All summer long, you and your loved ones sat outside on your patio furniture to relax, and you look forward to doing it again next summer.
However, even though the majority of patio products are designed to be used outside, your outdoor furniture may suffer damage from the impending winter if you don’t protect it.
By taking the necessary precautions now to properly store your patio furniture for the winter, you’ll not only increase the longevity of your investment but it will also make things easier for you come spring.
The best scenario is to store everything inside, under a tarp, in a shed, a dry storage area, or under a roof to ensure that your outdoor furniture lasts for a long time. If you do decide to use a tarp, be sure to secure it and leave a gap at the bottom to encourage airflow.
All outdoor furniture should, however, be meticulously cleaned and repaired before being stored.
Listed below is a general breakdown of how to maintain and store your patio furniture according to the type of material it is made of.
Apply a protective sealant to all wooden outdoor furniture to shield it from any moisture. Moisture that freezes inside the wood during the winter can cause it to crack. Wood can absorb moisture from the air, so simply covering it won’t do the trick. It is best to both cover and seal.
Apply a fresh coat of paint to the painted wood to restore it. Use a mildly abrasive sponge and a water, detergent, and bleach solution to thoroughly wash it.
Before storing, rinse it and allow it to completely dry.
Although it does not absorb moisture like wood does, plastic outdoor furniture is more prone to cracking in the icy winter months. Ideally, plastic furniture should be kept indoors or in a location where the temperature won’t fall below freezing. Wash it thoroughly with a detergent solution and rinse it before putting it away.
Furniture made of metal is easily rusted by snow and ice. Rust weakens the metal and starts to break it down when it forms.
Check it for any rust spots before storing it and apply a rust-neutralizing primer if necessary. Apply a spray paint that matches the original surface after you have smoothed the area. Add a layer of auto wax for further defense.
If possible, it is best to bring this kind of patio furniture inside.
Wicker furniture has a lot of crevices and nooks. It’s crucial to remove any mildew by first brushing the surface with a bleach and water solution. Then use a fine spray to gently rinse off, and allow to completely dry.
Spray paint it to give it a new look, and then put moisture repellent on the feet and legs where the grain might be seen. Wicker furniture should be kept in a dry location and elevated off the ground by placing it on top of blocks when storing it for the winter.
Cushions & Fabrics
The process of freezing and thawing that takes place in the winter can easily harm the fabrics of cushions. Additionally, mold and mildew can develop in the cushion stuffing.
Before washing them with a bleach-detergent mixture, vacuum your cushions and umbrella first (one cup bleach to a gallon water, with a squirt of detergent). Use only soap and water on cotton fabrics.
The best place to store cushions is in a shed or storage box, and when it rains, bring them inside. Consider putting tarps in place and wrapping the cushions if you are storing them in a location where rodents may be present. To prevent dust from gathering, keep a tarp over them.