When leaves begin transitioning in color and temperatures gradually dip, you also probably start thinking about winterizing your home. Despite your outdoor furniture being specifically designed to withstand outdoor conditions, it can still unfortunately fall victim to the elements. This is especially true if you live in an area that experiences particularly snowy winters or heavy storms. These are a handful of tips for keeping your outdoor furniture safe from harsh seasonal weather.
If you're planning on stowing away metal furniture for the winter months, be sure to first wash surfaces with detergent and water, and then scrub them gently using a brush. Rinse away the soap and water when you're finished using a hose. If you notice any signs of rust or oxidation, use a rust primer to treat the affected area before smoothing it with steel wool. If the metal was painted or colored, consider spray-painting the area to mask the affected spot when finished. Thinly spread car wax around on the metal surface, and then store it in a dry, enclosed space that's preferably climate-controlled.
Plastic resin furniture is a bit easier to maintain, and with proper care it can last many long years with little wear and tear. You can easily prepare plastic resin furniture for storage by washing it with detergent and water before rinsing it with a hose. Store it in an enclosed space that's safe from freezing temperatures.
Preparing cushions and fabrics for the winter starts with removing them from the furniture and machine-washing them gently. If the label indicates that bleach can be used on the material, you should apply it in order to stave off mildew. Place the covers or fabrics back on their respective items, and be sure to store the furniture in a dry, enclosed space that is elevated from the floor. If you plan on storing in an outdoor shed or garage, avoid using a plastic tarp to protect them and opt for a cloth one instead.
Cedar and teak furniture types call for special preparation measures before they are stored for the winter. Leave a layer of bleach on the wood for 24-48 hours in order to brighten the wood and ward off mildew. Sand the furniture surfaces down with 120-grit abrasive sandpaper, and then apply tung oil to rejuvenate the appearance of the wood. Store in either an indoor or outdoor enclosed place to preserve it through the winter.
If you plan on stowing away any other wooden furniture, wash it using a bleach/water/detergent solution and a scrub sponge. Rinse the solution with water before coating the furniture in water repellent and paste wax. If the furniture is painted, consider restoring or touching up any damaged areas. Store it in an enclosed, dry space for safekeeping all winter long.