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How To Protect & Store Your Garden Furniture In The Winter

Posted on October 12 2022

The days are getting shorter, wetter & the nights colder, we all recognise the chill of winter that comes around every October. As we edge closer to winter, the question of how to protect & care for our garden furniture is a popular one.

After investing in quality outdoor furniture you want it to last for years to come, that's where protecting your garden furniture comes into play. But what is the best way to protect & store your garden furniture over the winter months?

Preparation

First things first, you'll want to prepare your furniture for the winter months. The type of preparation required will depend on the material of the furniture.

Wood

1. Clean it

All wooden furniture will appreciate a good clean once a year to remove dirt, algae, bird droppings and lichens. If you’re leaving your wooden furniture outside over winter, you might think it’s not worth doing any cleaning during the wetter months but dirt actually holds onto extra moisture. This means that dirty furniture will stay damper all season long and be more susceptible to decay than clean furniture, which gets the chance to dry out on sunnier days.

Even if you’re going to be storing your wooden furniture in a shed or garage, cleaning it first will make sure that it stays nicely dry while in storage, and prevents dirt from drying into the wood.

Wash your wooden furniture with warm, soapy water and a brush. Let it dry completely before giving it a light sandpaper.

2. Treat it

Hardwood, including teak, acacia & oak, doesn’t need to be treated beyond a good clean. It will weather to a silvery colour over time, but if you want to maintain the original colour, treating it with teak oil once a year will do the trick.

Softwoods, like pine, will need to be treated with a preservative, wood paint or oil to protect the wood. Paint your chosen product onto furniture using a clean brush. Make sure you tilt the furniture to treat underneath the legs - those areas that are in contact with the ground are prime spots for moisture absorption and decay. 

3. Fix it

Take this opportunity to check for missing and loose screws. If you need to replace any, opt for brass screws which won’t rust.

Wicker / Rattan

The woven nature of rattan & wicker garden furniture requires extra care taken when cleaning. First vacuum your pieces with the soft brush attachment to remove dirty & dust from the weave. Next wipe with a damp cloth to remove any remaining dirt or wicker. 

Synthetic rattan is more hardwearing than natural rattan, because of this natural rattan should never be left outside, uncovered all year round. Ideally, you'll want to store it indoors or covered for the winter.

Metal

Although powder coated metal furniture won't rust, it still needs looking after over the winter. Use a soft brush to remove any dirt or leaves, next wash the remaining dirt with hot water & soap. Rinse with clean water, apply water & vinegar sing a soft cloth to polish the metal.

Don't use anything abrasive as it will damage the surface of the aluminium. For optimal protection - finish off your maintenance with a coat of car wash for extra protection.

You must ensure all furniture is dry before using a cover or else your pieces could be subject to mould & mildew.

Protection

The best option will always be to store your furniture somewhere covered & dry over the winter. We understand that this is not always possible & in such cases we advise to cover your furniture with a durable furniture cover. If you are interested in getting custom covers made please get in touch. Another inexpensive option is to use tarpaulin & bungee ropes, this is effective at keeping most of the rainwater off without investing in custom covers.

For some materials, covers aren't always necessary, such powder- coated aluminium, plastic or hard woods. These materials are exceptionally hardwearing & very used to withstanding prolonged periods in the outdoors. 

In all cases, backrest & seat cushions should be removed & stored in a dry place. Although these cushions are built with quick dry foam it's best not to leave them outside in the winter to prevent mould & mildew build up.

If you have any further questions please get in touch at sales@luxterior.co.uk