Keep Your Outdoor Kitchen Protected from Critters During Cold Weather

When cold weather hits, animals behave just like people, searching for someplace warm to sleep. If there isn’t someplace warm to sleep, they at least search for shelter, and they will find it anywhere. If you aren’t careful they may find it in your outdoor kitchen. Your appliances are dry and with the assistance of some nesting materials, critters large and small can make them cozy and warm.

Tips to Keep Critters Out

  • Keep your kitchen clean
    When you prepare your kitchen for winter you should make sure it is completely clean of food and debris. If you have any food at all on or in your appliances you can bet a critter will find it! Give your stove-top, grills, counters, sink, fridge, and cupboards a thorough cleaning. You should also remove food from your outdoor refrigerator and cupboards and fasten them with locks.
  • Install a chimney cap
    If your outdoor kitchen has a chimney, make sure it has a chimney cap. If your chimney is installed and doesn’t have a chimney cap, a certified chimney sweep can install one in just a short appointment. Without a chimney cap, small critters will find a nice, cozy home inside your chimney flue.
  • Close your chimney
    Your outdoor fireplace might have a screen or glass doors. When your chimney isn’t in use, make sure that the screen or doors are closed tightly and locked or fastened. If you don’t have doors, you can have them installed and custom-fitted to your fireplace opening. In the meantime you can use your damper to close off the chimney from the fireplace opening. This will work to keep animals out when the chimney isn’t in use.

When you invest in your home and property by adding an outdoor kitchen, you don’t want animals to ruin it. Animals can leave flammable debris in your chimney that can cause fire. They can leave debris and harmful waste in your cooking area, and their claws can damage cabinets and counter-tops. Don’t let it happen to you.

Before you install your outdoor kitchen or remodel it, keep these things in mind:

  1.  Stainless steel cabinets are durable. They best protect against weather and can lock during the off-season. Stainless steel also protects your cabinet surfaces from the claws of critters small and large.
  2.  Install a chimney cap and doors or screens to avoid a problem later. Start with the right design today, and you won’t have to worry about repairing a damaged chimney or removing an animal from your flue, alive or dead, later.
  3.  Install outdoor-rated appliances. Most of these outdoor appliances are designed to withstand not only weather, but also protect against wildlife. You can ask any park ranger, though, and he will tell you that almost nothing protects against animals. They are cunning and sometimes desperate.
  4.  Consider a custom structure. By building a structure around your outdoor space, you allow yourself the freedom to fully enclose your outdoor kitchen during the off-season. For instance, building a partial wall or roof can allow you to use custom-removable walls, anchored tightly to the roof and floor to secure your space from wildlife and weather.

Consider the benefits of winterizing sooner rather than later. Protect your outdoor kitchen against critters today so that you can enjoy it in the spring.



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