Advice on Caring for Your Patio Furniture

The severe weather of winter can cause significant damage to outdoor furniture. We sought the advice of a knowledgeable individual regarding the storage of outdoor furniture during the winter months.

So you’ve decided to get some outdoor furniture. Great! But now that winter is approaching, how should you go about caring for your patio furniture

According to Paul Nel, a landscape designer in Johannesburg, “I’ve seen the detrimental impact that extreme weather can have on outdoor furniture if it is not covered, especially during the winter months.” “A single winter may make brand-new furniture appear to be ten years older than it actually is. Because they were not properly covered, it is fairly uncommon for exposed metals to rust, wicker to unravel, wood to split, and plastics to crack.”

It is not unusual for people to store away the patio furniture and other objects that they have utilised throughout the warm season in order to safeguard them from the adverse effects of winter weather when the warm season comes to a conclusion. By doing so, you may be able to help preserve the value of these pieces. Considering that the typical cost of patio furniture runs from R10,000 to 50,000, this is a significant investment that should be preserved.

Simon Barker, co-founder/editor of Grow Your Yard, gave us an exclusive interview in which he discussed the most effective methods for cleaning and preparing outdoor cushions for the colder months of the year. It is not always as simple as it might appear to ensure that your pricey garden furniture remains resistant to the elements, which is a crucial component of getting your yard ready for fall. He goes on to say, “Although applying a fresh coat of paint or varnish to your outdoor furniture is an obvious place to start, there are other things you can do to maintain your furniture and keep it looking its best.”

Caring for your patio furniture

Fix any nicks and scratches.

The summer season brings with it a wealth of opportunities to host gatherings and make use of outdoor furniture, such as by lighting bonfires or hosting friends and family for a dinner party beneath the stars. Utilizing your existing furniture is the most obvious purpose, but doing so exposes it to the possibility of being damaged. This is what Simon Barker says, “It is imperative that you inspect for any signs of wear and tear on your garden furniture before you begin the process of weatherproofing it. Examine the item for any signs of damage, such as cracks, chips, or paint that is peeling, and check to see that any moving parts are still in good working condition.” Also screws and fasteners tend to work themselves loose over time, so give them  a check with a screwdriver.

Your furniture’s individual components, as well as the undersides of those components, should be subjected to a comprehensive visual inspection. This will shed light on any necessary repairs. According to Barker, “If you discover any faults, make sure that you correct them before you start weatherproofing, since this will assist to extend the life of your furniture.” There are occasions when the manufacturer will sell replacement components, which you can find by looking up the model number online. In any other case, you might be able to purchase adhesives and materials for repairing furniture either online or through a store that specialises in home improvements.

fasten screws on outdoor bench

Put on another layer of paint or varnish

It is now permissible to block off the winter weather in order to preserve the furniture from being damaged by it. This is because the furniture is currently in a decent general condition. After ensuring that there are no limitations or limits placed on this procedure by the manufacturer, particularly if there is a warranty in effect, Simon Barker provides some important pointers to consider. “Applying a fresh coat of paint or varnish is one of the simplest ways to protect the garden furniture you have invested in from the elements. This will assist to shield it from the effects of the weather and ensure that it maintains its pristine appearance.”

This procedure shouldn’t drag on for an excessively long amount of time, but it should be carried out in an accurate manner. Barker suggests applying many coats of a high-quality paint or varnish that is specifically formulated for use in outdoor environments, since this will provide an additional layer of protection. Take your time with it and make sure the furniture is adequately covered so that you can reduce any potential threats. Again, you can purchase all of the materials you require in a store that specialises in home repair. This includes the varnish or paint as well as the brushes. Check the instructions provided by the maker of the product to see how it should be used.

varnishing patio furniture

Make Use of Furniture Covers

If you use winter patio furniture covers, your outdoor investments will be protected from the elements, including precipitation, snow, ice, road salt, debris, and more. Because of this, when you are ready to use your outdoor furniture again, it will already be clean, and it will last for a longer period of time.

You are also able to keep your patio furniture in your yard if you have a cover for it. This makes preparing your property for winter less of a chore and gets you ready for spring more quickly.

The growth of mould and mildew on wood furniture that is covered is a common cause for concern. Pick a cover that is made of a breathable fabric and has mesh vents if you want to keep cool. In addition to this, you should look for a cover that has between one and two inches of space between the bottom hem and the floor. This will increase airflow and enable for rapid evaporation of any moisture that is present. If you can, make it a habit to periodically brush off any snow or water that has accumulated on your cover. The presence of moisture on the inside may be the result of pooled water, which will make it more difficult for the moisture to evaporate.

patio furniture with tarp covers

Use tarps to protect your outdoor furniture.

When it comes to safeguarding outdoor furniture, tarps are a more budget-friendly solution than covers. You may find heavy-duty plastic tarps, such as this one that is waterproof, either online or in the hardware shop in your area. They are offered in a variety of sizes to choose from.

The majority of tarps come equipped with grommet holes, which make it simple to secure them over various pieces of furniture. Knapp suggests using bungee cords, twine, or rope to cinch the bottom of the tarp around the furniture so that it may be securely fastened. Knapp recommends doing the following to minimise the amount of moisture that gets through: “Place the tarp over the item, wrap the sides, and cinch the bottom.” It is important to prevent mould and mildew by allowing some ventilation underneath the furniture.

furniture tarp

Bring the Cushions Inside, but Leave the Frame Outside

According to Knapp, “it is usually better to bring the cushions indoors for the winter, especially if you live in an area where temperatures often fall below freezing.” The frames are able to remain outside while being covered.

Once you are inside, check to see if the cushion covers are removable. If they are, you should clean them as directed on the tag. If not, clean them spot by spot. The following is a guide for cleaning the cushions on outdoor furniture. In any event, after ensuring that the cushions have been thoroughly dried out, you should pack them up in boxes or plastic bags.

Put your things away in a storage shed or a garage

If you’ve spent a lot of money on a piece of costly furniture, a good fire pit, and maybe even some personalised cushions for a couch, you should definitely take more aggressive steps to protect each of these items. In light of this problem, Simon Barker provides a remedy. Put away your outdoor furniture for the winter if you don’t plan on using it during the colder months and if you have the space to do so. This might be in the garage, a storage shed, or any other area that is protected from the elements and will remain dry.

Is it really worth it if you have to carry big goods into the garage from the back deck in the backyard? According to Barker, “Your outdoor furniture will eventually succumb to the elements, even with the best weatherproofing measures; the most effective approach to counteract this is to store it in a safe, dry area, ready for the next year.” When moving it, be sure to do so with caution and avoid dropping any items. If you park your car in the garage and store other items there, such as pillows, you should try to protect them from the dust by covering them with a cloth or plastic. This is especially important if you park your car in the garage.

store patio furniture in garage

What Happens to Outdoor Furniture If It Is Left Outside All Winter Long?

If you intend to leave your furniture outside unprotected throughout the entire year, you should be prepared to spend some time the following season cleaning, removing rust, resealing, and/or repainting it. If you intend to leave your furniture outside year-round, you should also consider buying new furniture. It is in your best interest to take preventative measures right now so that you may save yourself time and effort in the spring.