As fall cools off the area, it’s time to start thinking about your outdoor furniture. The lazy summer days were perfect for barbecues and long chats with friends, but leaving that comfortable furniture out in the cold is a perfect recipe for material deterioration. Take a look at these tips for storing summer furniture over the winter.
1. Spot Clean Fabrics
Take a soft brush and soapy water to any fabric chairs or sofas. Stains that set over the winter will be nearly impossible to treat so take the time in the fall to scrub them out of the fabric.
2. Touch-Up Metal Before Storage
Use a wire brush to scrape off any rust or debris from metal furniture. Add a sealant or even touch-up paint to the exposed area, so that the chair or table looks spectacular in the spring. Metal will continue to rust if you don’t treat it now.
3. Scrub Plastic Items
Plastic becomes brittle with extreme temperature swings so this furniture type must be stored quickly after summer. Apply soapy water onto the plastic using a rag. Wipe off any debris or stains from the plastic. Allow it to dry before storing it. If your plastic furniture is reaching the end of its lifespan, it may be necessary to visit several stores in the spring to update your patio.
4. Use Covers Whenever Possible
Place covers over tables, chairs and patio umbrellas. Move all of these items indoors. Smaller patio accessories can be placed in plastic or cardboard boxes for safekeeping.
5. Clean Out the Barbecue
Don’t store the barbecue with old ashes left inside of it. Clean the barbecue thoroughly of all debris. Wipe down its exterior and place its cover over it. Detach any propane tanks and secure them indoors. As a result, the barbecue will look brand new in the spring.
6. Foam Cushion Consideration
Many cushions have a foam insert so pinpoint these items early on for immediate storage. Foam will break down quickly under cold conditions. Check that the inserts are dry and place them in a plastic container. Isolating the foam from extreme temperatures and moisture will preserve it until spring.
7. Avoid Power Washing
Power washing with a strong water stream and wand is a common mistake made with patio furniture. Regardless of the materials involved, don’t use power washers on your outdoor items. You’ll damage them as opposed to cleaning them effectively.
8. Garage, Attic or Basement Locations
All of your furniture must be in a relatively sheltered area during the winter. Ideally, select the attic, basement or garage for the items. Air temperatures will be relatively steady and moisture isn’t an issue. In the spring, you can decorate your patio again with comfortable furniture that stands the test of time.