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How to prepare your roof terrace or rooftop garden for winter

Winter's arrival doesn't mean your rooftop garden or roof terrace should become out of bounds. Instead, with a few seasonal roof terrace design ideas, you can turn it into a winter-ready wonderland. Implementing just a few of these can help you to enjoy going outside in the winter and turn your space into a place for social gatherings, romantic evenings and family time.

We also explain the key things you can do to protect your outdoor space during the colder months, making sure it remains in top condition right through the year.

Mahón - Your roof terrace can be just as welcoming in winter as it is in summer: here's how to prepare it properly.

Roof terrace design ideas for winter

The first thing to tackle is the cold: making your roof terrace snug and warm means you can spend as much time as you like out there all season long. A sheltered covering, such as a gazebo or pergola, will protect you from snow and rain, and with some outdoor heaters to sit under too, the chill of deepest winter won't bother you at all. You could even consider installing a fire pit for more warmth, light and atmosphere, though you'll need to carefully check the regulations for your area or apartment building before doing so.

However, with winter already upon us, you might need some terrace garden ideas that you can implement in a flash. A stash of thick blankets and deep pillows are easy to acquire and will help to keep you insulated on even the coldest days of the year. For a quick way to add a warm glow, string some outdoor lights around the perimeter of your roof terrace, and introduce some hardy winter plants to create a lush and welcoming atmosphere.

Protecting furniture and fixtures

Winter can be particularly hard on the furniture and fixtures that form part of your roof terrace design. Rooftop gardens tend to be more exposed to the worst of the weather, which means anything up there is more at risk of harm. It's therefore especially important to properly treat and protect anything that could be damaged by the cold, wet and wind. That way, when spring comes around, you'll be able to whip the covers off and get right into entertaining.

For metal and wooden items, a thorough clean is the first step, as this helps to prevent rust and rot. You'll then need to apply an appropriate waterproofing and winterproofing treatment. Finally, anything that can be covered up when not in use should be protected with something waterproof, such as tarpaulin.

Lighter items, like wicker or plastic seating, are liable to blow away in the strong winter winds a roof terrace can be exposed to. Therefore, they should be stored indoors if possible when not in use.

Cleaning and upkeep

Much of the damage winter can do to your roof terrace design is as a result of neglect: we can all be prone to ignoring our outdoor spaces when it's cold and uninviting outside. However, raking up leaves, repairing cracked paving stones and removing snowfall will all help to keep your roof terrace in good condition through the winter.

Therefore, if you want to have a spring-ready roof terrace, don't forget to do the little everyday tasks as well as any annual repainting, restoring and decorating.

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