Retaining Walls, Winterize Your Backyard, Winterize Your Outdoor Furniture

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