Outdoor kitchens are the new home design trend, especially for small spaces. These kitchens undoubtedly, increase the home’s value and add a unique touch to the home’s outlook.
Regardless, there are factors to be considered when setting up a kitchen outdoors. Its weather resistivity should be your top concern.
If the outdoor kitchen is wood, iron, or any material that is not waterproof, then maintaining it would require more effort.
An outdoor kitchen will get wet when it rains or snows during the winter. And if the structure has non-waterproof materials, there could be cases of rust, discoloration, mold, or other types of damage afterward. Regardless, you could make water-resistant covers, add an extra roof, or attach a pergola to protect your kitchen.
Does An Outdoor Kitchen Get Wet?
An outdoor kitchen will get wet if left bare without a roof. While a roofless kitchen makes for a good scene, your kitchen equipment will bear the brunt when the rain comes.
However, some weatherproof kitchen types of equipment are explicitly for outdoor kitchens.
Adding a roof, pergola, or other covering to your kitchen would be best. Furthermore, you may be too busy to pack in your equipment when the rain comes unexpectedly.
For this reason, you should consider investing in quality outdoor elements and appliances that would hold up in bad weather.
The Winter season is a trying period for all outdoor kitchen setups. Unprotected kitchens usually lose their stability during this period.
Some people pack their equipment inside and await the passing of winter before setting them up again.
If you do not have enough space to pack yours, you risk rust development, discoloration, and damage to the materials.
The structure of the kitchen is not the only thing to get affected by rain or snow. Unfortunately, humans also suffer the effects of a wet kitchen; sometimes, these effects can be deadly.
Water, as we know, is a high conductor of electric current. Therefore, when the kitchen gets wet, there is a high chance of electrocution if any equipment is working.
So, for your safety, refrain from using the kitchen after a downpour (especially if it is an open kitchen).
How Do I Keep My Outdoor Kitchen Dry?
Setting up a kitchen requires careful planning and strategy. It would help if you analyzed several factors to ensure that your investment in the kitchen does not go to waste.
Researching ways to keep the kitchen dry is part of the planning process you should undergo before setting up the kitchen.
In addition, you would need to know about the materials used, maintenance routines, and the budget involved. However, not everyone needs to go through this process.
For example, if you live in humid areas where rare rain, you would barely need to worry about setting up a waterproof structure.
Here’s what to do to keep your kitchen dry during winter:
#1. Make the Kitchen Waterproof
Waterproofing the kitchen means setting up protection around the kitchen space. You could either do it yourself or invite a pro to get the job done.
You can create a frame for the kitchen using stainless steel, wood, brass, bronze, or copper.
These frames would keep the kitchen equipment safe from the effects of the weather. In addition, they work better than just roofing because they enclose the entire space.
However, if you cannot afford to set up a suitable frame, you can get a water-resistant covering and lay them all over the equipment.
Unfortunately, this is not as helpful as the framing because there is less coverage.
#2. Opt for Concrete Floors
Your kitchen floor is the main foundation of the setup and needs to be duly protected.
To create a fancy kitchen scene, some people mistake using ceramic tiles or terrazzo for their outdoor kitchen. Unfortunately, this is the wrong choice when the rain comes.
The cold from the weather would eat into the tiles and cause them to crack. When this happens, you could get injured by them.
Concrete floors are a better alternative for outdoor kitchens, especially if you have no kids running around.
Plus, it dries up pretty quickly, so it can crack due to over-absorption of moisture. Do not use wood for the flooring if there is no roofing. Wood is particularly susceptible to water ravages.
#3. Get Weatherproof Cabinets
With the rising popularity of outdoor kitchens, waterproof kitchen equipment is being produced in large numbers to go with the setup.
These are different from regular wood cabinets that are highly susceptible to weather damage.
Before purchasing cabinets, let the dealer know you intend to use them outdoors. This way, they know the best set to sell to you.
#4. Use Non-Rusting Hardware
All nails, hinges, bolts, screws, nuts, and other hardware used in your kitchen setup should be stainless steel and ceramic materials.
The weather has minimal effects on these elements, so they do not require much protection during the winter.
Also, if they encounter rust, a simple wipe with oxalic acid is all it takes to get them back to the new.
#5. Select Durable Furniture
When choosing furniture for your kitchen, opt for those with a waterproof covering.
For example, leather materials are water-resistant and dry off quickly. Therefore, you should opt for them and stay off cotton chairs.
#6. Create a Canopy
A canopy around the kitchen will reduce the amount of water on your equipment. A canopy is functional even if all your kitchen equipment is water resistant.
Furthermore, you can set up canopies during summer as well as winter. Too much sun can damage your setup, so a canopy is a worthy investment.
How Do I Protect My Outdoor Kitchen from the Rain?
Rain is unavoidable; therefore, you have a better chance of protecting your kitchen from the rain than trying to prevent it.
Here are a few ways to protect your outdoor kitchen;
#1. Winterize Your Kitchen
Winterizing outdoor kitchens is a common practice in States with fierce snowstorms.
Once winter approaches in these states, homeowners usually suspend all outdoor kitchen cooking activities until the winter passes.
This practice prevents any occurrence of electrocution, damage to appliances, and broken water lines. It also boosts the lifespan of the kitchen and ensures that they last for years.
#2. Add a Roof or Covering
Creating a top layer for the kitchen helps reduce the water that reaches them. If the cover is big enough, the rain would have minimal effect on the equipment.
#3. Cover with a Tarp When Not in Use
Tarps are water-resistant and waterproof materials, so they work well to prevent water from touching the equipment. However, you may need more than one tap to get better coverage.
#4. Set up the Kitchen Under a Tree
Setting up the kitchen under a tree would be perfect, especially if the tree is sizable enough to hold water, rain, and sunlight.
But, you would have to deal with other factors such as excessive leave-downpour, insects, and birds nesting on the tree, among others.
#5. Use Outdoor Fixtures for the Lights
Lighting is an essential aspect of the kitchen. Outdoor bulbs and wires should not be left bare and exposed to the elements.
Endeavor to use outdoor fixtures for them to avert the possibility of electrocution or a short circuit.
Do I Need to Cover My Outdoor Kitchen?
It would be best to cover an outdoor kitchen unless you’re comfortable constantly replacing all the equipment.
Coverage is beneficial to the durability of the kitchen setup. Since the canopy curbs all weather effects, the kitchen can last several years.
Covering the kitchen is necessary for both winter and summer. It reduces the effects of the sun and rain on this kitchen equipment (with enough coverage, there would be no effect at all).
Here is a table of the various measures used to safeguard outdoor kitchens and their impacts during rainy and dry climates.
Constant exposure to rain and snow can damage your kitchen’s structure. Protecting the kitchen from adverse weather will enhance its ability to withstand bad weather.
Setting up an outdoor kitchen would require a lot of space, weather protection, and security efforts, but they offer you a great relaxation spot, especially during summer.