[:en]After a long winter, your patio might be in pretty rough shape. Getting a handle on winter storm damage can be a little overwhelming but if you break it up into a few manageable steps it will be much easier to handle. By doing some upfront work, you will get much more enjoyment out of your patio this summer. Here are five tips for getting your patio ready for summer:

Sweep and Power Wash

First things first: winter storms tend to leave dirt, tree branches, dead leaves and other debris behind on your patio. Start your patio maintenance by sweeping up all the dirt and debris and then power washing the entire patio to leave it completely clean.

Bring Out the Outdoor Furniture

Next, bring out your outdoor furniture from storage or uncover it. You may need to wipe it down with warm soapy water if it’s dusty from being stored or covered for months. Open your table umbrella if you have one to make sure it doesn’t have any tears or holes.

Clean and Stock the Grill

One of the best parts of having a patio is getting to grill out all summer. Uncover your grill and spend some time wiping down both the grill and grilling accessories. Make sure you’re all stocked up on charcoal or gas. If you tackle these tasks now you will be much more likely to enjoy your grill all summer.

Add Lighting as Needed

Large cafe-style string lights will give your patio a charming look after dark and make it easier to enjoy your outdoor space no matter how late it gets. If you already have string lights hanging around your patio, be sure the bulbs are all still working and replace any that have burned out. Adding solar LED path lights will help illuminate your yard and provide a well-lit path from your house to the patio.

Don’t Forget the Little Details

Spring is the perfect time to stock up on small items that will add comfort and beauty to your patio. Potted flowers and herbs in colorful ceramic containers will liven up your entire patio. Replacing old worn out cushions with new outdoor pillows and throws is another way to make your patio more inviting. A lantern with votives for your patio table and perhaps a basket with sunblock and bug spray will ensure your patio is a place your friends and family love to hang out.

Once you follow these five steps your patio will be in great shape for a summer of family fun and outdoor entertaining.[:]