A great patio set transforms your backyard from a boring yard into a relaxing space meant for outdoor living. Before we know it, winter will be here to cancel pretty much all of our backyard fun. You definitely want to take care of your patio furniture so it’s just as lovely next spring when you pull it out again. But did you know that not all outdoor furniture is created equal and shouldn’t be stored the same? In fact, with certain pieces, they may even weather the winter just fine on your patio. Of course, some others will go to rust if you leave them out. Here’s how to tell the difference, and how to safely store your patio furniture before winter.
Plastic Patio Furniture
Plastic is so durable, you might think it’s okay to leave it out year-round. But actually, in severe cold, plastic can become brittle and crack or break. So, if you’ve got plastic furniture, it’s best to tuck it into your shed or garage for the winter.
Sometimes confused with plastic, composite furniture is actually a whole different breed. It’s remarkably durable and most composite pieces will weather the winter just fine. Leave out, cover with a tarp, or store it in your shed… it all works.
Wood and Wicker Outdoor Furniture
The question here is whether you’ve got time to seal your natural wood furniture before winter. If you give it a protective coat of sealant, you can stash it under a cover and it will be just fine. However, untreated, the wood can absorb moisture (from physical snow and ice or from humidity in the air) and crack. So, if you cannot seal it this year, move your wood furniture into a storage area that’s fairly warm (even the shed might be too cold).
Natural wicker furniture also needs to be moved into your garage or spare room. Synthetic wicker, on the other hand, is safe to leave outside.
Fabrics and Upholstery
If it’s made of cloth or cushioned, it should be stored indoors. Even under a tarp, a chair cushion or pillow will absorb a lot of moisture and mildew. Technically some fabrics, like polypropylene are “weatherproof,” but they’ll last longer and require less cleaning if you store them inside.
When it comes to metal furniture, you’ll first want to identify what type of metal you’re dealing with. Wrought iron is prone to rust, so it’s best to store it indoors if possible. If not, give it a fresh coat of wrought iron spray paint and move it to the shed or cover it at the very least.
Other metal furniture, like powder-coated aluminum, is more durable. If your patio furniture fits this category, it’s a good idea to give it a thin coat of wax to protect it before winter. Then, it can handle the cold and moisture better, and it should be okay to leave on your deck. Or, store it under a cover or in the shed. Of course, if you don’t have time to give it a coat of wax, or you’re not sure what type of metal your furniture is, play it safe and move it to the shed or garage.
What’s that? You don’t have a utility shed to store your incredible furniture or anything else for that matter? Stop by our Rhinelander or Schofield location and check out our variety of Old Hickory Buildings!