If you’re like most people, your outdoor furniture is one of your prized possessions. You don’t want to replace it every year, so taking steps to protect it from harsh weather is important. Here are seven tips for keeping outdoor furniture in good condition this winter.
1. Store It Indoors
A great way to preserve your patio furniture is by keeping it inside during winter. This may not be possible for large pieces, but smaller items, such as patio umbrellas and chairs, can easily be brought inside. Consider renting a storage unit if you need more space in your garage or basement. Just be sure to wrap your furniture in plastic or canvas to prevent it from getting scratched or attracting dust while in storage.
2. Cover It Up
Another simple way to keep your outdoor furniture in good condition is to cover them when not in use. This will help protect them from the elements and help to keep them clean. There are a variety of covers available specifically designed for outdoor furniture, or you can use waterproof tarps.
You can also make your covers out of canvas or polyester fabric. Just be sure to choose a heavy-duty fabric that won’t tear easily, and that is treated to resist mold and mildew. With them, you can create a snug fit that keeps your furniture clean and dry all winter. Also, secure the coverings so they don’t get blown away in strong winds.
3. Clean and Oil Metal Pieces
If your outdoor furniture includes any metal pieces, it’s essential to take care of them properly to prevent rusting. Before storing metal furniture for the winter, clean it with soap and water, then dry it thoroughly. Once it’s dry, apply a thin layer of oil to help protect the metal from moisture.
Additionally, if your metal furniture has any paint or powder-coat finish, touch up any areas that have become scratched or chipped. This will help prevent rust and keep your furniture looking its best.
4. Treat Wood Furniture with a Sealant
Wooden outdoor furniture needs to be treated before winter weather hits to help prevent damage from moisture and temperature changes. Start by cleaning the wood with a mild soap and water solution, then allow it to dry completely. Once it’s dry, apply a sealant designed for outdoor use.
This will help create a barrier against moisture and help keep the wood looking good for years to come. This step is especially important if your wood furniture is made of cedar or redwood, as these materials are susceptible to moisture damage.
5. Wipe Down Plastic Furniture
If your outdoor furniture is made of plastic, you’ll need to take special care of it during the winter months. Cold weather can cause cracking and discoloration, so it’s important to regularly wipe down your plastic furniture with a solution of mild soap and water. You may also want to apply a moisturizer designed for plastic to help keep it from drying out too much during the winter months.
Another thing to remember is that snow and ice can cause plastic furniture to become slippery, so be sure to clean it off as soon as possible. You may also consider placing mats or non-slip pads underneath your furniture to prevent it from sliding around on icy patios or decks.
6. Let Cushions Dry Completely Before Storing Them
If your outdoor furniture has cushions, ensure they are completely dry before storing them for the winter months. Moisture can cause mold and mildew to form, so it’s important to let them air out for a few hours after use before putting them away.
When ready to store them, put them in a breathable bag or container, so they don’t get musty over the winter months. What about vented storage bags? You may want to look into those as an option as well.
7. Keep It Clean and Maintained
Finally, remember that keeping your outdoor furniture clean and well-maintained throughout the winter is essential. This means regularly sweeping away any leaves or debris that accumulate on surfaces and wiping down cushion covers and umbrella fabrics with a damp cloth. Periodically check for signs of wear and tear, and carry out any necessary repairs or replacements as soon as possible.
Furniture upkeep can be a lot of work, but these simple tips can help protect your furniture from the harsh winter weather and maintain its lustrous appearance for years to come. So get out there and enjoy your backyard all season long.