With the cold weather rapidly approaching, it’s time to winterize your patio furniture. Cleaning, repairing, and storing your outdoor furniture and cushions will make all the difference in extending their use.
Choosing patio furniture can be timely and costly for homeowners so it’s no surprise you want it to look as good as new for as long as possible. Spending some time now to prepare and store outdoor patio furniture properly means it will look better and last longer. You’ll be able to enjoy it as soon as you open your patio for entertaining in the spring.
How to Winterize Your Patio Furniture
Whether your furniture is designed to remain outdoors throughout the winter or is better stored inside, it’s important for your patio sets to be stored only after they are clean and repaired. How you prepare your outdoor furniture for its winter storage depends upon the construction and material of the furniture.
The first step to winterize your patio furniture should begin with upholstered pieces. Fabric cushions and pillows must be brought indoors for the winter. Brush off each item, wash with mild detergent, treat with a mildew agent, dry thoroughly, and store stacked under a cloth tarp. Repair any tears or replace/reupholster the cushions now so that they are ready come spring.
Metal furniture can be stored outdoors under a tarp during winter weather. Wash the furniture with a mild detergent and a brush, and make sure to rinse it well with the hose, then dry it. Make sure to tie it down and leave a small opening at the bottom for drainage and circulation.
Wrought iron is prone to rust. If you find any rust or places of oxidation, get a good wire brush to remove it, use sandpaper to smooth out the spot, and spray paint it with exterior metal paint. Make sure the paint is dry before storing under the tarp.
Aluminum patio furniture should always be washed using a mild detergent and dried before storage. Examine the chairs and tables carefully as you clean, looking for scratches and rough spots. Paint over scratches with automobile paint. To extend the life of your aluminum pieces, apply car wax to the aluminum frame of the furniture. The wax works wonders to preserve the metal. Aluminum patio pieces can also be stored outdoors with a good tarp fastened securely over them.
Wood furniture requires special attention for winter storage. Natural woods such as teak and cedar should be sanded and oiled at least once a year to preserve their natural look. Chinese tung oil works well. If the wood is painted, touch up the paint before moisture seeps into the exposed areas. Treat natural wood with a water repellent and a coating of car wax. Cover with a tarp or winter furniture covers if storing outside.
Natural wicker furniture should be stored in a dry place indoors after being cleaned, dried, and inspected for damage. Repair any damaged areas and repaint if necessary. You’ll thank yourself in the spring. To extend the life of your wicker furniture, add a coat of paste wax or lemon oil. Synthetic wicker can remain outside after cleaning and inspecting for damage.
Vinyl chair straps should first be cleaned using a mild detergent and water. You can coat the straps with a vinyl protectant to keep mildew away as well as the harsh effects of salty sea air and air pollution. Stains on the straps scan be removed using rubbing alcohol and a soft cloth.
Marble table tops also require some winter preparation. They should be well coated with a stone sealer every six months or so. Clean spilled wine, coffee, or soda as soon as it happens. Use a mild detergent and water to remove stains. If remaining outdoors, cover the marble table top with a tarp but leave space between the cover and the table surface so moisture won’t damage it.
Storing Outdoor Furniture for the Winter
The final steps to winterize your patio furniture involves storing it during the winter months. Many types of patio furniture – like those made of metal, teak, cedar, and synthetic wicker – can be stored outside. Whether storing your patio furniture inside or outside for the winter, follow these simple steps:
- First and foremost, clean, dry and repair your outdoor furniture.
- Stack the furniture securely in an upright position.
- Do not store the pieces upside down, as that position causes water to pool and freeze inside the frame of the chair or table, potentially splitting it.
- Use winter furniture covers for protection.
Does Your Patio Furniture Need Restoration?
To get the most mileage out of your outdoor furniture, have it restored by experienced craftsmen. The Southern Company will have your older, high-end patio furniture looking brand new again. We are located in Willow Grove, PA, and we serve the east coast from Connecticut to Virginia. We make patio furniture refurnishing and repair as convenient as possible. Call us and find out how we can help you!