The leaves are changing, the days are getting a little shorter, and the nights are getting a
little cooler. The days spending evenings in shorts and t-shirts on the patio will soon be a thing of the past. As the weather cools, there are fewer opportunities to enjoy the outdoors on our decks or patios. Here are five tips for storing your outdoor furniture this winter.
Tip #1: Implement A Weekly Cleaning Regimen
You may not be ready to store away the outdoor furniture, yet. Folks in the south or in
California might stretch their patio days out until the late fall, while folks in the Midwest,
Northeast, and Northwest will be facing cooler temperatures, rain, and snow sooner than we hope.
Wherever you are and however your climate is changing seasons, cleaning your outdoor
furniture weekly will keep it ready for entertaining and for winter storage.
Before you jump to moving everything on your deck to storage, the first step is to make
sure that all of your outdoor furniture is cleaned thoroughly before it’s stored. Wipe down all table surfaces, plastic textures, aluminum and metal furniture with warm water and mild soap. Use a cloth to dry.
For aluminum and metal surfaces, if the finish has a shine or gloss to it, apply a fine
automotive wax to the surface. If it’s a textured aluminum or metal, use baby oil or mineral oil.
Wood surfaces should have the dirt and grime brushed off. You can use mild soap and
water, but be sure to dry as thoroughly as possible after washing. If there is mold or mildew buildup, try a mixture of bleach and water, or white vinegar and water. If you’d like to apply a sealant to maintain color and original texture, you can do so after a thorough cleaning before storing it.
2. Use Furniture Covers Year-Round
Oftentimes, patio furniture covers are only used in the case of rain or the winter season,
but if the furniture is protected when it’s not being used, it will experience less exposure to the elements, and as a result, experience less wear and tear.
There are varieties of kinds of furniture covers that patio lovers can find. For stackable
patio chairs, try stacking the chairs when not in use and purchasing a stacked chair cover. For patio dining furniture sets, try a cover that protects the entire set, rather than
a separate table and chair cover. Even plastic surfaces could stand to be covered when not in use and definitely during the winter.
3. Select A Safe Spot For Winter Storage
The safest spot for your outdoor furniture during the winter is indoors. This might be a
shed, a closet, or a small storage unit. Use a backyard shed or a storage unit to securely stash away your outdoor furniture once the weather begins to turn. Again, be sure to thoroughly clean items before storage.
While some households may have the option to purchase long term, off-site storage,
or to move all outdoor furniture to an indoor location, others might not have that option. If you must leave your furniture outdoors during the winter and you live somewhere with lots of rain and snow, you’ll want to get creative.
Scope out areas of your patio or deck that get the least amount of moisture. Move all
your furniture there. Can anything be stacked? If so, stack them and place a cover over it.
Secure the covers with elastic or straps so that the covers don’t fly off. it is important that all outdoor furniture be protected from the elements during the winter with a cover of some kind.
4. Keep Furniture Off The Floor
A separate storage unit or shed is the ideal place to store outdoor pieces, but before
placing your items in a shed or a storage unit, lay a plastic tarp over the floor.
Next, elevate the surface you’ll place the items on with cinder blocks or wooden palettes. This elevation will give extra protection from the elements and from flooding damage.
5. Store Fabrics, Cushions, and Rugs Indoors
We all know how this story goes: we buy beautiful and vibrant outdoor fabrics like throw pillows, cushions, and outdoor rugs and curtains, and by the end of the summer, their colors have started to fade.
The good news is that outdoor fabrics are durable and relatively easy to revive.
First, give all of your outdoor fabrics a good dusting off and bring them inside. Next, wash the pillows, umbrella fabrics, and outdoor cushions and curtains in the washing machine using a color-safe detergent. There are even some brands of detergent that boast restoring color. It’s worth a try!
Tumble dry on low heat for 20-30 minutes and let them air dry the rest of the way.
Take the outdoor pillows and fold up the curtains or umbrella fabrics, and seal them in a
plastic tub for the winter.
Outdoor rugs can undergo a good scrubbing using any carpet cleaner or mild soap and a
warm cloth. Once they’ve dried from cleaning, drag them inside and vacuum, or if you have a cordless vacuum, do the job out on the deck.
Roll the rug up, store inside a sheet or plastic bag, and stick it in the back of a shed or closet standing upright. If you put the rug in an outdoor shed or storage unit, be sure to seal the plastic around the carpet so that no moisture gets into the fabric.
6. Store Upright and Covered
It might seem like enough to simply place the furniture in the shed or in a storage unit,
but it’s just as important that the furniture is upright and covered to protect it further during the winter.
Try not to set tables and chairs on their sides as it can alter the integrity of the shape of
the materials. You’ll also want to be sure if you need to disassemble a piece of furniture to keep the pieces all together and the screws/fasteners in a bag attached to the rest of the materials. Don’t forget to keep instruction manuals handy for putting everything back together come springtime.
Expensive furniture covers aren’t totally necessary, either. Old bed sheets or blankets
will work just fine for covering in storage, too.
Take Care Now For A Beautiful Patio Next Spring!
Even if you’re not ready for the cooler temperatures and you long for those hot summer
nights, just remember, that proper storage of your outdoor furniture now will result in perfectly maintained outdoor furniture to go back onto your patio or deck come springtime. You’ll also be ready to store your outdoor pieces more quickly and easily if you start planning today.
If you’re looking for a storage facility to store your belongings, All Storage Northwest has got you covered. Here at All Storage Northwest, we offer a wide range of unit selections with state-of-the-art security features. To learn more about our self-storage facility, please check out our website at http://allstoragehayden.com/.