A great set of patio furniture is a vital part of any yard from spring to autumn, but winter can give your favorite lounge chair a real beating. So, when cool evenings sitting around the fire pit or fire table fade into freezing nights in front of your fireplace, you want to make sure your outdoor furniture is protected from the elements. Follow these tips for storing your patio furniture for winter, so you can find them in tip-top shape come spring!
Some patio furniture can be left outside, while others will be much better protected inside, or at least under a cover. Either way, it’s always a good idea to clean your furniture before putting it away for the season. Small amounts of dirt or mildew can become a bigger problem while in storage. Maintenance, like cleaning, resealing, removing rust, or applying a new coat of paint, will prolong your furniture’s life.
Durable metal furniture is built to withstand the elements and most can stay outside without a problem. If your patio set is made of powder-coated aluminum or another type of metal, you can apply a thin coat of wax (automotive wax works fine) for some extra protection against moisture.
Wrought iron is the exception here, as it’s prone to rust. To store it for winter, first, give it a good clean. If you spot any rust, use a wire brush to remove it and then give it a fresh coat of spray paint that’s designed for wrought iron. Store wrought iron furniture inside if possible, or under a tarp or cover.
Plastic Patio Furniture
While it’s easy to clean and stands up to moisture, plastic furniture can become brittle in cold temperatures. To protect it, bring it inside for the winter.
The best way to care for any natural wood furniture is to apply a protective sealant to avoid water damage. Untreated, even under a cover or stashed in a shed away from snow, rain, and ice, the wood can absorb moisture from the cold air. This can cause cracks. However, a new layer of sealant or coat of paint will prevent that.
Do you have wicker furniture? It’s okay to leave synthetic wicker outside, but you need to bring natural rattan indoors.
Composite patio furniture is meant to weather any conditions and should be just fine outside through the winter.
Stone and Mosaic
Natural stone is porous and can crack if it absorbs moisture, so bring stone tables inside for the winter. A tabletop with a mosaic inlay should also be kept indoors or freezing temperatures can shift or loosen the pieces.
Fabrics and Upholstery
Store any cloth items, including cushions, umbrellas, and rugs indoors. Always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for your items. Even weatherproof pieces like polypropylene rugs will need less maintenance if you winter them inside.
If you’ve invested in great quality patio furniture, we know how important it is that it lasts for many years. Storing it inside is often the best way to protect it. If you need a storage shed to stash your furniture and other items, come by our Rhinelander or Schofield location and check out our variety of sheds by Old Hickory Buildings®!
Have your cushions, umbrellas, or your entire dining set just lived through their last summer? Fall is a great time to snag a deal on replacements! If you need an upgrade, stop by and check out our selection as we phase out 2019’s stock to make room for next year’s.