Prepare Your Patio Furniture For Winter

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Wicker Dining Set

Outdoor Wicker Picnic Table Set

Having a game plan of what needs to be done to prepare your patio furniture for winter is a necessity in todays world.  The cost of quality furniture deserves that care be taken to ensure its long term use with minimal deterioration. 

Getting up the ambition to prepare your patio for the winter is not a task that most of us look forward to.  In fact, if your anything like me, you’ll probably put this one off for as long as you can.  Doing so may get you caught in a bad situation of either having to do it when the outdoor temperature is extremely uncomfortable or not do it at all.  Doing nothing at all is not a good option.  As easy as it is, it should not be neglected.

How to Get Started

Start by standing outside and reviewing what furniture you have.  Determine whether you can store the furniture inside or if you have to store it outside.  Storing your furniture inside is better because the excessive contraction and expansion of the materials over the winter can damage the furniture.  But, if you have to store it outside, we will discuss how to do that too.

Glass

Remove and pack glass tops such as end table and coffee tables between sheets of cardboard. Securely tape all edges with sealing tape so that the weight of the glass will not break through.

Cushions

  • Remove and clean cushions before storing.  Its important to clean the cushions prior to storing for two reasons
    1.  To remove any materials that may set stains while in storage and,
    2.  To remove any surface smell so as not to attract mischievous rodents who may like to make their home in your cushions.
  • Ensuring that cushions are completely dry, store them in a plastic bag.  Large black garbage bags are good to use.  The black helps keep light from shining on to the fabric while in storage.
  • Where possible store them in a dry dimly lit or dark storage area.

Furniture

  • Although not necessary for storage, you may consider cleaning your furniture prior to storage.
  • Tighten any loose nuts and bolts.
  • Disassemble table tops or any other parts necessary so that you can move your furniture inside.  Make sure you save the hardware by either leaving it on one of the pieces or putting it in a clear zipper bag and tying the bag on to the furniture.
  • Prepping Inside Storage Area
  • Inside storage areas can include:
    • Basements
    • Garages
    • Attics
    • Barns
    • Sheds
  • Arrange storage area to make room for furniture.
  • Make sure you have clear access to move the furniture to the storage area.
  • Glass should be stored so that bumps or a casual walk-by does not cause the glass to fall and break.
  • Finally, move and store your furniture, glass and cushions inside

Prepping for Outside Storage with Furniture Covers

If you need to store your furniture outside, you should consider investing in furniture covers.  Furniture Covers provide excellent protection from sun and water but do not protect against ice forming and freezing on any furniture parts due to condensation.  Generally, this is not a big problem, but thought you should be aware.  Covers are usually designed to limit puddling of water.  Ensure that covers can not be blown off by high winds.   Even though this is not a huge issue, we recommend removing glass and strong it indoors as mentioned above.

Using Tarps for Outside Storage of Furniture

When you need to store your furniture outside and you don’t have furniture covers, you should consider using commercially available tarps.  Adjust the tarps so that they will not accumulate any water.  Secure them so that the strong winter winds will not blow them off.

Word of Caution About Winter Winds and Outside Storage

For any outside storage, depending on how heavy your furniture is, you may need to fasten the furniture to something that won’t move.  Sometimes wrapping a piece of furniture in a tarp or cover will increase the wind resistance and cause a single piece of furniture to blow over or be flown away.  Consider grouping furniture and tying it together then covering it with a larger tarp to increase its weight to wind resistance ratio and limit its chances of being blown away.

Summary

Preparing your patio furniture for winter is a real money saver.  Your furniture and cushions will last longer and look better for years to come.  Storing inside rather than outside is the better of the two options.  But when storing outside, make sure you protect your furniture by covering it and keeping the wind from blowing it away and ice from forming on it or accumulating user the covers.

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