As the vibrant colours of autumn fade and the chill of winter sets in, it’s time to prepare your garden furniture for the colder months. Proper care and storage during winter are crucial to ensure the longevity and beauty of your outdoor pieces. In this article, we will explore different garden furniture types and provide valuable tips on how to care for and store them during the winter season.
Don’t forget to read our article From Grime to Shine: How to Clean Your Garden Furniture Like a Pro.
Wooden garden furniture adds warmth and elegance to any outdoor space. To protect it from the harsh winter elements, follow these steps:
- Clean and inspect: Begin by cleaning the furniture thoroughly using mild soap and water. Remove any dirt, debris, or stains. Inspect the wood for any signs of rot or damage.
- Apply protective coating: Before storing, apply a layer of protective finish or sealant to shield the wood from moisture. This step helps prevent warping, splitting, and discolouration. Ensure the furniture is completely dry before applying the coating.
- Store indoors: Whenever possible, store wooden furniture indoors, such as a shed, garage, or basement. This provides optimal protection from extreme cold, snow, and moisture. If indoor storage is not feasible, cover the furniture with a waterproof tarp or furniture cover.
Metal garden furniture is known for its durability and resilience. However, it still requires proper care to prevent rust and deterioration during winter. Here’s how to care for metal furniture:
- Clean and dry: Before storing, clean the metal furniture with mild soapy water and a soft brush. Rinse thoroughly and dry completely to avoid moisture buildup, which can lead to rust.
- Remove cushions and fabrics: If your metal furniture has cushions or fabric elements, remove them and store them indoors separately. Wash and dry them according to the manufacturer’s instructions before storing them.
- Apply rust-resistant coating: For added protection, consider applying a rust-resistant coating to the metal surfaces. This step helps to prevent corrosion caused by winter moisture. Be sure to choose a coating suitable for outdoor metal furniture.
- Store in a dry place: Ideally, store metal furniture indoors to shield it from the winter weather. If indoor storage is not possible, place the furniture in a covered area, like a shed or under a waterproof tarp. Elevate the furniture slightly to prevent direct contact with the ground.
Wicker and Rattan Furniture:
Wicker and rattan furniture lend a touch of natural beauty to garden spaces. Proper care and storage can preserve their charm and extend their lifespan. Follow these guidelines:
- Clean and protect: Begin by removing any cushions or fabric coverings and storing them indoors. Clean the furniture with a soft brush or cloth to remove dust and debris. For stubborn dirt, use a mild detergent mixed with water.
- Dry thoroughly: Ensure that the wicker or rattan furniture is completely dry before storing. Moisture can cause these materials to weaken or develop mould and mildew.
- Store indoors or in a covered area: Ideally, store wicker and rattan furniture indoors, away from moisture and extreme temperatures. If indoor storage is not possible, place the furniture under a covered patio or in a shed. Cover it with a breathable furniture cover to protect it from dust and debris.
Plastic furniture is popular due to its durability and low maintenance. However, it still requires some care during winter to maintain its appearance. Consider the following tips:
- Clean and inspect: Begin by cleaning the furniture with mild detergent and water. Rinse thoroughly and inspect for any cracks, breaks, or signs of damage. Repair or replace damaged pieces as necessary.
- Protect from sunlight: If you plan to leave plastic or resin furniture outdoors during winter, ensure it is not exposed to direct sunlight. Extended exposure to sunlight can cause fading and discolouration.
- Stack or cover: To save space and protect the furniture, consider stacking plastic chairs and tables. This method minimises exposure to the elements. Alternatively, cover each piece with a weather-resistant furniture cover to keep it clean and dry.
Caring for and storing garden furniture during winter is essential to maintain its beauty and functionality. Whether you have wooden, metal, wicker, rattan or plastic furniture, following these guidelines will help protect your investment and ensure its longevity. By preparing your garden furniture properly, you’ll be able to enjoy its comfort and aesthetic appeal for many years to come, welcoming the arrival of spring with furniture that’s ready to enhance your outdoor living space once again.