A friend of mine recently asked me what steps she should take regarding protecting her patio furniture from the weather now that the warm summer months are long gone. She was saying how in years past she simply leaves it out in the weather without any protection but she got tired of replacing a seat here and a cushion there every year or two. I never gave any thought to it since I’ve always made a habit out of putting my outdoor furniture away the first cool weekend of autumn.
My first piece of advice was to store the furniture in a shed or covered portion of her patio. Try to minimize, if not block, exposure to sun, rain, wind and snow; all will greatly affect the condition and longevity of the furniture. I also recommend a good waterproof cover or tarp to cover everything. Water is your enemy, especially in the winter. Do everything in your power to keep your furniture clean and dry.
Moisture is the problem. When water gets into wooden furniture for example, it causes the wood to expand and contract as it gets wet and dry. Once a year treat all wood with a water repellent on a regular basis to prevent water from getting into the wood. Do this every other year or so and your outdoor furniture and playset will look fantastic
What about using some of that outdoor furniture inside? Patio tables and chairs make vogue and fun dining room pieces. Take that outdoor loveseat and use it as an extra seat in your TV room, den, or finished basement. The possibilities are limitless.
Protect the upholstery. Fabrics can rot quickly. Once that happens, your only course of action is to toss them in the trash because they are pretty much useless. Start by giving any fabric upholstery a good cleaning and then make sure it is nice and dry. Now spray it with a good fabric protector. It’s recommended you reapply this protectant at the beginning of every season. I cheat and do it only twice – start of spring and start of fall.
Whatever method you choose for protecting your outdoor investments, you can’t go wrong. The money you’ll save in buying a new patio set is much, much less costly than some water sealer or a furniture cover. At least, that is my opinion. What is yours? How do you keep your outdoor furniture safe during the winter?