As we approach wintertime, the temperature outside keeps on dropping, and at some point we all have to start the winterization process for our outdoor spaces. But what about our outdoor furniture? Just like your car, or any other furniture, your outdoor furniture set requires maintenance over the winter. Lack of proper protection from the weather can lead to damaged outdoor furniture!
What Happens to My Patio Furniture If I Leave It Outside in the Cold Weather?
It's no surprise that patio furniture is made to be used outside. However, when it comes to the fall and winter months, if you don't take the appropriate precautions, the weather might damage your furniture. Before storing or covering your furniture for the winter, make sure it's clean and protected with sealants. While it may take some time now, you will be happier when spring comes around and you can enjoy your furniture without having to make repairs or do extra work to your furniture. You'll also save money by covering your patio furniture for the winter. A costly patio furniture set can be ruined by a heavy snowstorm if it's not properly covered.
For those who live in colder regions, sitting on patio furniture covered in snow and ice is probably not an option unless you’re acting as a snowman. The more you protect your furniture from the weather, the more years you'll get out of it before having to replace it. Protecting your outdoor furniture throughout the winter will increase its lifespan for years!
Care For The Fabric
Read the cleaning instructions that come with your cushions, if they have removable covers. If that’s the case, be sure to remove them and wash them on a gentle cycle in your washing machine. Look at the label to check if bleach may be added without causing harm. Cushions that can't be machine washed should be cleaned with a light detergent and a firm brush. Do not use a high-pressure washer on your cushions since it could harm the material or break the seams.
The best way to dry the covers is to let them air dry, regardless of the manufacturer's instructions - tumble drying can wear down your covers, so they won’t last as long without rips, tears, or snags. Once they’re clean, hang them in a clean, dry area before putting them back on the cushions. When not in use, store your cushions in a waterproof bag or plastic tote to extend their life and keep them bug and mildew-free.
Clean Your Hammocks
If you have a rope or cloth hammock, wash it with laundry detergent according to the included instructions. Air-dry the hammock by setting it up on a flat surface, such as concrete or your deck. After that, roll it up and keep it somewhere safe. Cleaning your hammock will ensure that no debris, bugs, or dust is left on it when you store it, and keep it more functional for longer.
Fold and Store Your Umbrella
Nobody likes to display faded, mildewy, or moth-eaten umbrellas come spring, so to avoid that, you’ll want to take care of your outdoor patio umbrella during the cold months when you won’t be using it. To clean it, you can spot clean the fabric of your patio umbrella with just a soft brush and some soap and water. While the umbrella is open, let it air dry completely. Close the umbrella after lubricating the locks, switches, and pivots. Protect the umbrella from mildew, debris, and bugs by wrapping it with a low-cost plastic drop cloth, or using an umbrella cover. Store your umbrella in a dry place after taping plastic around it to seal out any contaminants.
Cover and Store Furniture
In order to protect your patio furniture from the weather, you should either store it or cover it with weather-proofing materials made for outdoor pieces. Outdoor covers for high-end furniture options might be custom-made by the manufacturer or available online, so check the website for the company that you got your furniture from to see if you can find a cover that fits your set perfectly.
Once your furniture is covered and ready for storage, put them in a shed or cover them completely to keep them dry, elevate chairs and tables off the ground to allow for better air circulation, and make sure to keep them clear of standing water or snow so they don’t get damaged during the winter.
Protect Wood and Wicker Patio Furniture During The Winter
While wood furniture looks lovely and organic when placed outside, it may be a more challenging material to keep clean and free of stains. Because wood is porous, it can absorb moisture without getting wet directly, and as soon as wood becomes damp, it can warp or start to rot, so it's better to avoid this from happening by taking precautions in the fall and winter.
Apply a Coat of Sealant
Wood patio furniture often comes to consumers pre-sealed and protected by the manufacturer, but this sealant can wear off over time. When the weather turns chilly, the first thing you should do is protect your wood outdoor furniture with a new layer of sealant. Before buying a sealer, find out what kind of wood your furniture is made of and read any manufacturer notes to better understand how to continue protecting your wood pieces.
Wipe Down and Varnish Wicker Furniture
Although synthetics are more typically used in modern pieces, wicker is created from natural sources, similar to wood. Synthetic wicker furniture can be treated similarly to plastic furniture, so after a long summer, it's time to clean your natural or synthetic wicker furniture since dirt and debris can get trapped between the woven strands. To protect the furniture after cleaning, use a thin layer of varnish to seal the pieces from dirt and debris. If your furniture is already painted, you might want to start by giving it a fresh coat of paint, if needed. Otherwise, once you’ve cleaned off your wicker, you can cover it and store it, just like other furniture, to keep it safe and clean during the harsher months.
Plastic Furniture In Winter
Plastic furniture, in contrast to wood furniture, is not prone to decay from dampness or bugs. Colder temperatures, on the other hand, can make plastic more brittle and more likely to break, so bring these items inside, or store them in a shed before it snows. Dish soap and water will clean plastic furniture before storing it for the winter, or you can use a cleaning spray to wipe away dust or dirt.
Metal And Aluminum Furniture For Winter
If your patio furniture is made of metal or aluminium, be sure to bring it inside for the winter. Snow and freezing rain can cause rust, and rust will weaken the joints and vulnerable areas of metal furniture. Make sure to wipe off the surface of your metal pieces with metal cleaner, then rinse with a hose and dry thoroughly with a cloth to prevent lingering moisture. Cover your furniture and store it if you can to keep it looking fresh for springtime!