How to Protect Patio Furniture During Winter
As the weather gets colder and damper, many people are spending less time on their patios and porches. But it’s important that you don’t neglect your outdoor furniture until spring! If you do, you might be left with a nasty surprise in the form of peeling wood, rust, or mold. Taking preemptive measures to protect your furniture is essential if you want it to last through to the spring. Keep reading to learn how to protect patio furniture during winter!
Can Patio Furniture Be Left Outside During Winter Weather?
Patio furniture is designed to be left outside, so you can absolutely leave it outside to brave the elements! However, the cold and wet months can really take a toll on your pieces. Because the temperature is colder and the nights are longer, it will take more time for your furniture to dry after a snowfall, a rainstorm, or even just the morning dew. Taking proper precautions is important if you want your furniture to last.
Types of Patio Furniture Material
Patio furniture can be made from lots of different materials; identifying what your pieces are made out of can help you better formulate a plan to preserve it! Here are some common furniture materials:
- Non-teak wood furniture can be well-made, but it is generally more susceptible to the elements than teak wood. With this type of furniture, it’s important to employ the use of a good sealant. This will help the material repel liquid, reducing the likelihood of molding and general wear and tear.
- Teak wood is a fantastic material for outdoor furniture. It looks great and, due to its natural properties, is highly durable and water-resistant. However, this type of wood attracts mold and mildew and should be cleaned regularly using a vinegar and warm water mixture.
- Plastic furniture is particularly vulnerable to colder climates, and if you live in an area where the weather tends to fluctuate frequently, you may notice some cracking in the plastic. To avoid this, rinse off your plastic furniture and scrub clean using a sponge and a mixture of mild laundry detergent and warm water. Be sure to dry completely before storing or returning it to your patio.
- Natural wicker furniture is prone to chipping and should be washed regularly to avoid splintering. A few drops of oil-based soap mixed into warm water should do the trick, but be sure to dry the furniture immediately.
- If you have a synthetic wicker patio set, spraying it down with a hose usually is more than enough to keep it clean!
- Wrought iron furniture is prone to rust and should never be left to the elements during winter. And while some pieces will have a rust-resistant coating, bird-droppings and other acidic substances can eat away the coating.
- To clean wrought iron, you’ll need fine-grit sandpaper to remove the rust and some good ole soap and water to clean.
Steps for Ultimate Protection & Maintenance
Prevention is key when it comes to maintaining your patio furniture. Follow these steps and your furniture will be spick and span in time for spring!
- Clean your furniture piece
- Apply protective sealants (Wood furniture only)
- Cover (storage bags, furniture covers, or even just a garbage bag will do the trick)
If you live in an apartment or simply don’t have room to store your patio furniture, you can either opt to leave it outside and cover it or get a small storage unit for the winter months! Either way, keeping your furniture out of the wet, cold weather conditions is essential.